Application Of Fluid Power | Application of Hydraulic and Pneumatic

 Introduction
In the industry we use three methods for transmitting power from one point to another. Mechanical transmission is through shafts, gears, chains, belts, etc. Electrical transmission is through wires, transformers, etc. Fluid power is through liquids or gas in a confined space. In this chapter, we shall discuss a structure of hydraulic systems and pneumatic systems. We will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages and compare hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical and mechanical systems.

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hydraulic shearing machine
hydraulic shearing machine

Fluid power applications can be classified into two major segments:

Stationary hydraulics:

Stationary hydraulic systems remain firmly fixed in one position. The characteristic feature of stationary hydraulics is that valves are mainly solenoid operated.

The applications of stationary hydraulics are as follows:

  • Production and assembly of vehicles of all types.
  • Machine tools and transfer lines.
  • Lifting and conveying devices.
  • Metal-forming presses.
  • Plastic machinery such as injection-molding machines.
  • Rolling machines.
  • Lifts.
  • Food processing machinery.
  • Automatic handling equipment and robots.

Mobile hydraulics:

Mobile hydraulic systems move on wheels or tracks such as a tower crane or excavator truck to operate in many different locations or while moving. A characteristic feature of mobile hydraulics is that the valves are frequently manually operated. The applications of mobile hydraulics are as follows:

  • Automobiles, tractors, aeroplanes, missile, boats, etc.
  • Construction machinery.
  • Tippers, excavators and elevating platforms.
  • Lifting and conveying devices.
  • Agricultural machinery.

Hydraulics and pneumatics have almost unlimited application in the production of goods and services in nearly all sectors of the country. Several industries are dependent on the capabilities that fluid power affords. Table summarizes few applications of fluid power.

More applications of fluid power

Agriculture  – Tractors; farm equipment such as mowers, ploughs, chemical and water sprayers, fertilizer spreaders, harvesters Automation Automated transfer lines, robotics

Automobiles – Power steering, power brakes, suspension systems, hydrostatic transmission

Aviation-  Fluid power equipment such as landing wheels in aircraft. Helicopters, aircraft trolleys, aircraft test beds, luggage loading and unloading systems, ailerons, aircraft servicing, flight simulators

Construction industry/equipment – For metering and mixing of concrete rudders, excavators,
lifts, bucket loaders, crawlers, post-hole diggers, road graders, road cleaners, road maintenance vehicles, tippers

Defense – Missile-launching systems, navigation controls.

Fabrication industry – Hand tools such as pneumatic drills, grinders, borers, riveting machines, nut runners

Food and beverage  – All types of food processing equipment, wrapping, bottling,

Foundry – Full and semi-automatic molding machines, tilting of furnaces, die-casting machines

Glass industry  – Vacuum suction cups for handling

Hazardous gaseous areas –  Hydraulic fracturing technologies: It involves pumping large volumes of water and sand into a well at high pressure to fracture shale and other tight formations, allowing hazardous oil and gas to flow into the well. However, hydraulic fracturing has serious environmental and water pollution related issues.

Instrumentation – Used to create/operate complex instruments in space rockets, gas turbines, nuclear power plants, industrial labs

Jigs and fixtures – Work holding devices, clamps, stoppers, indexers

Machine tools –  Automated machine tools, numerically controlled(NC) machine tools 

Materials handling  – Jacks, hoists, cranes, forklifts, conveyor systems

Medical – Medical equipment such as breathing assistors, heart assist devices, cardiac compression machines, dental drives and human patient simulator

Movies – Special-effect equipment use fluid power; movies such as Jurassic park, Jaws, Anaconda, Titanic

Mining-  Rock drills, excavating equipment, ore conveyors, loaders.

Press tools – Heavy duty presses for bulk metal formation such as sheet metal, forging, bending, punching, etc.

Printing industry – For paper feeding, packaging

Robots – Fluid power operated robots, pneumatic systems

Ships – Stabilizing systems, unloading and loading unit, gyroscopic instruments, movement of flat forms, lifters, subsea inspection equipment

Textiles – Web tensioning devices, trolleys, process controllers Transportation Hydraulic elevators, winches, overhead trams

Under sea -Submarines, under sea research vehicles, marine drives and control of ships

Wood working-  Tree shearers, handling huge logs, feeding clamping and saw operations

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