Application Of Fluid Power | Application of Hydraulic and Pneumatic
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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Fluid power applications can be classified into two major segments:
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.
- Food processing machinery.
- Automatic handling equipment and robots.
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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