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Basic Hydraulics

The basic principle of a hydraulic system is illustrated above. By applying a force of 5 pounds to piston A. with an area of 2 square inches, we are able to exert a force of 100 pounds on piston B. . If piston B. is made larger, the force acting on it will increase. Also, if piston A. is made smaller, the pressure in the liquid will be greater , and the force acting on piston B. be will be increased. The object of any hydraulic system is to gain mechanical advantage.

Simple System

On the left, a practical hydraulic system using a hand pump, a control valve, double acting hydraulic cylinder, and an oil reservoir. Force and speed of travel are limited to the hand pump and operator but such a system will do an excellent job with simple presses, bending machines and so on. Replacing the hand pump with a power pump gives you a simple powered hydraulic system. With this system it is only necessary to turn the pump on and operate the control valve to make the piston in the cylinder move.

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