Actuators in Hydraulic Systems: What You Need to Know

Blog | April 23rd, 2020

A hydraulic system is a technology wherein a fluid is used to move the energy from a motor to an actuator like a hydraulic cylinder. The said fluid is theoretically uncompressible, and its path can be flexible like an electric wire. Hydraulic systems are utilised whenever a high-power density is needed. Some applications of hydraulic systems include excavators, presses, hatches, and cranes.

Hydraulic systems are comprised of components that enable them to function well. Among these components are the reservoir, pump, valves, and actuators. Actuators perform a crucial function in hydraulic systems since they supply the energy needed by the hydraulic system.

Function of Hydraulic Actuators 

Hydraulic actuators are moved by incompressible liquid from a pump or air pressure instead of relying on pressurised pumps. These actuators may be classified as linear for hydraulic cylinders, rotary for hydraulic motors, or semi-rotary for the limited angle of actuation. The energy conversion of actuators can be different from each classification. Hydraulic cylinder converts hydraulic energy into linear motion, while hydraulic motor converts hydraulic energy into rotary motion and work. 

The energy that the actuators process is supplied by the hydraulic pump. It may seem that pumps and actuators perform similar functions, but they do not share similar processes. Pumps convert pure mechanical energy into hydraulic energy. Actuators, on the other hand, reconvert the hydraulic energy provided by the pump into mechanical energy.

Benefits of Hydraulic Actuators

Hydraulic actuators are utilised because of numerous benefits. First, hydraulic actuators are designed and suited for high force and high-pressure applications. They can easily produce forces that are 25 times greater than other types of actuators of equal size. These actuators can also operate in pressures of up to 4,000 psi. 

Hydraulic actuators can also effectively maintain force and torque constant even if the pumps cannot supply them fluid or pressure due to the incompressibility of fluids. And even if their pumps and motors are located far away from each other, hydraulic actuators can still work well without losing too much power.

Downsides of Hydraulic Actuators

Just like any other component, hydraulic actuators also have their disadvantages. For one, hydraulic actuators can leak fluid into your whole system. With this leaking problem, hydraulic actuators can be less efficient and can even provide cleanliness problems to your whole hydraulic system. This problem can ultimately lead to potential damages to the actuator’s surrounding components.

Another downside of hydraulic actuators is that they will only work if certain components are present. These actuators require a lot of complementary parts for them to function fully. These parts include fluid reservoir, motor, pump, release valves, heat exchanges, and even noise reduction equipment. Hydraulic actuators would also need regular maintenance for them to achieve consistent positioning accuracy levels.

Getting to know these facts hydraulic actuators can help you appreciate the functionality they can bring on your hydraulic system. To know more about hydraulic actuators, just give us a call at Mobile Hydraulics Specialties. We are your total source for the sales, service, design, and installation of fluid power products and accessories.

Mobile Hydraulic Specialties Pty Ltd

Factory 89, 38-40 Popes Road
Keysborough, Victoria, 3173

Phone: (03) 9798-6511

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Mobile Hydraulic Specialties Pty Ltd

Phone: (03) 9798-6511
Address: Factory 89, 38-40 Popes Road, Keysborough, Victoria, 3173