There’s a simple mathematical progression that rules fluid technology. Applying the principle to hydraulic and pneumatic systems, it goes something like this: for every high-pressure, super-sized fluid system, a comparable rugged component must be sized and materially matched so that a quoted application functions properly. Enter composite construction cylinders, a technology that puts ultra-rigid cylinder strength back in the hands of system designers.
What Are Composite Construction Cylinders?
From case hardened mild steel onwards, purely alloy-hardened hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders have, at least until now, always used the toughest seamless tubes and rods. As system pressures and equipment loads rise, larger chromium and carbon strengthened components deliver augmented service life. Unfortunately, even these materials have limitations. And even if they didn’t, their unwieldy dimensional profiles make it harder to design truly mobile component parts. Composite materials add exotic material bases to conventional fluid cylinder designs. Namely, carbon fibre, a light but incredibly hard-wearing composite, exhibits a much higher weight-to-strength ratio than conventional steel.
Carbon Fibre Benefits
Formerly made of 316L stainless steel, newer composite construction cylinders embrace carbon capable strength. They’re lighter and smaller, so they’re a natural fit for heavy-duty mobile equipment. Additionally, stainless steel is indeed rust resistant, but this composite material goes a step further by becoming very nearly rustproof. The rods and tubes are also equipped with impact strength, an aptitude for rejecting mechanical fatigue, and a quantity of tensile strength that’s practically off-the-charts high. Before going any further, let’s see what composite materials go into this lightweight system component.
Deconstructing the Composite Material Package
Think about the kind of mechanical gaskets that are used in heavy industry. There are metal collars and special inserts in those products. Aramid and carbon fibres bind with strong alloys. They magnify the tensile strength of the sealing gasket, even when it’s exposed to massive quantities of compressive force. Composite construction cylinders for hydraulic and pneumatic applications are no different. Employing the same rugged and durable materials, plus glass and a host of optionable exotic elements, the system cylinders gain strength and performance acuity.
Checking out the metal base, composite construction cylinders use titanium or stainless steel or high-grade aluminium. There are molybdenum and chromium amalgamates in the mix. The largest alloying materials are carbon and chromium. But this is still a conventional design, a solid metal. To really up-the-ante, the designers keep the product lighter than steel but stronger than any conventional alloy. For mobile hydraulic and pneumatic applications, imagine the resin materials injected into that metal base. Imagine carbon and aramid fibres, glass and other high-performance, super-durable blends.
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