Fluid power rules the moving parts of a heavy lifter. Log splitters and cranes use hydraulic energy. Massive excavators are powered by fluid circuits, oil and air-powered valves and pistons. Even the air brakes used in heavy equipment rely on pneumatically-derived energy, the generation of force through the manipulation of fluid properties.
Cylinders are the linear force actuators that respond to system force changes. For example, in pneumatic and hydraulic pumps, a partial vacuum is created at the pump inlet. The pump is in motion and fluid is being channeled from the reservoir and into the fluid circuit. Linear actuators are located in-line as the mechanical devices that respond to the transferal of gaseous or liquid-borne energy. Now, circuit regulation uses valves and all manner of fluid controlling components to channel fluid power, but it’s the cylinders that do the work, lifting massive booms and pushing ungainly jaws together with irresistible strength. Linear actuators do physical work, but they rely on pneumatic and hydraulic pumps when applying their muscle.
Prefixed by descriptive labels, the design of a linear load bearing product can be divided into hierarchically arranged models. There are master variants and slaves on the chassis of a lifting vehicle, for example. The master cylinder forms the core of the main branch or an important node within a subsystem. Transmitted fluid power, whether carried in a pneumatic or hydraulic medium, then divides further as it reaches the slave units, in which case synchronous operation is a must. Again, we resort to calling upon as air brakes as a common application, with heavy-duty vehicles representing the most obvious application of this configuration.
If the pneumatic and hydraulic pumps in the system are the generators of power, then the piston rods and cylindrical barrels fitted on the a lifting frame must be the terminating end, the moving mechanical cylinders that deliver transmitted energy as carried by rubber hoses and a network of tubes. The cross-sectional area of each unit is sized to match its designated lift arm/boom and any added loads. This means pressure changes as cross-sectional area varies, so the right piston must be selected for the job.
We find these essential components acting as linear power transmitters in huge mechanical arms and booms, but follow the system back to its origins, the pump, a place where reciprocating pumps use barrels and pistons to generate source energy.
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