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Aluminum Framing is the Sustainable Choice for Industrial Hydraulics

Aluminum is the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust (after oxygen and silicon), immediately making it an obvious choice for a commercial metal. Aluminum doesn’t lose strength or corrode over time — nearly 75% of all of the aluminum ever used for commercial purposes is still in use today — making it an even more intelligent choice for any business that has an eye toward the long term.

The Right Shape, Sustainably
By mixing aluminum with small amounts of other elements, it’s trivial to produce an alloy that can be processed, cast, forged, rolled, or extruded into almost any imaginable form. These alloys are 95% as strong as steel at 33% of the weight, when, when you add in the corrosion-resistant nature of the metal, makes aluminum framing the perfect decision for many industrial applications where added weight and exposure to the elements can make steel a poor choice.

Furthermore, even if an accident or disaster occurs and a worksite’s aluminum framing is destroyed, aluminum can be recycled and the framing recreated for as little as 5%-10% of the energy cost of the original production.

More Benefits of Aluminum
Aluminum provides strength very similar to that of steel, but because it can be so perfectly shaped for any given job, many applications allow you to achieve that strength with as little as 70% as much aluminum as you would normally need steel. Furthermore, aluminum is more flexible than steel, allowing it to absorb significantly greater impacts without shattering.

That makes aluminum an excellent choice for hydraulics, pneumatics, and bulk material handling applications. Each of these, be it a powerful hydraulic winch or a series of impact saddles under a fast-running conveyor belt, requires a framework to hold the machinery in place. The most common choice for these frameworks is steel, because it’s more readily available and costs less per pound.

That cost is deceptive, however, because by volume, which is actually the important metric, aluminum is less expensive. Combine that with the aforementioned reduction in total material necessary for a given job, and aluminum delivers the finishing blow by being significantly less expensive than steel for any given job.

Aluminum framing — it’s less expensive, more durable, and more sustainable. Choose it for your next industrial project and reap the rewards.

What a Vacuum Pump Does For Your Pneumatics

When you remove the air from a closed space, you create a pressure differential between the inside of that closed space and the outside of the space. If the enclosure is strong enough, it will stand up to the pressure differential. If it’s strong enough but there’s a simple plunger attached, the pressure differential will cause the plunger to move toward the low-pressure area until the pressures have equalized.

The same principle applies to spaces that are filled with liquids, albeit with different mechanics. Because fluid cannot be expanded or compressed the way that air can, removing the fluid from one side of an enclosed plunger-system moves the plunger in a much more stable manner; a pneumatic vacuum-plunger system will wobble back and forth slightly as the air expands and contracts back and forth until stability is achieved; a fluid system’s plunger will move once, decisively, and stop exactly where the fluid forces it to stop. That’s because there is no vacuum created; it’s merely the movement of fluid out of a container and the movement of the container to match the new amount of water inside of it.

The machine that removes the air from one side of the plunger arrangement is called a vacuum pump. Vacuum pumps are available in three grades: rough, middle, and high-vacuum. For industrial purposes, all vacuum pumps are rough pumps because it’s easier to increase work performed by increasing the surface area of the plunger than by increasing the strength of the pump.

In pneumatic systems, the fact that a stable vacuum can be created and essentially put ‘on hold’ until its work is needed is particularly valuable in that a single vacuum pump can, by the use of a pneumatic manifold or other switches, create dozens of pockets of vacuum in specially-designed cylinders all around a given device, which can then be ‘popped’ for bursts of work at a later time.

Because of the different physics, vacuum pumps cannot exist in hydraulic systems; no matter how strong the shell of your hydraulic manifold, you won’t ever be able to create a stable vacuum in fluid — the pump will overheat and burn out or the manifold will crack or crumple before that particular law of physics gives up. For pneumatic systems, however, vacuum pumps are vital and powerful units that every industry has found use for.