Innovative motion control solutions since 1947

Three Points on Understanding Hydraulic Valves

Hydraulic valves are an important part of machines and certain equipments. If you do not work with these valves on a daily basis, you may not understand the importance of the hydraulic valve, the way it operates, and the different parts involved in the process of a working valve.

Point 1: The Functions of the Hydraulic Valve

Hydraulic valves are responsible for directing the flow of fluids beginning from the input port of the valve and coming through the output port. The commonly used fluid is oil. The spool position inside of the valve determines the direction that the fluids flow through the valve. The force of the fluids flowing through the valve is driven by a force motor.

Point 2: The Specific Parts of the Hydraulic Valve

Hydraulic valves have three specific parts that are included along with the valve in order to create the right amount of pressure to allow the fluids to flow quickly, powerfully, and easily. Below are the parts and their primary function:

  • Power Conversion: this part gives isolation between the power valve, external field bus, and the auxiliary supplies. It is also the source of voltages to regulate functional blocks that may occur while the valve is at work.
  • Field Bus Interface and Control: this part gives isolation between the control system and the signals that come from the field bus. The control system turns all information coming from the field bus into instructions for the DSP.
  • Valve Control: this part takes a role in positioning the spool and measuring temperature and pressure. This part is also responsible for indicating certain alarm conditions.

Point 3: The Primary Uses for Hydraulic Valves

The hydraulic valve is a necessity for carrying out certain hydraulic mechanisms. Most typically, hydraulic valves are used in machinery and equipment that lifts heavy objects. But hydraulic valves are also present in heavy machinery, like vehicles, military machinery, and aircraft. If you work on a construction site, in a manufacturing facility, or do everyday normal activities like drive a car, you are most likely using some type of hydraulic valve.

Hydraulic valves are an essential part of major tools, machines, and equipment. The valves are responsible for transporting fluids from one end of the valve to the other. It gives off high pressures and power which makes it powerful enough to manage its role in big machinery and equipment.


Important Facts about Hydraulic Pumps

Hydraulic pumps are an essential part of some of the major machinery and equipment that are used to complete vast and complicated tasks. If you have ever worked with construction, manufacturing, or industrial equipment, chances are high that you were using some kind of hydraulic pump. Keep reading for more information on the pumps.

How Hydraulic Pumps Work

The hydraulic pump is a simple machine, but it achieves the highest levels of pressure when compared to other pumps. Speaking in general terms, the pump takes mechanical energy and turns it into hydraulic energy. Hydraulic pumps apply pressure to hydraulic liquids and initiate the process of positive displacement. Positive displacement includes the expansion and contraction of the cavities inside of the pump. The liquid inside of the cavities are then allowed to leave the pump at a high pressure level. Although there are other pumps that have similar operations, the hydraulic pump is one of the most preferred.

Primary Uses for Hydraulic Pumps

Hydraulic pumps are used for creating very high fluid pressures in order to work efficiently. With that being said, these pumps are typically included in high-powered equipment, such as construction machinery (forklifts, scissor lifts, back hoes), manufacturing equipment, industrial machinery, and elevators.

There are also a variety of pumps. Your use of the pump will determine which kind of hydraulic pump you will need. You may be in need of a gear pump, which is the simplest form of the hydraulic pump. Rotary vane pumps have more power than gear pumps, but are typically used for medium pressures. Screw pumps are typically used at low pressures for high level flows. Radial piston pumps are used for smaller sized flows at high pressures.

Choosing the Right Hydraulic Pump

Hydraulic pumps come in all different varieties. To determine what pump you will need, there are some determining factors you must first figure out. The most common factors are figuring out the needed pressure, the flow rate of the fluids, the power of the pump, efficiency numbers, and the temperature needed for operation.

Hydraulic pumps are essential to carry out specific functions that include moving fluids at high pressures. If you need to use a hydraulic pump, it is important to know what pump you need and the specifications you should meet with the pump.



The Many Uses of a Vacuum Pump

Even if we don’t notice their presence in our daily lives, vacuum pumps have been around for over three hundred years dating back to its invention in 1650 by Otto von Guericke.


There are many kinds but they can be categorized into 3 groups according to the way they function:

  • Momentum transfer: generally use high speed blades to suck air or gas from a particular space.
  • Entrapment : is a technique used to capture gases
  • Positive Displacement:  is based on expanding a cavity in order to make a specific gas enter and once it has, sealing the cavity and releasing the gas into another space (generally the atmosphere).

But Where Are They?

There are many uses to vacuum pumps specifically when it comes to industrial and scientific research processes ranging from simple milking machines to hard core science such as fusion research, uranium enrichment or the development of electron microscopy.

But in fact, they are a part of our daily lives even if we can’t actually see them. For example, did you know that the hydraulic brakes of your car work with this mechanism? Other motor functions like the cruise control or the door locks also have vacuum based functionalities.

Benefits of a Vacuum Pump on an Engine

Generally, a vacuum pump will only be of benefit for an engine that creates a significant amount of air or gas due to its high performance, by adding some horse power and increasing the life of the engine.

By putting a negative pressure on the machinery, it will reverse problems caused by the increase of pressure in the pan that pushes oil entrained in the air past the rings on the intake’s stroke and the valve guides

Other Functions

As we mentioned before, there are many kinds and the weapon of choice will vary according to wants to be accomplished: perhaps you would like a dry-running radial pump, or on the other end of the spectrum an oil-lubricated screw pump. Whether you are replacing an old part of a system or replacing the whole system itself the deciding argument generally boils down to energy conservation or low noise emission.


Importance of Hydraulic Cylinders

Have you ever paid attention to the importance of hydraulic cylinders in modern day construction? Every single tube you find on or under a machines arm while staring at a building in process is most likely one of these. As you may have guessed by the description given before, they are what power these arms in a unidirectional stroke in order to move or lift something which requires a lot of force.

The Power Itself

A hydraulic cylinder is made up of many parts like barrels and pistons, but mainly the force will come from a pressurized hydraulic fluid which tends to be oil. Inside the cylinder, this fluid’s flow is regulated by a pump which will in turn generate a pull force.

You will also find that there are two types of cylinders: Single acting and double acting.

  1. The first ones are simpler in design and generally cheaper. The oil enters through a port at one end of the cylinder, extending the rod which later gravity will send back into the piston.
  2. Double acting cylinders, on the other hand, have a port at each end and require the fluid to flow in or out of both sides for both movements (extension and retraction).

Different Designs

In the industry of hydraulic cylinders you will find many designs available:

  • Welded Body: it doesn’t have a tie rod and the barrel is welded directly into the end of the caps as well as the ports.
  • Tie Rod:  mostly seen in industrial factory applications, these hold the end caps using threaded steel rods.
  • Compact: utilized when the mounting space is expensive or difficult to acquire and the application demands a high force.
  • Telescopic: also called multi stage rod, due to the fact that it is actually a succession of rods tied together for force or distance required

Which One Should You Buy?

As you can see, there are many kinds of hydraulic cylinders in the market so the best thing to do is actually to ask for a professional’s help to suit your manufacturing or building needs. That way you’ll find the proper tool for the proper task.


The Versatility of a Hydraulic Pump

The primary purpose of a hydraulic pump is to pressurize hydraulic fluid in order to operate machinery. This can be anything from farm equipment to aircraft parts. A hydraulic pump can either send fresh fluid through it, known as an open loop system or used fluid which would be known as a closed loop system. Each have their own operational purposes depending on the application or the job that is required to be done.

Although there are a variety of hydraulic pumps available for just about any industrial operation, below are two distinct types of pumps.

Fixed Displacement Hydraulic Pump

More limited to its applications then other hydraulic pumps, this less expensive and simplistic pump maintains a set flow of fluid through the pump. The most basic being a gear pump which sends the pressurized fluid through a set of gears and through the outlet running the basics of machines. Using a set of Archimedes spirals instead of gears, the fluid picks up good pressure as it flows through rotating screws. This allows for a higher flow rate of fluid at a low pressure.

Variable Displacement Hydraulic Pump

Being able to control the rate of flow and the outlet pressure allows this pump to offer a variable drive. It also makes them a little more complex and expensive due to this capability.

Other Higher Efficiency Pumps

Best suited for middle range pressure are the rotary vane hydraulic pumps. Here, pressure is increased from the use of concentric, offset vanes. This is where the working fluid is forced into smaller volumes increasing that pressure. The bent-axis piston and cylinder designed hydraulic pump is most likely the best when it comes to efficiency and output. Built similar to that of a vehicles piston and cylinder engine, it can run at high pressure while maintaining the desired efficiency. Using two cylinders per piston, the double action design of this pump can certainly up the throughput.

Hydraulic pumps are such a versatile piece of equipment. They are available in a large variety of designs for just about every budget and application. Many models can even be paired up to increase output if necessary. With a hydraulic pump, there is no doubt you will get the job done.


The Many Uses of a Pneumatic Valve Actuator

Pneumatic valve actuators are found in countless industrial settings all over the world. There are various types of construction applications, oil and chemical plant, deep water and water management facilities that put these tools to use. These pneumatic valves are typically used for the delivery and control of liquids and compressed air through complex piping systems.

Made From a Variety of Materials

Depending on the particular application, pneumatic valves can be manufactured from plastics, aluminum or stainless steel. Stainless steel pneumatic valves for example, are typically found in oil or chemical plants where the flow of liquids and corrosive fluids are the primary product moving through their pipes.

Other Common Uses of Pneumatic Valves

Precise pneumatic valves such as turtorq actuators are used to regulate a required amount of compressed air. These types of systems are typically operated from remote locations for safety reasons. Usually away from the hazardous chemicals and liquids are flowing. With safety in mind in chemical plants, butterfly valves are sometimes used right inside the pneumatic valve or as a separate system altogether. It should be noted that if used separate, these systems would be placed along the same section of pipe when working in a hazardous liquid or chemical plant. Installing sensors in the pneumatic valve actuators can also monitor the flow of liquids.

Higher Benefits

Unlike hydraulic actuators, pneumatic valves have the capability to store energy so they can be used in emergency situations such as power interruptions. They can also work under larger energy payloads. Although these systems do not do very well in sub-zero temperatures, there are varieties of pneumatic valves that deliver compression using heated air. These systems will not compromise the performance of the valve. It’s always nice to know that fluid delivery system in cold weather locations use some sort of back up in order to minimize any unscheduled down time.

A Reliable System

It is very important that any liquid or fluid directional flow system, especially those that move potentially hazardous material, have some sort of fail-safe system. The ability to override and regain control of a system from a remote location in the event of an emergency is just what a pneumatic valve actuator is capable of.


Industry Uses for a Hydraulic Cylinder

There is a wide range of apparatuses of large automated systems and machinery that has been developed throughout the years in order to make things operate more efficiently and smoothly. Amongst the apparatuses, a hydraulic cylinder is also included. This component is a mechanical actuator, which produces unidirectional force via unidirectional stroke. A hydraulic cylinder has several applications, which are mainly based around construction equipment. Read on and discover the many instances where a hydraulic cylinder tends to be most valuable.


These devices are used a lot within agricultural industries, and can be used for a range of machines including loaders, harvesters, and tractors. In addition, they may also be used as attachments for hydraulic wood splitters, tractors, and more.

Civil Engineering

The civil engineering industry also calls for these devices for their machinery, as bulldozers, trenchers, excavators, and their attachments all feature hydraulic cylinders.

Energy Industry

These components also seem to come in useful for the energy industry. Hydroelectric stations that have gate controls make use of these cylinders, as these cylinders help with the possibility of opening and closing gates to control water flow.

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering also values these cylinders, as they come in extremely handy for automated production lines, forming machines, feeding devices, producing ecological equipment, transportation devices, and plastic forming machines.


Finally, shipbuilding is another industry that values the device. Hydraulic cylinders can be found in steering mechanisms, hoists, transportation equipment, and more.


Many other industries that value the device include automotive, aeronautical, food, and construction. With the wide range of uses for hydraulic cylinders, having only one kind of this device can make things very difficult. This explains the several variations of the component. This ensures all the roles are undertaken correctly and the right type of the device is being used. The variety includes single-acting, double-acting, telescopic, and plunger cylinders.

Even though there are a couple of variations, they all feature the main components: the piston and barrel. Further components include the head, base, piston rod, deals, welded port, flange, rod end, bearings, bushes, and other small parts. A manufacturer of hydraulic cylinders puts these components together in order to make the device function properly.



Different Types of the Pneumatic Cylinder

A pneumatic cylinder is a type of appliance that makes the use of power that is generated from compacted gas in order to form a force in interchanging linear motion. A pneumatic cylinder may also be referred to as an air cylinder, as the term pneuma, means air. Very similar to hydraulic cylinders, a force is applied into the piston, which pushes it to the desired direction. The piston that is part of a pneumatic cylinder is a disc or a cylinder. The force that is created is transported by the piston rod to the object that requires moving. A minority of engineers prefer this device due to its cleanness, quietness, and minimum space for storing fluids.

Purpose and Type

The shape, material, and size of the cylinders depend on the purpose one is using them. The different materials that are used for pneumatic cylinders include stainless steel, steel, nickel-plated brass, and aluminum. The way the materials are chose for the devices involve considering several factors such as amount of loads, specific stroke length, temperature, and humidity. The devices also come in a wide range of body constructions, which include:

  • Flanged- type cylinders – the ends of these cylinders feature fixed flanges.
  • Tie rod cylinders – these are the most common type of cylinder structure and find their use in a huge variety of loads. These are also proven the safest form to work with.
  • Threaded end cylinders – in these, the ends tend to attached to the tube body.
  • One-piece welded cylinders – the ends of these cylinders are welded or crimped to the tube.

A Further Look into the Types

The three pneumatic cylinders we discuss below are:

  • Single-acting cylinders
  • Double-acting cylinders
  • Telescoping cylinders

Single-acting cylinders (SAC) use pressure that forms from compacted air. In majority of cases, the extension SAC cylinders have is very limited due to the amount of space the compacted spring takes.

Double-acting cylinders (DAC) use air pressure in order to retract strokes and move in range. Two parts make up this cylinder, both of which let the air in. One is for outstroke and the other, in-stroke.

Telescoping cylinders, also known as telescopic cylinders come in single-acting and double-acting modes. Their designs allow for much longer strokes and tend to be reserved for uses where the piston has to face minimal side loading.



Two Kinds of Hydraulic Manifolds, Part II: Modular Manifolds

In Part I, we discussed the benefits of one of the two major types of hydraulic manifolds — the ‘single-piece’ manfolds, laminar and drilled-block. Today, we’re going to talk about the other major kind of manifold: the ‘modular’ manifold.

Modular manifolds have a single massive advantage over single-piece manifolds: they can be changed on the fly as the job evolves. Sometimes called the ‘erector set approach,’ modular manifolds involves a few to scores of iron, steel, or aluminum blocks, each of which has a single valve or other operator inside. Modular manifold systems can be assembled horizontally or stacked.

Most often, plates are installed between the basic ‘building block’ components to make for regular spacing and to allow for small variations in the location and size of intake and outflow passages.

The method by which the manifold blocks are connected varies by builder. Some use rods that extend through the length of the manifold and are secured on either end with nuts. Others have flanges on every block so they can be bolted together one at a time. Still others have sockets and threaded heads alongside the hydraulic passages inside each block that snap together. No matter how the blocks are connected, every block has an O-ring around every passage entering or exiting it that abuts the O-ring on the adjacent block for the purpose of forming a seal.

Most such blocks also have the necessary electrical connections built into the blocks, connecting the machinery to the appropriate solenoid. Some instead utilize channels that allow for runs of standard electric cable instead.

The limitations of modular manifolds are more dramatic than those of single-block manifolds. Internal pressure, flow rate, and the length of an individual manifold are all much more sensitive in a modular manifold than they are in a single-piece manifold.

Hydraulic manifolds are amazing tools, able to replace as much as 300 lbs of tubing and valves in as little as a single cubic foot of space. Compared to the tubing and valve setup, a manifold can cost two-thirds to half as much to assemble and install, save a mountain of space, and require only a single hydraulic filter to keep the fluid running smoothly. Whether you choose drilled-block, laminar, or modular manifolds, you’re certain to appreciate the advantages.

Two Kinds of Hydraulic Manifolds, Part I: Single-Piece

Hydraulic manifolds come in two basic types: the single-piece design that contains all of the valves and passages needed in a single metal chunk, and the modular design where each block contains exactly one valve and the various passages needed for that one valve to work. Each has their own advantages; in this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of choosing a single-piece hydraulic manifold.

Single Piece Manifolds come in two basic kinds: ‘lamniar’ and ‘drilled-block.’

Laminar Type Manifolds are composed of multiple layers of metal with holes drilled in them such that when the layers are brazed together, they form the necessary passages. As each layer is formed, the necessary mechanics of each valve are put in place. There is no limit to the number of valves — or the size of valves — that can be mounted in a laminar type manifold.

Laminar manifolds can withstand pressures of up to ten thousand psi, and can be custom-designed for any task. Because of the brazed construction and permanently shaped passages, however, it cannot be modified if changes become necessary; it must be replaced entirely. Laminar manifolds are generally more expensive than drilled-block manifolds as well.

Drilled-Block Manifolds are similarly custom-made for specific applications, and also cannot be altered after creation. Most often made from a single slab of iron, steel, or aluminum, a number of straight passages are drilled to create the flow passages and to provide the space necessary to insert the valves and other moving parts. Some such manifolds use threaded passages to screw the machinery into place; others lock the parts into place using plates attached to the manifold’s surface.

Drilled-block manifolds, being single metal pieces, can with stand more pressure than the valves within them are able to — meaning they’re effectively unbreakable, as in almost any case, a hydraulic valve will give out and the fluid will be ejected before the manifold itself cracks. They’re also the least expensive kind of manifold to produce, in general.

Single-piece manifolds in general have the advantages of withstanding greater pressures and being less expensive than modular manifolds. To learn the advantages of modular manifolds, come back next time for Part II.