Tag Archives: hydraulics 101

What is Hydraulics?

What is hydraulics and what does it mean to me? Hydraulics is a huge part of all of our lives. Hydraulics? Yes, seriously. You may think of hydraulics about as often as you think of thermonuclear fusion, but whether or not we realize it, on a daily basis many of the items we use either utilize hydraulics to function, or they were made by machines which operate using hydraulics.

Pascal's hydraulic principle

Bramah’s press was based on Pascal’s hydraulic principle.

How about a little history? Way back in 1795, just a few short years before the internet was invented, Jospeh Bramah was granted a patent for his new invention: the hydraulic press. This was the very beginning of hydraulics as an application of industry, and Bramah’s model is still widely used.

Okay, so what is hydraulics? According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, hydraulics is “a branch of science that deals with practical applications (as the transmission of energy or the effects of flow) of liquid (as water) in motion.” Theory is all well and good, but practically applying this to its everyday uses is where the rubber meets the road, and that takes place within hydraulic systems.

In layman’s terms, hydraulics and hydraulics systems are about applying force at a certain point which is transmitted as energy from that point to another via an incompressible fluid of some kind. This fluid can be a type of oil or a synthetic fluid, depending upon the application. The pressurization of this fluid allows this energy’s power to operate various devices or types of machinery.

Okay, so what types of machinery, you ask? Well, here’s an application of hydraulics which might not readily come to mind: a garbage truck press. The sheer volume of garbage that goes into these trucks must be compacted, and a large hydraulic press makes that possible. Whether a rear or side loading truck, hydraulic pressure is created and using a moving plate or shovel it compresses the garbage against a moving wall. “Pack-on-the-go” hydraulics allows drivers to compact the garbage while driving, reducing route times and allowing greater efficiency.

So, next time the question, “What is hydraulics?” comes up, you will be the go-to guy (or gal, as the case may be). Next time, we’ll take a closer look at hydraulic systems and how they work, just like the one that keeps your neighborhood garbage-free.

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Hydraulics 101: What is the Bore of a Hydraulic Cylinder?

Sometimes we talk about things in a way that makes perfect sense to us, forgetting that it may not make a lot of sense to people that are not “in the business” of our industry. So I’m starting this new series of posts for those new to hydraulics & hydraulic cylinders in particular. We will try to keep the posts short, to the point, easy to understand & informative.

So, what is the “Bore” of a hydraulic cylinder & why is it important?
The bore is simply the INSIDE DIAMETER of the tube of the cylinder.
hydraulics 101 - hydraulic cylinder bore

The Bore of the cylinder determines the total power of the cylinder. The larger the bore, the more it can lift or push. If you see or hear us talking about a “4 inch” cylinder, we are always talking about the bore of the cylinder. The outside diameter (OD) is usually about 1/2″ larger than the bore, but it depends on the wall thickness, so if you measured your cylinder from the outside and it measures 4-1/2″, you can be pretty sure its a 4″ Bore cylinder.


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Come back soon for the next session!