April 30, 2019
Mankind has been utilising fluids as a source of energy for millennia. From the humble days of using water to turn mills to complex modern-day fluid power; our ability to harness fluid energy has improved rapidly. We now use fluid power in our aptly named hydraulics. These ingenious designs use pressurised fluids to galvanize energy into pure power. But how did hydraulics ever come into fruition?
It took a true genius to realise the potential that confined fluids had. In 1648, Blaise Pascal (the unit of pressure’s namesake) realised that fluids exerted an equal force in every direction. He claimed that it would be one day possible to channel the forces of the liquid to our advantage. He was right.
In 1738, a Swiss mathematician called Daniel Bernoulli put this theory into practice. He used pressurised water in mills and pumps. Then in 1975, an Englishman called Joseph Bramah patented the first hydraulic press. This formed the foundations of the industrial revolution, and allowed the production of machines to cut or stamp things, as well as cranes and printing presses to name but a few.
Eventually, it was realised that simple H2O wasn’t the best liquid for the hydraulics and that oil was a far better choice. A non-corrosive, dense oil would be able to perform to a greater degree and create more power, without corroding the machine. The oil was found to be less susceptible to evaporation and held its temperature more readily than water too.
As time went on, through the industrial revolution all the way to the present day, the use of hydraulics became increasingly common and widespread. This meant that innovations in the technology became exponentially faster. New materials were used in new internal designs creating greater forces and generating more power which allowed faster and more impressive production.
Hydraulics can give more than 10x the power of an electric motor meaning it is more effective at lifting heavy objects and forcing things to move. Hydraulics can be controlled safely and precisely too and are closed off protecting workers. For this reason, they are extremely common.
In the present day, hydraulic cylinders are used heavily in construction. Workers in mining, drilling, shipping and manufacturing all use tailored hydraulic cylinders to aid them in their vocation.
Yuken can provide a bespoke hydraulics system in addition to any existing hydraulics system you could need. Our technical engineers and designers can deliver purpose-built hydraulic cylinders for any customer. Get in touch if you need any new application or need a hydraulics system at a manufacturers price.