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Understanding Different Hydraulic Cylinder Types

Hydraulic systems help complete work that would otherwise be difficult to do manually. Any given system consists of numerous parts and components working together to perform the decided tasks, including:

hydraulic cylinderOf these, hydraulic actuators are an essential part of hydraulic systems. They convert fluid power into mechanical power to perform the desired actions, such as lifting, twisting, or pulling.
 
Several different types of actuators are used in hydraulic systems. The most well-known hydraulic actuators are hydraulic cylinders also known as rams. Hydraulic cylinders convert the hydraulic fluid power into linear mechanical power.
 

What Components Are Found in Hydraulic Cylinders?

All hydraulic cylinders consist of several key components, including:
  • Cylinder Body – The body consists of a cylinder barrel, base, and head or gland.
  • Cylinder Piston – The piston moves back and forth inside the cylinder body and creates two different chambers inside the cylinder.
  • Cylinder Rod – One end of the rod is connected to the piston and the other side connects to the machine component that performs the desired work.
  • Cylinder Seals – Several different seals are used in the cylinder to keep hydraulic fluid from leaking out of the cylinder.
 

Hydraulic Cylinder Types

Just like there are different types of hydraulic actuators, there are different types of hydraulic cylinders. Some of the more common types are:
 

Telescopic Hydraulic Cylinders

Telescopic cylinders consist of a series of extendable sections called stages. When fully extended, they look similar to a telescope. They can be either single acting or double acting telescopic hydraulic cylinders.
 

Single Acting Hydraulic Cylinders

Single acting hydraulic cylinders can only push or pull in a single direction. These hydraulic cylinders have a single fluid port. When the hydraulic fluid enters the cylinder, it pushes the hydraulic rod outwards, causing it to extend. A spring or another component causes the rod to return inside the cylinder.
 

Tandem Hydraulic Cylinders

Tandem hydraulic cylinders are where two cylinders are connected together. Since they operate in tandem, they are able to generate greater linear mechanical power than a single cylinder. Typically, each cylinder is connected to the same power source.
 
When the rod of the first cylinder extends, it pushes into the second cylinder’s base in order to make the second cylinder extend. 
 

Double Acting Hydraulic Cylinders

Double acting hydraulic cylinders can push, pull, extend, and retract since they have two fluid ports, one on each end of the cylinder housing. When hydraulic fluid is pumped into one end of the cylinder, the rod extends. When fluid is pumped into the other end, it pushes the fluid out of the other side and back into the fluid reservoir as the rod retracts.
 

Which Cylinders Are Best for You?

When you are deciding which type of cylinders is best to use, you need to take into account several factors, such as:
  • What will be the operating environment? Indoors or outdoors?
  • Which cylinder type is required for the application in question?
  • What connections are required on each end?
  • What are the type and sizes of ports required?
  • What is the type of work you need to perform using the hydraulic cylinder?
  • What type of fluid does the use?
  • What are the minimum and maximum weights that the cylinder will be used to , lift, etc.?
  • What types of seals are used on the cylinder, and will they be sufficient for the operating environment?

hydraulic fluid

Hydraulic Cylinders from White House Products, Ltd.

White House Products, Ltd. can help identify which type of hydraulic cylinders would be the best option for you. We will use the information you provide about your project, equipment, and hydraulic system to ensure the right cylinders are selected. We will then either supply you with a stock cylinder or manufacture normally within a few days enough units to suit your specific requirements.
 
Contact us today at +44 (0) 1475 742500 for further assistance selecting the best hydraulic cylinder types. We also stock an extensive selection of hydraulic pumps, motors, and related parts.

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