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12 interesting facts about hydraulics

The world would be a very different place without hydraulics and the oils that make them possible, like Mobil DTE Light. Aeroplanes rely on hydraulic systems due to the extreme pressure on their control surfaces while in flight, while powerful hydraulic presses enable metal to be shaped into objects like coins.

Here are some things you might not know about this technical marvel:

1 – Pressure is vital to hydraulics. Hydraulic systems only work when the system’s oil is compressed to an extreme level.

2 – Three main types of energy exist in a hydraulic system. There is potential energy that derives from the pressure. Secondly, any resistance to the flow—which is inevitable to some degree, even when using high-quality oils like Mobil DTE Light—results in heat energy. Most importantly, though, there is kinetic energy from the moving liquid, and this is what does the work.

3 – When energy is put into a hydraulic system, usually through some kind of motor, aside from getting the oil to the necessary pressure, two things can happen to it. It is either used to achieve work (i.e. do whatever the machine is intended to do) or it can be lost as heat.

4 – A hydraulic system does not draw oil into itself—it is pushed in using air pressure.

5 – A hydraulic system does not create energy, but rather converts it from one form to another.

6 – Hydraulics enable hydraulic presses to use immense force to compress and shape metals. This is how coins are made.

7 – There are four basic but essential components for a hydraulic system: A reservoir to hold a suitable hydraulic oil like Mobil DTE Light, a pump to push it into the system, a valve to regulate the oils flow and pressure, and finally a cylinder, which takes the oil’s movement and converts it into work.

8 – The oil’s flow must always be unrestricted in a hydraulic system. Should it come across any kind of block or opening, the pressure will inevitably drop and the machine will stop working.

9 – Two main groups of hydraulic systems exist. In a closed-centre system, the pressure is kept constant while the flow is varied. The opposite is true for an open-centre system, where the flow is kept constant and the pressure is varied.

10 – There are actually two basic types of hydraulics: hydrodynamics and hydrostatics. In hydrodynamics, fluids are used at a lower pressure but with a higher speed. An example of this would be a boat’s propeller, which uses its interaction with the water to propel the vessel forward. Most industrial hydraulic systems, however, are based on hydrostatics, where the fluid flows at much slower speeds but is kept under immense pressure.

11 – It is possible for hydraulic systems to feature different flows, yet have the same output energy. For example, one system could have a high flow, and another could have a low flow, but both have the same energy.

12 – NASA’s retired space shuttled faced extreme operational requirements, and this is evidenced by its hydraulic pumps, which ran at 3,600 rpm and produced about 3,050 PSI (pounds per square inch) each.

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