What Types of Hydraulic Systems are There?

Here at Hydraulic Power Sales Inc., we are often asked about the different types of hydraulic systems. People simply want to know a bit more about something that they are likely to use every day. To answer the common types of hydraulics, we must first understand what hydraulics are to begin with.

What Is a Hydraulic System?

Hydraulic systems are useful in that they use fluids to get power flowing from an engine to an actuator. The path that the fluid takes is flexible, but the hydraulic system is completely necessary to get the required results and move fluids from Point A to Point B. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common types of hydraulic systems.

Hydraulic Pumps

It is often the case that a hydraulic system will be made from hydraulic pumps. Three of the most common types of pumps are gear pumps, fixed displacement piston pumps, and variable displacement piston pumps.

Gear pumps are designed to move only a certain amount of fluid per rotation. Thus, they are considered to be fixed displacement pumps. However, actual fixed displacement piston pumps move some fluids with every stroke. Then, you have the variable displacement piston pumps which are most commonly used on aircraft.

Hydraulic Motors and Cylinders

Hydraulic motors are used to convert pressure into torque. If you hear about vane, radial piston, or gear, then you are hearing about hydraulic motors and cylinders. In some cases, a hydraulic motor may also be referred to as a linear hydraulic motor or cylinder. Just understand that these are all the same thing.

Essentially, the point of a hydraulic motor is to move force in a single direction. That direction can be changed over time as necessary.

Aviation Hydraulic System

Aviation hydraulic systems are a special thing in and of themselves. They used a reservoir system to get fluid and apply pressure to other components within the system. This is a key difference from the way that other hydraulic systems work. When the job is complete, the aviation hydraulic system will then return fluid to the reservoir that it originally drew it from. It can use the same fluid to draw from again in the future.

Open Center Hydraulic System

In this system, no pressure is applied, but the fluid still exists. The fluid simply moves from the actuator to the reservoir. This permits fresh fluid to be able to get to the pump inlet where it needs to go. It’s a rather dynamic system in all it can accomplish, but it is different from what many other systems do.

There is a wide world of different types of hydraulic systems out there for you to check out. It is very important that you take advantage of all of them that you possibly can to get the kind of results that you have been striving for from the hydraulic system that you ultimately settle in on. The choice is yours, but it is nice to at least know what these different systems do.