Hydraulic Power Units and Valves

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Hydraulics power units are one of the most important and widely used methods of energy and mechanical transfer in the machining and industrial fields. Briefly speaking, hydraulics uses energy from one location and applies force in the end location by transferring the energy along an incondensable fluid.

The hydraulic systems are generally built to increase the amount of force that is applied throughout the unit, so the amount of force at the final site is much greater than the amount of force that is initially created by the power unit.

Fluid power is useful because it applies an even pressure throughout the work piece, where a mechanical or electromechanical power unit tends to have more force, though the distribution of that force can vary greatly. Hydraulics is most useful in situations where another power unit may be too bulky, or where an even pressure is necessary throughout operation.

Another advantage of hydraulic power is the fact that it can be fitted to almost any production line, even if the production line is already completed and in operation. The construction of hydraulics allow an array of valves and shut-offs that can allow for several uses and sections within one system.

The reason that the hydraulic system is able to adapt to many significantly differing applications is the usage of valves. Valves in the system are implemented to divert the flow of the fluid into a desired unit.

The valves are used in almost every hydraulic application, but there are of course variances in complexities of the valves. Most valves are labeled one to four way valves. This describes the amount of channels that the valve is attached to. A three way valve, for example, has three separate channels of diversion.

Another classification of hydraulic on/off valves is the term solenoid. Solenoid valves are electronically operated by a foreman to switch the valve from the on or off position. This type of valve has the advantage of operation that is distinct from the flow of hydraulics, which is how direct drive valves are operated.

Direct drive valves are constructed with certain tolerances of pressure. When a direct drive valve is subjected to a certain amount of pressure, the drive switches to a different channel.

The hydraulic system is a complex power system that is advantageous because of the adaptability in the way the system operates. No other power system is so easily reconfigured and reformatted as the fluid power system.

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