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Guide to Specifying Hydraulic Cylinders

The primary purpose of the hydraulic cylinder is to convert fluid pressure into force. You can avail of a hydraulic cylinder in any size, style, material, and configurations you want. Owing to the variety of materials used and configuring them, it becomes a complicated process for manufacturing various sizes of hydraulic cylinders. But if you can specify the hydraulic cylinder the right way for the right job, then its manufacturing becomes simple too.

NFPA and ISO have provided the design guidelines for hydraulic cylinders, yet many businesses have come up with their personalized guidelines. When you design a cylinder with the right specs, then it can provide you with excellent performance capabilities, and you won’t need to customize the hydraulic system afterward. But specifying the hydraulic cylinder needs to get done meticulously because little changes in the design can cause differences in the working of a hydraulic cylinder.

Design factors to consider when specifying hydraulic cylinders

Manufacturing various sizes of hydraulic cylinders become challenging if you don’t have the right specifications. Even the tiniest of design change can affect one or more other design elements. If you want your hydraulic system to work optimally, then you need to ensure that the design you choose for cylinders has more pros than cons.

To help you engineer the perfect hydraulic cylinder below is your guide to specifying hydraulic cylinders.

1 – Capacity 

Most industries use a medium-duty hydraulic system, which has a pressure capacity of 1000 PSI. But some applications such as automotive manufacturing and hydraulic presses need heavy-duty systems. Such cylinders can provide pressure capacity up to 3000 PSI. The load capabilities work hand-in-hand with full piston area when exposed to gauge pressure (in PSI) multiplied by fluid pressure.

2 – Stroke distance considerations 

You can have stroke distance as long as 10 feet, but you may have to compromise on the pressure rating. You need to figure out the rod diameter if you want to check load capacity. You need to specify the pressure rating on load in thrust or push mode. You may face early wear of rod bearing if the rod sags from horizontal applications. If you want the hydraulic system to work optimally, then you should compare the pros of specific design aspects to its cons and ensure that pros weigh higher than the cons.

3 – Speed

Speed is a subjective design aspect, and it varies according to the engineers who are manufacturing various sizes of hydraulic cylinders. But you must know that standard hydraulic cylinder seals can provide with speed up to 3.28 ft. or 1 meter per second. The safety limit of cushions to bear the load is usually 2/3rd of its speed. If you have higher speed requirements, then a standard low-friction seal is the right for you.

You must also note that what you gain in one design aspect, you might lose that in another. When the fluid velocity is high, then its temperature will rise too. Thus, it would be best if you also kept in mind the impact of higher temperatures on your hydraulic system, especially when you are going for high-speed customizations. You can use big ports to cope with higher temperatures, but it doesn’t work with all designs.

4 – Temperature 

A standard hydraulic system can handle temperature as high as 500 °F and as low as – 65 °F. Do remember that the temperature will affect the hard and soft components of hydraulic cylinders. If you have applications requirements of extreme temperature, whether at one or both ends, then you need to have adequate knowledge about dependent tendencies of components on each other. It will enable the cylinder to deliver the best performance at all times. For instance, applications at the south and north poles of the earth will undergo contraction of their seals and metal parts owing to the extreme surrounding temperatures.

5 – Style of mounting 

There are a total of three prevalent types of mounting, including fixed and pivot style. The latter one can absorb forces on the centerline of the cylinder, and it has medium or heavy-duty mounts to deal with the thrust or tension. The third type of fixed style of mounts provides support to the cylinder with the help of a mounting surface below the centerline of a cylinder. Unlike merely absorbing the forces on the centerline. Load, speed, and motion of the cylinders are the factors you should consider while choosing a style of mounting.

Apart from the factors mentioned above, you also need to consider cylinder bore size, piston rod size, cylinder configurations, rod ends, cylinder body tube, and seals.

As a final observation

Hydraulic cylinders are the crucial working element in any industry, and if you want the maximum output from your plant, then your hydraulic systems have to work efficiently. To accomplish the same, you need to utilize the right ways for specifying hydraulic cylinders. By referring to the various design factors as above, your process of manufacturing various sizes of hydraulic cylinders will undoubtedly become easier.

My name is Mark Simon. I am a writer by profession and love to share my written blogs and thoughts about Technology, Gadgets, Electronics, and many more that will be informative and useful for readers who love to gain knowledge.
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