Written by Camilo H Rueda
The concept of " Fluid Power" is used to portray a system which in fact uses pressurized fluid to deliver energy to perform a mechanical work. It talks about the use of liquid fluids and air. The very first of these is called " Hydraulics" and the second one is "Pneumatics".
Fluid power is the name that was created to perform the transmission of power by the use of pressurized fluids (either liquids or gases) when finally this power is going to be used to provide force and motion to apparatus or machinery.
This force and motion could be by means of pushing, pulling, rotating, controlling, or driving. Fluid power includes hydraulics, which includes liquids, and pneumatics, which involves gases. Liquids and gases are very similar in many respects, specially talking regarding the components. The dissimilarities are related merely to the size of the forces associated, the speeds of the work to do, as well as the amount of control over the load likewise.
In a realistic approach, let us say that Fluid Power is a common concept that wraps Hydraulics and Pneumatics; however there could possibly be equipments which may have either hydraulic or pneumatic components, or the both.
The vast use of hydraulics and pneumatics to transmit power is due to the fact that properly built up fluid power systems also have a number of favorable characteristics. They get rid of the need for complicated systems of gears, cams, and levers (mechanical stuff). Motion might be carried without the slack present in the use of solid machine parts. The fluids used are not governed by breakage as are mechanical parts, and the mechanisms are not exposed to great wear.
The various parts of a fluid power system can be conveniently located at widely separated points, considering the fact that the forces generated are speedily transferred over considerable distances with limited loss. These forces can be conveyed back and forth or around corners with small loss in efficiency and with no need of complicated mechanisms. Enormous forces can be controlled by much smaller ones and can be transmitted through reasonably small lines and orifices.
If the system is well designed to the work it is required to perform, and if it is certainly not misused, it can supply smooth, flexible, uniform motion without vibration, and is unaltered by variation of load. In case there is an overload, an automated release of pressure can be ensured, so that the system is protected against breakdown or strain.
Fluid power systems can put forward widely variable motions in both rotary and straight- line transmitting of power. In the early days several of them needed control by hand, in now days we uncover all kinds of electronically or PLC controlled ones. Additionally, fluid power systems are economical to operate. The challenge may arise as to why hydraulics is put to use in some applications and pneumatics in others. Loads of factors are considered by the user and/or the designer when determining which type of system to use in a specific formal application. There are no specific rules to follow;
however, working experience has provided some beneficial ideas that are usually considered when these kinds of decisions were made. If the application demands
speed, a medium amount of force, and only really accurate control, a pneumatic system may be put to use. If the application requires only a medium magnitude of pressure and a more accurate control, conjunction of hydraulics and pneumatics may be used. When the application requires a great amount of force and/or extremely appropriate control, a hydraulic system should be utilized.
As you can encounter in fluid power and hydraulics articles, the extreme flexibility of fluid power elements exposes a number of problems. Since fluids have no form of their own, they must be positively enclosed everywhere in the entire system. Particular consideration must be given to the structural integrity of the elements of a fluid power system. Robust pipes and vessels must be used.
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