Hydraulic systems are a force multiplier. That means that they take the amount of force that is put into the system and multiply it at the place where it comes out. The way that hydraulic systems work depends on the fact that liquid is pretty much non-compressible. Any pressure applied to the fluid is going to be transmitted all through the fluid, in all directions, all at the same time. In a hydraulic system, the liquid is contained in tubes, hoses, and pumps, so when pressure is applied to the fluid, the force of the pressure can only go in specific directions. Since liquid generally seeks out the easiest path, the fluid will want to go that way when placed under pressure. Hydraulic systems come in a variety of forms. The most basic division of hydraulic systems is open loop and closed loop systems.
Closed Loop Hydraulic Systems
These systems are also called hydrostatic systems. A closed loop system consists of three basic components, a motor, a pump, and hoses. The system may also contain an oil reservoir, but if it does, it is comparatively small. The hydraulic fluid is sent through the hoses by the pump, and the fluid only goes in between the motor and the pump. A closed loop system can generate higher power, so is used in situations that would call for that power, like in heavy construction equipment. One of these systems is also more easily controlled when it comes to finer movements and motions.
Open Loop Hydraulic Systems
An open loop system has a motor, pump, and hoses, but it also adds in a fluid reservoir. The hydraulic fluid moves from the reservoir tank, through the hoses, to the components, and then back into the reservoir tanks. One benefit of an open loop over a closed loop system is that the open system is able to dissipate heat better than the closed loop system can because the fluid is able to go back into the reservoir while new fluid gets drawn up into the system. Heat is a byproduct of the pressure that is used against the hydraulic fluid in order to generate the force that is used to move the hydraulic system.
Hydraulics have been around for thousands of years and modern systems work in the same basic way as the first hydraulic systems would've worked. These systems are found in many places and have many uses, including the brakes in your car and the turbines that power electrical plants.
To learn more about hydraulics, contact a company like Miller Hydraulics Service, Inc.