What makes a quality hydraulic component?

If you’ve been around the hydraulic world for a while, you’ll have noticed there is a price discrepancy between various component manufacturers. Whether there is a correlation between price and quality is a discussion unto itself, but regardless, you can’t argue the price range is vast. Let’s assume for this missive that higher priced components […]

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9 dumb mistakes people make when designing fluid power systems

Sometimes dumb is relative. Was Einstein dumb because he brushed off quantum entanglement as “spooky action at a distance?” He was wrong, of course, because two entangled subatomic…

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What is electronic control in fluid power?

Hydraulic valves operate most commonly in one of three ways; mechanical/manual control, pilot control or electric control. Mechanical control involves something physical pushing on the valve, such as…

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He uses a relief valve as a flow control. You won’t believe what happens next

I’ll admit, I’ve fallen prey to one of these “you won’t believe what happens next” taglines floating around Facebook and other social media sites. If you’ve never seen…

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Using your senses to better understand your system

By Josh Cosford, Contributing Editor Sensors used in fluid power are available to measure anything from pressure, flow, temperature, position and more. Understanding their differences will help you…

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Are smart seals going electric?

Equipped with magnetic properties or electric conductivity, seals in the future will be expected to monitor their own wear, measure forces and perform other functions. Seals are mostly…

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Heat Exchangers

ONE of the critical conditioning requirements of hydraulic fluid is that it is maintained at an optimal operating temperature. As oil temperature drops, the viscosity of the fluid…

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Ag machinery relies on the versatility of hydraulics

Unique, easily changed designs dominate in agricultural machines, where the power density and the precision offered by electrohydraulics will continue to keep farms in the green.  The agricultural machinery…

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Top 10 reasons why hydraulics suck

Hydraulics are brutal. Here are my top reasons you should stay away from hydraulics at all costs. 10. Hydraulics are dirty. With all that oil everywhere, it gets…

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5 tips for cylinder maintenance

Proper, consistent cylinder maintenance is necessary to keep your fluid power systems running smoothly and efficiently. Following these five tips is a step in the right direction. 1….

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Imperial versus metric measurements

So which is better; random objects or water? Do you prefer to measure with sticks and limbs, or with increasingly small divisions of ten? Sticks and limbs refer…

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Is it cavitation or super-heated implosion jets?

A few years ago, I coined the expression “Cosford’s Law.” There was a gap in understanding from neophyte hydraulic specialists that hydraulic actuators moved because flow happened, rather…

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The lowdown on pressure-reducing valves

Pressure valves are absolutely critical for the safe, reliable and precise control of hydraulic machinery. As anyone would assume by their name, pressure valves are any hydraulic component…

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Trends in construction machinery hydraulics

If you asked my twenty-year-old self to describe the typical day on a construction site, I’d probably have described the stereotypical scene; five guys standing around watching a…

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A recap of the 2015 CFPA Annual General Meeting

I write this from my suite at Chateau Vaudreuil, in beautiful Vaudreuil-Dorion Quebec, situated just West of Montréal. The view out my balcony provides me with a breathtaking…

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What is hydraulic fluid conditioning – part 3

Your oil is wet. No, I didn’t skip 8th grade science class, where you learn how oil and water don’t mix. Okay, so it mixes a bit, if…

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5 applications where you should definitely use hydraulics

In my last blog, I discussed five applications where you shouldn’t use hydraulics. Tiny robots, cars, tight budgets, can crushers and bicycles are all terrible uses for hydraulics….

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What is hydraulic fluid conditioning – part 2

Cool is relative. We humans enjoy a narrow bandwidth of ambient temperature, and we complain should we experience anything outside of a twenty degree span. To be fair,…

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5 applications where you should not use hydraulics

I can think of a million ways to use hydraulics. Its legendary power density, easy controllability and flexible application options means it finds its way into everything from…

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What is hydraulic fluid conditioning – part 1

  You’ll have to excuse my shade of indigo. I’m not sure if it’s more Smurf or Na’vi, but back when I first started writing about fluid power,…

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What is a Hydraulic Valve?

Asking “what is a hydraulic valve?” is like asking “how long is a piece of string?” The variations available to the hydraulic designer is absolutely astounding, not only…

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What is laminar flow?

A fluid is unique in its capacity to be, well … fluid. A solid is solid because its molecules enjoy staying put. A granite molecule joins hands with…

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How to maintain hydraulic system safety

What does it mean to be safe with hydraulics? Hydraulics is just a form of force transfer, and is often not unique to the mechanical systems. For example,…

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Top five ways to improve your fluid power resumé

If your goal is to begin your career in fluid power, I have some advice for you. First of all, I can tell you that you’re in luck….

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Pneumatic servovalves use flux capacitors to enable high frequency response

One of the biggest difficulties in dealing with pneumatic motion control applications is the compressibility of air. Hydraulic fluid is also compressible, but the bulk modulus of liquid…

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