What Are Hydraulic Pumps?

The oil needs to be free from air bubbles because if a piston is used when bubbles are present, much of the force is wasted compressing those bubbles rather than driving the second piston which is hardly an efficient way to go about things. Most hydraulic pump manufacturers failures are because of oil contamination of one sort or another. The oil reservoirs should be made from stainless steel or aluminium to prevent corrosion and reduce the chance of oil contamination.

The pipe containing the oil can be all sorts of lengths and shapes in a hydraulic pump which is very useful because they can be used in almost any system design. The pipes can also be branched so that the master piston drives two or more slaves.

You may not know small hydraulic pump systems but you probably own a hydraulic pump. Cars use them for the braking system. When you push down on the brake pedal it pushes two master cylinder pistons which each drive two slave pistons (there’s one at each wheel). These in turn press the brake pads against the brake rotor to stop your vehicle. The reason for two cylinders each driving a pair of cylinders as opposed to one cylinder driving four is in case there is a problem with a master cylinder – in this case if you only have the one, you cannot stop the car because all of your brake pads will then be ineffectual.

Some hydraulic pumps are manual and some are powered by electricity, compressed air or petrol. Manual hydraulic pumps are great because they have portability because they don’t need an additional power supply. They are perfect for occasional tasks but they do lack the power and speed of powered pumps. They are also labour intensive.

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