Hydraulic Control Systems: What are they?

Print anything with Printful

Hydraulic control systems use fluid-based operation to transfer force throughout a machine, based on Pascal’s law. They are used in aerospace, marine, automotive, and industrial applications. They can be manually or automatically controlled and offer precise handling and the ability to handle large loads. However, they require maintenance due to corrosive fluid and potential seal failures, and pose environmental risks.

Hydraulic control systems include all controls that use fluid-based operation rather than electronics or pneumatic power. When the control units within these systems are moved, the internal fluid moves through the internal workings of the machine. As it moves, this non-compressible fluid transfers force throughout the system to shift gears or affect motion. Hydraulic control systems are based on Pascal’s law, which states that liquid pressure will remain equally distributed within a sealed system. Many modern machines are based on hydraulic controls or a hybrid electric-hydraulic system.

Many types of equipment rely on some form of hydraulic controls, including aerospace aircraft and vessels. Ships and marine lifts also use these types of controls, as do hydraulic cranes. Cars and trucks typically contain hydraulic braking systems, and a variety of manufacturing and industrial machines also rely on these controls for safe and effective operation.

Hydraulic control systems can affect the motion or operation of a machine in several ways. The most basic involves hand control, where a human or robotic user flips a switch, pulls a lever, or turns a steering wheel. This motion drives hydraulic fluid throughout the system to perform the desired action.

Other systems rely on automatic controls rather than manual inputs. For example, a sensor on a crane can detect heavy loads and automatically send extra fluid to the crane’s lifting system. This fluid in turn creates excessive lifting power to safely move the heavy load. Similar systems are based on pressure sensors, electronic eyes and a variety of additional inputs.

One of the major benefits of using hydraulic control systems is the ability to handle very large loads or bear enormous forces. Compared to electric or pneumatic control systems, hydraulic controls are better able to handle load swings while maintaining an even level of power distribution. Hydraulic systems also allow for very precise and accurate handling in more specialized applications. Compared to air-pneumatic systems, hydraulic controls make it much easier to spot a potential leak because of the visibility of the fluid.

Buyers should also be aware of the potential drawbacks of this system before investing in hydraulic controls. The hydraulic fluid used within these systems can be highly corrosive and can lead to time-consuming maintenance and repairs. Hydraulic control systems also use a large number of seals, which could fail or leak. Finally, since this fluid consists mainly of petroleum products, it presents risks to the environment during its use and disposal.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content