Hydraulic Systems vs Pneumatic Systems
Hydraulics and Pneumatics in Mechanical Engineering
Hydraulic systems and pneumatic systems are disciplines within applied science and engineering dealing with the mechanical properties of fluid. Although common usage of “fluid” pertains only to liquid (as in, “Drink plenty of fluids”), the technical definition includes gases, as well. In either case, fluid compression is used to accomplish a mechanical task, with motion being the most common one. The most basic distinction between the two is that a hydraulic system uses liquids, whereas a pneumatic system uses gases.
Definition of Hydraulic System
Hydraulic systems use liquids under pressure for the generation or transmission of power. Most liquids, like oil, are considered to be largely incompressible, meaning the amount of volume does not decrease from an increase in pressure. Hydraulic systems therefore generate great amounts of pressure, usually 1,000 PSI or more, and are used on large construction jobs.
Definition of Pneumatic System
Pneumatic systems use gases under pressure to generate or transmit power. Unlike liquids, gases such as air are considered highly compressible. The ability to decrease the volume of a gas with an increase in pressure makes pneumatic systems ideal for situations requiring far less pressure than hydraulics for power, usually 100 PSI or less.
Advantages of Pneumatic Pumps Over Hydraulic Pumps
Because liquid is the fluid medium used in hydraulics, hydraulic pumps use bigger and more complex components. As a result, hydraulic pumps are considered more difficult to use when compared to pneumatic pumps. Conversely, a lack of required pressure results in the use of simple components for pneumatic pumps and an ease of operation relative to hydraulic ones. Pneumatic pumps are often more reliable than their hydraulic counterparts, since gases are far more responsive to pressure changes than liquids; gases can absorb excessive force from compression, while liquids cannot. The excessive force in hydraulics is transferred to the pumps parts, leading to faster wear and shorter lifespans than pneumatic pump components.
Pneumatic Pumps for OEMs from Air Compressor Pump Company
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