Hydrostatics Applications

The scientific definition of hydrostatics is the study of the properties of incompressible fluids at rest – that is, fluids which are not undergoing any kind of motion. The principles of hydrostatics are actually really important to our day to day life, as a lot of equipment we use every day relies on these principles. Ever heard of hydraulics? Simply put, it is the engineering of equipment which stores, uses or transports fluids.

Even though you might not have noticed, the use hydraulics is pretty common nowadays, and its origins date back to the 6th millennium BC, in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Nowadays, hydraulics sees use in many different kinds of machinery. Did you know that many cars use a hydraulic power steering or that the brakes are activated hydraulically? Aeroplanes also make use of hydraulics in many different places, including the operation of their landing gears, wing flaps and doors. Of course, the uses are not only limited to vehicles. A hydraulic knockout punch set can be used to punch holes in sheet metal of various sizes and materials. Hydraulic mechanisms are found even in things like dishwashers, office chairs and elevators. We can see therefore see that there are countless ways to use hydraulics to our advantage. But why is the use so widespread and why is it preferred over mechanical or electric systems? 

Hydraulic systems have a few key advantages over other systems. First of all, they are pretty easy to control, so they do not require a lot of training for a machine operator to start using them: they are relatively easy to start, stop, move and control using simple buttons. Hydraulic systems have fewer components when compared to similar mechanical and electrical systems. This makes them cheaper to buy, maintain and operate, while also decreasing the overall complexity of the machine. This makes it easier to detect faults. The other main advantage is that they are able to scale a small force input to produce a large force output without complex pulley or lever systems, while also maintaining this force output constant. This particular characteristic is what makes them the preferred system in heavy duty applications such as cranes, forklifts, excavators, snowploughs, ToughLift jacking systems and lifts.

What a wonderful world if everything used hydraulics you say? But as with any other technology, there are shortcomings here as well. For one thing, hydraulic systems can be very messy, since they use all kinds of fluids and liquids to do their job. We all know how easily liquids can leak out of even the tiniest of openings, and hydraulic equipment is no exception. In some systems, it is nigh impossible to eliminate leaks, and a small amount of fluids eventually escapes over time (you might remember that you had to top up your car’s power steering fluid. Well, that’s because it leaked overtime). Also some of these nasty fluids can cause explosions or even catch fire in case of a large leak, which might harm people and everything around the machine. Go to this page if you are looking for the right tool.

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