What are Hydraulic Tools?

  • Date:06 Sep 2016

Simply put, they are tools that utilise a pressurised fluid (usually hydraulic oil) as the source of power to perform a job. This job could be simple jobs such as lifting heavy objects (cylinders and jacks) through to more complex tasks including tightening bolts (torque wrenches).

Explaining hydraulic force and power using an analogy

Think of a syringe filled with water; when we push the plunger we input a mechanical force, causing the water to squirt out the tip at a very high pressure and speed.  This is because the water is incompressible, and has to flow somewhere when pressure is applied to the plunger.

Now imagine this in reverse – if we are able to input large amounts of water at high pressure into the tip of the syringe, it would in turn cause a mechanical force on the plunger and hence cause it to expand to its original position. This phenomenon is what’s known as hydraulic force, and is in fact very similar to how our hydraulic cylinders work. With this simple theory, we can use it to our advantage to make pressurised fluid as a source of power for us, referred to as hydraulic power.

How tools harness this fantastic source of power

Based on the above theory, we see that a pump is required to pump fluid into a system so it can operate. This is relevant with all of the tools we supply; most hydraulic tools we have will require a 700-bar hydraulic pump to pump a fluid (typically hydraulic oil) through a hose which is rated for 700-bar with a safety factor of 4:1 (2800 bar). This connects to a tool and provides the power necessary to perform the action which it has been designed for.

Examples of such tools are 50-tonne lifting cylinders, 12000Nm torque wrenches, 10cm wire rope cutters, 630 mm2 cable crimpers and several more.

What are the benefits of hydraulic power?

So why would we use this over something as readily available as, say, electrical or pneumatic power? For several reasons, actually:

  • usually a hydraulics system can generate more power and is smaller compared to an electrical motor when we require such high amounts of force
  • hydraulic energy can be easier to control and monitor, hence leading to better overall accuracy
  • hydraulic systems never run out of battery, so you’ll get consistent, reliable and repeatable results

These are also some of the reasons why car brakes are controlled by hydraulic power as opposed to other types of power.

So why don’t we use hydraulic power for everything?

It’s simply not suitable for every situation. Unfortunately, for example, hydraulic power will not make a light bulb glow – we require electricity for that. However, hydraulic power most definitely has its uses, and Hi-Force has created tools based on many of these uses.

At Royal Technic, we know hydraulics and hydraulic tools like nowhere else, and would be happy to assist you further.

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