Hydraulics is our lifeblood. We know all there is to know about them but we mostly encounter them in heavy machinery through the calibration, repair and installation of rail for example. We also use hydraulics in bolting with hydraulic torque wrenches for example.
But surely it’s not just used for lifting trains and tightening bolts? We racked our brains in the office to come up with ideas for where hydraulics are used in everyday life. Here’s our list, can you come up with any others?
- Gasoline pumps. They make use of hydraulics to draw the fuel from their storage tank to the vehicle.
- Cars. A hydraulic brake circuit operates a car’s brakes on all four wheels
- Vehicle repair and maintenance. A hydraulic system is what makes it possible for a very heavy car to be raised and brought down while being serviced.
- Dishwashers. They use hydraulics to increase water pressure for better cleaning. Dishwashers fitted with hydraulics are also generally quieter.
- Construction machines. Equipment such as cranes, forklifts, jacks, pumps and fall arrest safety harnesses use hydraulics to lift and lower objects.
- Airplanes. They use hydraulic mechanisms to operate their control panels.
- Amusement park rides. Hydraulic machines provide and control motion for attractions such as the Ferris Wheel.
- Theatrical presentations. Hydraulic power makes it possible for stages to be raised higher and bring them back into place.
- Elevators. Some types of elevators use a hydraulic mechanism to power the elevator car’s movement and make them stop when needed.
- Snowplows. Hydraulic mechanisms allow the plow to move up or down and side to side.
- Bakeries. They make use of hydraulics to mass produce breads and pastries, allowing them to be lifted, flipped over and moved along conveyor belts for packaging.
- Barber chairs. The pump that the barber steps on uses a hydraulic lift mechanism to adjust the chair’s height accordingly.
- Office chairs. Hydraulics makes it possible for the chair to rise up or go down, lean backwards or forwards as you adjust its corresponding levers.
The list does not end here as there are a lot of hydraulic machines that also power factories where things ranging from car parts and accessories through to doors, fences and hoses are assembled and fitted.
Imagine if hydraulics had not been invented. Anyone care to go back to using wedges, inclined planes and pulleys and doing manual lifting? In today’s biting cold or scorching temperatures?