A hydraulic cylinder is a type of linear actuator used to create force in a straight line, whether it’s by pushing or pulling. Usually a cylinder consists of a piston and rod assembly housed within a cylindrical bore, which is in turn actuated by the flow of hydraulic fluid to create mechanical force.
There are a number of factors you need to consider when selecting the right cylinder during hydraulic repairs in Minnesota. Here is a quick overview of some of these factors:
- Mass: The most important step of selecting a cylinder is determining exactly how much mass you will need to move. Then, consider the various effects that mass could have on the force you need to move it. A one-ton load pushed up will require a little more than a ton of force, but a one-ton load pushed across the ground will only need enough force to overcome acceleration and friction. There should be enough margin of error from the force of the cylinder to be safe.
- Geometry: After figuring out the details of the mass you need to move, you must also consider what type of geometry is needed to make that movement possible. In a hydraulic press, for example, you only need to consider vertical movement. But other scenarios require some more complicated calculations. In a crane, for example, a cylinder pushes the boom far behind and away from the load. The load distance could require you to have applications that can handle up to 10 times the lift force, or more.
- Bore size: What size bore will be required of the cylinder? The force the cylinder produces is calculated by multiplying the system pressure by the area of the internal piston surface the pressure acts upon. Use that formula to determine the size of bore you will need to achieve that force.
- Rod size: Most standard cylinders come with a couple options if you are just purchasing them off the shelf. But if you have to select a rod size yourself, you must consider the required stroke length, which will have an impact on the rod buckling strength. You should also consider load-bearing ability. The greater the stroke length of a cylinder, the greater the bearing loads on the piston rod become. You’ll want to keep these bearing loads from exceeding the limitations of the cylinder design, which typically requires the use of stop tubes. You’ll most commonly see stop tubes when strokes are greater than 1,000 mm.
- Cushions: Finally, you should consider whether you will need internal cushions at each end of the cylinder stroke. Cushions are typically recommended to decelerate high-speed rods, so you can reduce the energy of the impact the piston assembly has against the cylinder end cap. Cushions are not required.
For more information about how to choose the right cylinder for your hydraulic applications, contact a trusted hydraulic repairs shop in Minnesota. M & M Hydraulic Company looks forward to answering any questions you have for us.