Like many branches of engineering, hydraulics is both ancient and modern. The
use of the water wheel, for example, is so ancient that its invention precedes
written history. On the other hand, the use of fluid under pressure to transmit
power and to control intricate motions is relatively modern and has had its
greatest development in the past two or three decades.
Power generation, the branch of hydraulics represented by the water wheel,
does not concern us here. The steam engine, the internal combustion engine, the
electric motor and the water turbine all have performed an admirable job in
supplying motive power. However, each lacks the mechanics to direct this power
.to useful work. The purpose of phis manual is to study the use of fluids under
pressure in the transmission of power or motion under precise control.We have often been asked the question, "Why is industrial hydraulics necessarywhen we have at our disposal many well known mechanical, pneumatic and electricdevices?"
It is because a confined fluid is one of the most versatile means of modifyingmotion and transmitting power known today. It is as unyielding as steel, and yet
infinitely flexible. It will change its shape to fit the body that resists its thrust,and it can be divided into parts, each part doing work according to its size, and
can be reunited to work again as a whole.
It can move rapidly in one part of its length and slowly in another. No othermedium combines the same degree of positiveness, accuracy, and flexibility,
maintaining the ability to transmit a maximum of power in a minimum of bulk and
The laws of physics governing fluids are as simple as the mechanics of solids
and simpler than the laws governing electricity, vapors, or gases. The use of
engineering in general, and hydraulics in particular, has been to achieve the end
of extending man's physical and mental power to enable a job to be done more
accurately, more quickly, and with a smaller expenditure of human energy.
Although this manual is devoted primarily to operation and maintenance of
Vickers equipment, it includes general chapters covering basic hydraulics and alltypes of pumps, motors and controls. The Vickers equipment covered is limited
to the representative series most commonly encountered in the machine tool
In recent years, a trend has developed toward the establishment of standards inmost phases of industry
In the field of hydraulics
probably the most significant
efforts in this direction were started by the Joint Industry Conference
(J. I. C. ).
The Joint Industry Conference was comprised of several recognized industrial
associations interested in the establishment of industrial standards which wouldpromote safety of personnel and ease of maintenance and increase the service life
of equipment and tools. Since its published recommendations were received so
favorably in the field of hydraulics
the efforts were continued by the American
ASA) in cooperation with the National Fluid Power Associa-
tion. The name of ASA has more recently been changed to American National
A. N. S. I. ).