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Hydraulic Fundamentals

Student Guide

Caterpillar Service Technician Module APLTCL025 HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS

Published by Asia Pacific Learning 1 Caterpillar Drive Tullamarine Victoria Australia 3043 Version 3.2, 2003

Copyright © 2003 Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd Melbourne, Australia. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of this work without the permission of the copyright owner is unlawful. Requests for permission or further information must be addressed to the Manager, Asia Pacific Learning, Australia.

This subject materials is issued by Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd on the understanding that:


Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd, its officials, author(s), or any other persons involved in the preparation of this publication expressly disclaim all or any contractual, tortious, or other form of liability to any person (purchaser of this publication or not) in respect of the publication and any consequence arising from its use, including any omission made by any person in reliance upon the whole or any part of the contents of this publication. Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd expressly disclaims all and any liability to any person in respect of anything and of the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether whole or partial, upon the whole or any part of the contents of this subject material.


Acknowledgements A special thanks to the Caterpillar Family for their contribution in reviewing the curricula for this program, in particular: Caterpillar engineers and instructors Dealer engineers and instructors Caterpillar Institutes.

Module Title
Hydraulic Fundamentals.

Module Description
This module covers the knowledge and skills of Hydraulic Fundamentals. Upon satisfactory completion of this module students will be able to competently service and repair basic hydraulic components.

The following modules must be completed prior to delivery of this module: Occupational Health and Safety Mechanical Principles.

Learning & Development
Delivery of this facilitated module requires access to the Hydraulic Fundamentals Activity Workbook. The successful completion of the curriculum provides the knowledge for competency assessment, on further learning outcomes, by an Accredited Workplace Assessor.

Suggested References
No references recommended.

Assessment Methods
Classroom and Workshop
To satisfactorily complete this module, students must demonstrate competence in all learning outcomes. Consequently, activities and assessments will measure all the necessary module requirements. For this module, students are required to participate in classroom and practical workshop activities and satisfactorily complete the following: Activity Workbook Knowledge Assessments Practical Activities.

To demonstrate competence in this module students are required to satisfactorily complete the Workplace Assessment(s).


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4.6.1 Force transmission 1.6 Energy transfer Liquids conform to the shape of the container 1.6.4 Flow across an orifice 1.3 Turbulent flow Pascal’s Law Fluid power advantages 1.3 Liquids apply pressure in all directions 1. energy transfer and power 1.3.5. Explain the basic principles of work. flow and pressure.2 Fluid power 1.5.2 Force transmitted through a liquid 1.1 Series circuit 1.8 Power 1.1 Pressure drop across a parallel circuit APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 3 . Flow 1.3 Barometric pressure 1.1 Energy principles applicable 1.1 What is flow 1.4 Purposes of fluids in a hydraulic system 1. State the physical aspects of a gas 1.6.4 Work 1.3.1 Bernoulli’s Law 1.1 Pressure drop across a series circuit Liquids virtually incompressible 1.3.2 Laminar flow 1.5.7 Pressure Fluid weight 1.1.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS ASSESSMENT Learning Outcome 1: Explain hydraulic principles.5.6. State Pascal’s Law and how hydraulic force can be used to create a mechanical advantage 1. Describe hydrodynamics and hydrostatics in relation to hydraulic systems 1.2 Atmospheric pressure 1. Assessment Criteria hydraulic principles 1. Describe series and parallel hydraulic circuits 1. State the properties of a fluid 1.1 Gas compresses 1.4.2 Parallel circuit 1.5.

3.1.1 Tank 2. Assessment Criteria 2.2 Closed 2.2 Pump 2.2 Gear Positive and non positive displacement 2.5 Flow control valves Pressure 1.3. Calculate force.5.7 Filters Graphic symbols Torque 1.7. Identify and describe the function of hydraulic tanks Construction 2.3.1 Construction 2.1 Vented 2.5 Graphic symbols APLTCL025 4 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd .7.2 Area Actuators 2.2 Operation 2.6 Prefixes commonly linked to base units.1.5 Imperial/Metric conversion factors 1.7.4 Lines 2. Learning Outcome 2: Identify and explain the purpose and operation of basic hydraulic circuits and components.2 Operation 2.3 Volume 1. Demonstrate knowledge of the basic layout of a hydraulic circuit 2.3 Main Pressure Relief Valve (PRV) Operation 2. describe the function and explain the operation of hydraulic pumps 2.3 Vane 2.1 Construction 2.7.8 Motor Pressure 1. Identify.1 Formula 1.5 Velocity 1.3.6 Force pressure and area in a hydraulic system 1.4 Mass Temperature FUNDAMENTALS K NOWLEDGE AND SKILLS ASSESSMENT Area 1.4 Piston 2.5.1 Length 1.2 Force 1.7.3.

1 Linear Double acting – Construction – Operation – Operating pressures 2.4.7 Graphic symbols 2.1.1 Single acting – Construction – Cap end head – Body – Rod end head – Piston – Piston rods – Seals – ‘O’ ring with backup ring – Lip seal – Lip seal with garter spring – Lip seal with rod wiper – ‘U’ packing – ‘V’ packing 2.2 Operation – Integrated counterbalance cartridge – Cushion plunger – Stroke limiting stop tube – Adjustable stop valve – Thermal relief valve – Operating pressures Pilot 2.5 Open centred 2.1.2 Rotary (hydraulic motors) 2.4.5 Telescopic – Construction – Operation – Operating pressures 2.5.4. Identify.1. Identify.6 Closed centred 2.1.2 Pressure 2.5.1 Gear – Construction – Operation APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 5 .4. describe the function and explain the operation of hydraulic actuators 2. describe the function and explain the operation of hydraulic control valves 2.1 Directional 2.5.3 Flow-volume Rams – Construction – Operation – Operating pressures 2.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS K NOWLEDGE AND SKILLS ASSESSMENT 2.5.

4 Return line filter – Location – Type 2.2 Water coolers Coolers 2.6.3 Pressure filters – Location – Type 2.5.2 Filters 2. filters and coolers 2. Explain the purpose and function of hydraulic oil.6.6 Dirt 2.1 Reservoir strainer Oil Cavitation Foaming Water in hydraulic oil 2.1 Air coolers 2.6.4 Graphic symbols.1 Lubrication 2.2 Suction filters – Location – Type Full flow filters (including by-pass) 2.4 Graphic symbols FUNDAMENTALS K NOWLEDGE AND SKILLS ASSESSMENT Piston – Construction – Operation 2.6.2 Vane – Construction – Operation Viscosity effects – To a system – By temperature – By pressure – On lubrication – Hydrodynamic lubrication – Clearance flow 2.6 Wire mesh filters – Cleaning Friction 2.6. APLTCL025 6 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Why Are Hydraulic Systems Used? . . . . . . . 76 Graphic Symbols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Cylinder Ratings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Vane Pump . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 TOPIC 2: Hydraulic Circuit & Components Graphic Symbols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hydraulic Cylinder . . . . 38 Graphic Symbol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Filters & Strainers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Hydraulic Pumps . . . . . . . . . . . . .Valves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Graphic Symbol . . . . . .Fluid Conditioner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Linear Actuators . . . . .Rotary Actuator . . . . . . . . 73 Flow Control Valves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Pressure Control Valve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Piston Pump . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Hydraulic Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Graphic Symbols . . . . . . 88 Hydraulic Fluid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Fluid Power Advantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Hydraulic Tank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Fluid Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS TABLE OF C ONTENTS TOPIC 1: Principles of Hydraulics Introduction . . . . . . . 59 Modified Cylinders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Graphic Symbol . . . . 22 Pressure Drop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Graphics Symbol . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Directional Control Valves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Hydraulic lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Hydraulics Doing Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 Contamination Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Coolers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Rotary Actuators . . . . 67 Pressure Control Valves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Flow (Q) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Gear Pumps . . . . . .Pump . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Telescopic Cylinders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hydraulic Tank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


as it changes power from one form to another. this form of power has become standard to the operation of machinery.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS TOPIC 1 Principles of Hydraulics INTRODUCTION Hydraulic systems are extremely important to the operation of heavy equipment. This is the hydraulic system’s job. An understanding of the basic hydraulic principles must be accomplished before continuing into machine systems. Hydraulic principles are used when designing hydraulic implement systems. Hydraulics are used to operate implements to lift. forces that are applied by the liquid are transmitted to a mechanical mechanism. power assisted steering. Some of these are that hydraulic systems are versatile. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 9 . brake systems. efficient and simple for the transmission of power. steering systems. The science of hydraulics can be divided into two sciences: Hydrodynamics Hydrostatics. push and move materials. construction. WHY ARE HYDRAULIC SYSTEMS USED? There are many reasons. It wasn’t until the 1950s that hydraulics were widely used on earthmoving equipment. it is necessary to understand the principles of hydraulics. agricultural and materials handling equipment. Hydraulics play a major role in mining. power train systems and automatic transmissions. Since then. In hydraulic systems. Hydraulics is the study of liquids in motion and pressure in pipes and cylinders. To understand how hydraulic systems operate.

Liquids apply pressure in all directions. Most hydraulic machines or equipment in use today operate hydrostatically. Liquids are practically incompressible. the energy that is used is that created by the water’s motion (Figure 1a) torque converter (Figure 1b). Liquids conform to the shape of the container. In hydrostatic devices. Applications of hydrostatics: hydraulic jack or hydraulic press hydraulic cylinder actuation. HYDRAULIC PRINCIPLES There are several advantages for using a liquid: 1. when jacking up a car with a hydraulic jack. If the liquid moves or flows in a system then movement in that system will happen. For example. the liquid is moved so that the jack will rise. Figure 1 . 3. APLTCL025 10 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . pushing on a liquid that is trapped (confined) transfers power.a & b Applications of hydrodynamics: water wheel or turbine.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Hydrodynamics This describes the science of moving liquids. 2. lifting the car. Hydrostatics This describes the science of liquids under pressure.

We have three oddly shaped containers shown in Figure 2. all connected together and filled to the same level with liquid. Liquids will also flow in any direction through lines and hoses of various sizes and shapes.685 kPa). The liquid has conformed to the shape of the containers. A Liquid is Practically Incompressible Figure 3 Hydraulic oil compresses approximately 1 .HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Liquids Conform to Shape Figure 2 Liquids will conform to the shape of any container. Gas would be unsuitable for use in hydraulic systems because gas compresses and takes up less space.5% at a pressure of 3000 psi (20. When a substance is compressed.1. hydraulic oil is considered as ideal and doesn’t compress at all. it takes up less space. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 11 . For machine hydraulic applications. A liquid occupies the same amount of space or volume even when under pressure.

Most hydraulic systems use oil. Liquids are useful for transmitting power through pipes. The force applied at one end of a pipe will immediately be transferred with the same force to the other end of the pipe. because it cannot be compressed and it lubricates the system. APLTCL025 12 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd .HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Liquids Apply Pressure in All Directions Figure 4 There is equal distribution of pressure in a liquid. for small or large distances. The space or volume that any substance occupies is called ‘displacement’. a change in volume in one cylinder will transmit the same volume to the other. and around corners and up and down. The pressure measured at any point in a hydraulic cylinder or line will be the same wherever it is measured (Figure 4). Figure 5 When a pipe connects two cylinders of the same size (Figure 5).

depending on the task and the working environment.Applying pressure to a liquid This principle. Third.” Figure 6 . formulated the fundamental law which forms the basis for hydraulics. and at right angles to those areas. but all perform basic functions: First.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Water would be unsuitable because: 1. 2. Second. Purpose of the Fluid Many types of fluids are used in hydraulic systems for many reasons. a French Philosopher and Mathematician named Blaise Pascal. and acts with equal force on all equal areas. the fluid seals clearances between the moving parts of components to increase efficiencies and reduce the heat created by excess leakage. carrying heat away from the “hot spots” in the hydraulic circuit or components and discharging it elsewhere. the fluid is a lubricating medium for the hydraulic components used in the circuit. the fluid is used to transmit forces and power through conduits (or lines) to an actuator where work can be done. also referred to as the laws of confined fluids. it freezes at cold temperatures and boils at 100oC it causes corrosion and rusting and furnishes little lubrication. FLUID POWER In the seventeenth century. the fluid is a cooling medium. is best demonstrated by considering the result of driving a stopper into a full glass bottle (Figure 6). APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 13 . And fourth. Pascal’s Law states: “Pressure applied to a confined liquid is transmitted undiminished in all directions.

In this illustration. it influences all adjacent areas with equal magnitude. and forces are transmitted undiminished throughout the liquid and act equally on equal areas of the bottle.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 7 .Pressure.001m2 areas.02m2 and 50N on each.02m2 as shown. Figure 7 illustrates this phenomenon. The bottom of the bottle in Figure 8 has a total area of . Because there are 20 areas of . the body will break with a relatively light force on the stopper. area. Therefore. and the area of the body of the bottle is much greater than the neck. APLTCL025 14 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd .Container bursting due to pressure Because liquid is essentially incompressible. Figure 8 . the combined force at the bottom of the bottle is 1000N. the neck of the bottle has a cross sectional area of . When the pressure created by this force is transmitted throughout the fluid.001m2.001m2 to make up 0. the combined force over the entire bottom area is the sum of 50N acting on each of the . It stands to reason that a larger area (a greater number of square inches) will be subjected to a higher combined force. and the force applied by the liquid is 50N. force relationship Figure 8 illustrates the relationship of areas that causes a greater force on the body of the bottle than is applied to the neck.

APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 15 . A = Area . Area is measured in square metres (m2). This formula allows the Force to be determined and the Pressure and the Area when two of the three are known. Figure 9 P = Pressure = Force per unit of area. Force is equal to the pressure times the area (F = P x A). The surface area of a circle (as in a piston) is calculated with the formula: Area = Pi (3. The effective area is the total surface that is used to create a force in the desired direction.which is the extent of a surface. The unit of measurement of pressure is the Pascal (Pa). Sometimes the surface area is referred to as effective area. Force is measured in Newtons (N).HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS This relationship is represented by the following formula: Force = Pressure x Area. F = Force .which is the push or pull acting upon a body.14) times radius-squared.

the fluid pressure of 100. a small input force applied against a small area can result in a large force by enlarging the output area. applied to the larger output area. APLTCL025 16 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . is accomplished using fluid as the medium. Thus.Pressure created by weight The same relationship is used to determine the pressure in a fluid resulting from a force applied to it.000Pa can be determined by: Pressure = Force ÷ Area Figure 11 .01m 2 area. This pressure. Figure 10 shows a weight being supported by fluid over a . By rearranging the above formula. This diagram shows how. much the same as with a pry-bar or lever.Transmitting force by fluid Pascal demonstrated the practical use of his laws with illustrations such as that shown in Figure 11. by applying the same principle described above. a method of multiplying force. will produce a larger force as determined by the formula on the previous page.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 10 .

Force can be transmitted around corners or in any other non-linear fashion while being amplified. 3. The speed of different components on a machine. Figure 12 is a simplified illustration of these major components. the forces do not have to be transmitted in a straight line (linearly). Actually. Protective devices can be added that will allow the load operating equipment to stall. fluid power is the transmission of power from an essentially stationary. As the diagram in Figure 11 shows. as well as independently of the prime mover speed. Forces can be easily altered by changing their direction or reversing them. Figure 12 . Fluid power can also be looked upon as part of the transformation process of converting a benign form of potential energy (electricity or fuel) to an active mechanical form (linear or rotary force and power). rotary source (an electric motor or an internal combustion engine) to a remotely positioned rotary (circular) or linear (straight line) force amplifying device called an actuator. such as the boom and winch of a crane.Simplified Hydraulic Circuit A complete hydraulic system consists of a reservoir of fluid. and actuators that apply the forces to conduct the work being performed. a system of valves to control and direct the output flow of the pump. but prevent the prime mover (motor or engine) from being overloaded and the equipment components from being excessively stressed. 2. Once the basic energy is converted to fluid power. can be controlled independently of each other. Fluid power is truly a flexible power transmission concept.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS FLUID POWER ADVANTAGES Multiplying forces is only one advantage of using fluid to transmit power. other advantages exist: 1. a hydraulic pump driven by an internal combustion (IC) engine or an electric motor. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 17 .

Figure 14 shows how this weight is distributed across the entire bottom of the water volume. Fluid Weight Figure 14 .HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS PRESSURE Figure 13 . 19620 Pa). the second is caused by the weight of the atmosphere. The pressure of acting at the bottom of 1 cubic metre of water is 9810kPa.Pressure at reservoir outlet The system fluid is forced out of the reservoir into the inlet side of a pump by the sum of several pressures that act on the fluid (Figure 13).e. The first pressure is the one caused by the weight of the fluid. a third may be present if a pressurised reservoir is employed. In this example. APLTCL025 18 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . This weight acts downward due to the force of gravity. A two metre tall column of water would develop twice as much pressure if spread over the same area (i. and causes pressure at the bottom of the fluid. the entire weight is supported by an area measuring one metre by one metre or 1m2.Pressure caused by weight of water A cubic meter of water weighs approximately 1000kg.

Pressure caused by the weight of oil Pure water weighs 1000kg per cubic metre at 4 oC. but the difference is generally ignored in hydraulic calculations. the difference being relative to the difference in weight of the fluids. This pressure at the bottom of a reservoir helps to push the fluid out of the reservoir and into the inlet of a hydraulic pump. Figure 15 . Typical hydraulic oil in a reservoir creates a pressure of 9200 Pa per metre of height. The pressure can be expressed as follows: Pressure (Pa) = water depth (m) x 9810 Pa per metre of depth. Other fluids behave the same as water. if the pump inlet is below the fluid level. as illustrated in Figure 15. the temperature at which it is most dense. The weight will be slightly less at higher temperatures.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS This is the same pressure felt on eardrums when swimming under water. SG = Weight of fluid ÷ Weight of water A typical specific gravity for oil used in hydraulic systems is approximately 0.92. meaning the weight of the oil is 92% of the weight of water. and experience says that the pressure increases with depth. The relationship of the first formula then becomes: Pressure (Pa) = Fluid Depth (m) x 9810 Pa/m water x SG. which is the ratio of the fluid’s weight to the weight of water. The difference is usually defined by the Specific Gravity of the fluid (SG). APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 19 .

so the standard atmospheric pressure is referred to as a gauge reading.Weight of air causes atmospheric pressure Generally air is considered as not having weight. or the atmospheric pressure on a typical day at sea level which is also known as 1 bar or 1000 millibars. This pressure. This weight. acting on the reservoir fluid. would actually have a significant weight.000Pa. Any reasonable quantity of it is so light that the weight is usually ignored. Therefore the pressure that continuously exists at sea level due to the weight of the air above. of course. Pressure gauges also read “zero” under these conditions. as illustrated in Figure 16.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Atmospheric Pressure Figure 16 . This is referred to as a standard atmosphere. is 100. and this is called a vacuum. and extending from the earth’s surface at sea level to the extreme of the atmosphere. People are so accustomed to this pressure. It is. APLTCL025 20 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . A column of air measuring one metre by one metre across (1 square metre of area).000kg. possible to obtain pressures below this level by removing some of the atmospheric pressure. also helps to push fluid out of the reservoir and into the inlet of a pump. on an average day is approximately 10. and because it exists all the time the pressure under these conditions is considered to be ‘zero’.

the column of air above us becomes shorter. and the air is not compressed as much. and this is called “absolute zero”. The atmospheric pressure is then reduced. Barometric Pressure One can see now that as we move above sea level. and is considered a perfect vacuum (Figure 17). This means that the zero for this pressure is absolute zero. a “new” zero is derived. It is important to recognise this phenomenon. To differentiate between the two pressures. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 21 . Gauges which read this way are not normally labelled.Gauge and absolute pressure By removing all of the atmospheric pressure. We recognise this as “thin” air at higher altitudes. such as up a mountain. at higher altitudes.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 17 . then it is designated gauge pressure. the atmospheric pressure available to help push fluid out of the bottom of a hydraulic reservoir and into the inlet of a pump is less than at lower altitudes. the reason being that we get less air into our lungs each time we inhale. If the pressure starts at atmospheric pressure as the “zero”. Absolute zero is 100 kPa below gauge zero. and we feel a shortness of breath. and thus the weight of the air above us becomes less. There is no pressure below absolute zero. gauges which read absolute values are labelled as such. and all positive pressure readings start from this level.

because it is atmospheric pressure that is preventing the mercury from falling the rest of the way out of the tube. and this is illustrated in Figure 18. The time. For example. APLTCL025 22 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . or LPM. The flow will then be cubic centimetres (cc) per second or minute. A tube full of mercury is inverted in a pool of mercury as shown. The height of the mercury in the tube will correspond to atmospheric pressure. the height of the mercury will change accordingly. tubes.Barometer principle Atmospheric pressure is measured by use of a barometer. Flow is normally designated by the letter “Q”. FLOW (Q) Flow is simply the movement of a quantity of fluid during a period of time. consider a cross-sectional area of fluid inside a tube. Flow is basically the velocity of a quantity of fluid past a given point. and is usually expressed in litres-perminute. if area is in sq cm. so flow is the movement of a fluid through these confining elements. The space above the mercury in the tube will become a perfect vacuum of 0kPa. As the atmospheric pressure changes (due to climate or altitude change). is one second. then it would “push” one metre of fluid ahead of it every second. At standard atmospheric pressure of 100 kPa mercury will fall in the tube until it reaches a height of 760mm above the pool. or Q = A x V. The volume of that fluid is the cross sectional area times the length. Fluids are confined in hydraulics. This gives rise to the basic formula for flow in hydraulics: Flow = Area x Velocity. The mercury will fall out of the tube until it reaches a specific height. but may also be expressed in cubic-centimetres-per-minute (cm3/ min) or per-second (cm3/sec). in this case. then velocity must be in cm per second or cm per minute. To visualize this. In using the above formula the correct units must be used so that they are equal on both sides of the equation. If this cross-sectional “slice” of fluid moved at the rate of one metre in one second. reservoirs and components.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 18 . such as in hoses.

through all the places that have a tendency to cause anything but a nice. it also travels through small conduits.Turbulent flow In fact.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Laminar Flow Figure 19 . called turbulent flow.Laminar flow We would like to think of flow in a hydraulic system as a smooth transition of fluid from one point to another. Turbulent Flow Figure 20 . This we would call laminar flow (Figure 19). hydraulic system flow often experiences more turmoil than is desirable. and there would be no turmoil within the fluid. and it is very desirable. Particles of the fluid are travelling helter-skelter among each other (see Figure 20). smooth transition. the economic and practical aspects of mobile fluid power result in most flow being in the turbulent variety. Although the fluid generally move in the direction which is required. is undesirable and wasteful. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 23 . all particles of the fluid would be moving parallel to all other particles. across sharp-edged restrictions. This type of flow. around sharp bends. causing friction and inefficient movement. Unfortunately. in fact. through small orifices.

if the pressure in the fluid is lower. The downstream flow must be the same as the upstream flow in Figure 21. This is reflected in a lower pressure at the downstream side of the orifice. therefore the difference in energy must be given off in the form of heat. A law of physics states that energy cannot be destroyed. because there is nowhere for the fluid to escape. depending upon: The rate of flow passing across the orifice The size of the orifice The ease with which the fluid will flow (viscosity). With no flow and no pressure drop. there will be no heat rejected due to a drop in energy.Flow past an orifice creates a pressure drop When fluid flows across an orifice.If there is no flow across an orifice. there being no flow across the orifice will result in equal pressure on both sides. as in Figure 21.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS PRESSURE DROP Figure 21 . APLTCL025 24 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . Figure 22 . However. then the energy in the fluid is less. then it stands to reason that if there is no flow. This is demonstrated by Figure 22. it loses some of its energy. The difference between the upstream and downstream pressure is called a pressure drop. there will be no pressure drop. The magnitude of the pressure drop will vary. there is no pressure drop If the magnitude of the pressure drop is dependent on the amount of flow passing the restriction. as illustrated by the two gauges. it is the drop in pressure caused by the flow and the restriction (orifice).

Bernoulli’s Principle Figure 23 Bernoulli’s Principle tells us that the sums of pressure and kinetic energy at various points in a system must be constant. the pressure at B is equal to the pressure at A. if flow is constant. When a fluid flows through areas of different diameters as shown in Figure 23. Bernoulli proved that the pressure component at C must be less than at A and B because velocity is greater. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 25 . At B.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS This direct relationship between flow and pressure drop is an important consideration in hydraulics. there will be no pressure drop. the area increases to the original size and the velocity again decreases. there is no fluid flow between these two points. In the centre. at the right. Conversely. At the left. the extra kinetic energy has been converted back to pressure and flow decreases. if there is no difference in pressure between points A and B. there must be corresponding changes in velocity. Again. velocity must be increased because the area is smaller. If there is no frictional loss. the section is large so velocity is low. Kinetic energy can only increase if pressure decrease. An increase in velocity at C means an increase in kinetic energy. if there is no flow between point A and point B.

Again. the head increases as most of the kinetic energy is given up to pressure energy because velocity is decreased. increase in pressure.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 24 Figure 24 shows the combined effects of friction and velocity changes. decrease in pressure Decrease in flow. pressure decreases As flow decreases. Bernoulli’s Principle is indicating that: As flow increases. APLTCL025 26 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . and flow. Put simply. At E. At D. at F. velocity is increased. Flow without pressure results in no action. Hydraulic pressure is a result of resistance to flow and in force: Increase in flow. pressure increases. over time. Pressure without flow results in no action. Hydraulic flow is movement. the head drops as velocity increases. Summary for some key Hydraulic principles Hydraulic “work done” is a combination of pressure. so the pressure head decreases. Pressure drops from a maximum at C to zero at B.

Restrictions in Series Figure 26 In Figure 26. fluids flow from one component to the next. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 27 . before returning to the tank. Orifices or relief valves in series in a hydraulic circuit offer a resistance that is similar to resistors in series in an electrical circuit. The total resistance equals the sum of each individual resistance. in that the oil must flow through each resistance. When components are connected in series (1). When components are connected in parallel (2).HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Series & Parallel Circuits Figure 25 Most machines require multiple components that can be connected in series or parallel (Figure 25). a pressure of 620 kPa (90 psi) is required to send 4 litres per minute (lpm) through either circuit. fluid flows through each component simultaneously.

pump oil pressure increases to 207 kPa (30 psi). Circuit one has the lowest resistance and therefore would have the highest priority. There must be a system relief valve in one of the circuits or at the pump to limit the maximum pressure in the system. When the pump oil flow fills the passage from the pump to the valves. Pump oil pressure must exceed 620 kPa (90 psi) to open the valve in circuit three. APLTCL025 28 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . Circuit three has the highest resistance and therefore would have the lowest priority. The pressure created by the restriction of oil flow. In Figure 27. Again. the pump supplies oil to three parallel circuits. fluid pressure will increase to 414 kPa (60 psi) and opens the valve in circuit two. circuit pressure will not increase until circuit two is full. pump oil follows the path of least resistance. Circuit pressure will not increase until circuit one if full. opens the valve to circuit one and oil flows into the circuit.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Restriction in Parallel Figure 27 In a system with parallel circuits. When circuit one fills.

785 litres (lt).22 Imperial gallon = 1 litre (L) 0.4 millimetres (mm) 1 foot (ft or ‘) = 0. To perform hydraulic work. Area 0.3937 inches (ins) = 1 centimetres (cm)) 39. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 29 . Hydraulic pressure is force and flow provides movement. which is used to perform work.155 ins2 = 1 cm2 1 square inch (in 2) = 6. The hydraulic system receives input energy from a source.39 cubic centimeters (cm3 or cc) 1 imperial gallon (imp gal)= 4.37 inches (ins)=1 metro (m) 1 inch (in or “) = 25.03937 inches (ins) = 1 millimetre (mm) 0. both flow and pressure are required.00155 ins2 = 1 mm2 0. a hydraulic system must convert and control energy as it flows from one component to the next.02 in 3 = 1 cm3 1 litre (L) 0.061 in 3 = 61.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS HYDRAULICS DOING WORK Figure 28 In order to perform useful work.S. Volume 0. The hydraulic pump converts the energy into hydraulic energy in the form of flow and pressure.3048 metres. normally from an engine or rotating gear train. Imperial/Metric Conversion Factors Length 0.2642 U.546 litres (lt) 1 US gallon (US gal) = 3. Valves control the transfer of hydraulic energy through the system by controlling fluid flow and direction. Gallon = 1 litre (L) 1 cubic inch (in 3) = 16. The actuator (which can be either a cylinder or a hydraulic motor) converts hydraulic energy into mechanical energy in the form of linear or rotary motion.452 square centimetres (cm2). Figure 28 above represents the key conversion and control points in the system.

Velocity 196. Hecto = Kilo Mega = = APLTCL025 30 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd .0 Deca = = = = = = 0.205 pounds (lb) = 1 kilogram (kg) 0.145 pounds per square inch (psi) = 1 Kilopascal (kPa) Note: 101.23 (lb.0 One Thousand 1000000.325 kPa = 1 Atmosphere (atms) 1 kg/sq.force) = 1 KiloNewton (kN).2248 pounds force (lb.001 One Thousandth 0.0 One Hundred 1000.0 One Millionth.force) = 1 Newton (N) 0.01 One Hundredth 0.9844 tons (t) = 1 tonne (t) 1 pound (lb) = 0.ft) = 1 Newton Meter (Nm) 7. Force 0. Pressure 0. Power 1 kilowatt (kW) = 1.22 psi or 0.1004 tons force (t.ft) = 1 Kg/m. Temperature Degrees Fahrenheit (°F) = °C x 1.4536 kilograms (kg).000 00 One Millionth 0.0 Ten 100. Prefixes Commonly Linked to Base Units Micro Milli Centi Deci 1. Torque 0.8 + 32 (Degree Celsius°C).cm = 14.9678 atms or 100 kPa.7376 pound foot (lb.1 One Tenth One 10.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Mass 2.8 feet per minute (ft/min) = 1 meter per second (m/s).341 Horsepower (hp) Note: 1 watt (w) = 1 Nm/s.

blades. steering. Hydraulic cylinders of various types are used to operate implements. buckets. car bodies and conveyors. it must contain the following components: fluid (A) reservoir (B) filter (C) pump (D) directional control valve (E) actuator or hydraulic cylinder (F) lines (G) pressure control valve (H) cooler (I). For a basic hydraulic system to operate (e. cylinder extend and retract). Hydraulic motors drive tracks. and to illustrate the circuit function and operation. Figure 29 depicts a basic hydraulic system. e. Most manufacturers use graphic symbol circuits to identify the circuit components. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 31 .HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS TOPIC 2 Hydraulic Circuit & Components Figure 29 Mobile earthmoving machines are designed with hydraulic systems which use a variety of hydraulic components to provide efficient operation. rippers. Brakes. suspensions and other vehicle systems rely on hydraulics for power and control.g. wheels. transmissions. backhoes and truck beds.g.

Symbols show connections. The symbols describe component function rather than construction. shifting of spools. In addition. In order to use the graphic symbol system to its maximum potential. flow rate. or position of control elements on an actual component. and functions of components. they show how some of the fluid power components operate pneumatically. They do not indicate conditions occurring during transition from one flow arrangement to another. such as pressure. fabrication. 2. and servicing of fluid power systems. APLTCL025 32 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd .HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 30 GRAPHIC SYMBOLS Graphic symbols for fluid power diagrams (Figure 30) were originally developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and are presently adopted by the International Standards Organisation (ISO). They provide communication standards that serve industry and education. and other component settings. Symbols do not indicate location of ports. electrically. Further. they do not indicate construction or values. hydraulically. manually. the following rules must be understood and followed: 1. flow paths. analysis. The standards simplify design. and the like.

such as hydraulic oil. These forms include: circles. Double-end arrows indicate reverse flow.Supplemental Component Symbols The first elemental symbols are energy triangles (Figure 31). A dark triangle pointing out of a component envelope would indicate the component is generating energy (such as a pump) and that the medium is a fluid. and may denote either uni or bidirectional rotation. Arrows used within a symbol envelope show direction of flow in a component as used in the application represented. Each symbol is drawn to show normal or neutral condition of a component unless multiple circuit diagrams are furnished showing various phases of circuit operation. and crosses. Another example might be a clear triangle pointing into the component. The position or size of a symbol can be altered for component emphasis in a circuit without changing its meaning. rectangles. 5. The clear triangle on the right denotes the energy medium is gaseous. The graphic symbols utilize elementary geometrical forms to depict components and circuits. Orientation of the triangle will indicate the direction of energy flow into or out of a component. 4.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS 3. Rotating shafts are shown by a short solid line connected to the component outline. meaning the energy medium is pneumatic and the component is absorbing or using this energy to do work (such as a pneumatic motor). triangles. arcs. A shaded or darkened triangle as seen to the left indicates the energy medium is a fluid. A triangle is used to represent a conversion point of energy and its direction of flow. lines. squares. An arrow is used to indicate the direction of rotation. We will see examples of these later. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 33 . arrows. dots. Elemental Symbols Figure 31 . The arrow is always assumed to be on the near side of the shaft.

Pilot Line: A dashed line is used to show a hydraulic pilot line.Basic Component Symbols The basic component symbols used are the outlines of circles. These raw component symbols or envelopes will have supplemental component symbols or elements added to them in order to create or. Size of the component's outline may be varied to emphasize certain components or indicate a difference between a main and auxiliary component. 1. APLTCL025 34 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . Hoses and Internal Passages Three types of lines are used in graphic symbol illustrations to represent tubes. Working Line: A solid line is used to show a hydraulic working line. The drain line will be illustrated as a dashed line with the length of the dash less than five times its width. The length of the dash will be drawn at least ten times its width. variations in size are not an indication of the components' physical sizes.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Basic Components Figure 32 . squares. rectangles and a few other geometrical features (Figure 32). Otherwise. 2. The pilot line carries a small volume of oil used as an auxiliary flow to actuate or control a hydraulic component. or motor. The working line carries the major flow of oil in a hydraulic system. pump. hoses and internal fluid passages that connect the hydraulic components. Drain Line: A dashed line is used to show a drain line that carries leakage oil back to the reservoir. 3. diamonds. Tubes. illustrate a specific type of component such as a valve.

or the front half of an articulated machine.g. In method “A” a small half circular line is used to jump or cross another line. Instrument Line: The instrument line is used to connect an instrument to its sensor. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 35 . Enclosure Line: The enclosure line is used to illustrate the boundary of the area on a machine. e. an operation compartment. where A & B are used to represent lines crossing. Crossing Lines Figure 33 Techniques for crossing and joining lines Here are two techniques used for representing both lines crossing and joining (Figure 33).HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Some other symbols are: 1.” An alternative method is seen at “D” in which the lines join without the connecting dots. It is important to note that graphic symbols may be drawn several different ways to represent the same thing. in which hydraulic components are contained. 2. The alternative method “B” merely shows the lines crossing each other. First let's take a look at the techniques. since this is also a way in which lines crossing may be shown as in “B. On the right two methods are used for joining lines.” The way to determine the type of junction you have will depend on which of the other techniques is used throughout the rest of the circuit to represent line crossing or junctions. This may appear confusing at first. The standard and most desirable way to show lines which join is to use a solid dot at the point of junction as seen in “C.

then lines joining may be drawn with or without a connecting dot. it must be used consistently throughout the entire circuit. Both methods are correct. then lines crossing can be shown with the half circular line as in “A” or without it as shown in “C”. seen in Figure 34 at point (1) in views “B” or “C”. If a small half circular line is used to depict lines crossing. View “D” shows what would happen if the same method was used to illustrate both line crossings and junctions in a circuit. In a similar fashion when a connecting dot is used to indicate lines joining throughout the circuit.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 34 . This is incorrect because no one would be able to differentiate between the two.Junctions and Crossings The key to determining the type of line junction. APLTCL025 36 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . as seen in views “A” or “B”. The important point to remember is that the technique chosen will be used consistently throughout the circuit. Whichever method is chosen. will be dependent on the other technique used throughout the circuit.

such as when components move in relation to each other.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS HYDRAULIC LINES Hydraulic lines are used to connect the various components together to allow transmission of fluid in the circuit. usually made of steel. resulting in better protection to the lines and a better overall machine appearance. Figure 36 Hydraulic hoses (Figure 36) are used whenever flexibility is needed. Hoses absorb vibration and resist pressure variations. Figure 35 A tube (Figure 35) is a rigid hydraulic line. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 37 . The lines can be either tubes or hoses. Tubes also generally require less space than hoses and can be firmly attached to the machine. Tubes are used to connect components that do not move in relation to each other.

Once the machine or equipment is in operation. considerable thought is given to the type. The components of the tank are: Fill cap Sight glass Supply and return line Drain. the hydraulic tank functions as a storage place for the hydraulic oil. Tanks must have sufficient strength. adequate capacity and keep dirt out. Hydraulic tanks are usually but not always sealed. APLTCL025 38 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . a device to remove heat from the oil. a separator to remove air from the oil and allows particles to settle out of the oil. Tanks are mounted in any convenient location.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS HYDRAULIC TANK Figure 37 When construction machines and equipment are in the design stage. size and location of the hydraulic oil tank (Figure 37). The hydraulic oil tank main function is to store oil and ensure there is enough oil for any requirements of the system. Fill Cap Figure 38 The fill cap keeps contaminants out of the opening that’s used to fill and add oil to the tank and seals pressurized tanks (Figure 38). sometimes as part of a major component housing.

HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Sight Glass Figure 39 The sight glass (Figure 39) is used to check the oil level according to the operation and maintenance manual. Supply and Return Lines The supply line allows oil to flow from the tank to the system. The oil level is usually correct when the oil is in the middle of the sight glass. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 39 . The return line allows oil to flow from the system to the tank. The oil level should be checked when the oil is cold. the drain is used to remove old oil from the tank. Breather Figure 40 The breather (Figure 40) is fitted to unpressurised tanks and allows atmospheric pressure to flow in and out of the tank. Drain Located at the lowest point in the tank. The drain also allows for the removal of water and sediment from the oil Drain plugs often contain a strong magnet to capture particles at the bottom of the tank. Refer to manufacturer’s specifications for the correct procedures for reading oil level.

Vacuum/Relief Valve The vacuum/relief valve serves two purposes. When the oil circulates through the system. Pressurised tanks prevent the entry of dirt and moisture and help force oil into the hydraulic pump. The vacuum relief valve pressure setting may vary from 70 kPa (10 psi) to 207 kPa (30 psi). It prevents a vacuum and limits the maximum pressure in the tank. APLTCL025 40 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . the valve opens and vents compressed air to the atmosphere. The vacuum relief valve prevents a vacuum by opening and allowing air to enter the tank when the tank pressure drops to 3. The pressure relief valve controls the pressure in the tank and the vacuum valve prevents negative pressures when the system cools. Thermally pressurised tanks rely on the expansion of the oil as it is heated to exert a slight pressure on the surface of the oil. Air pressurised reservoirs receive air from the vehicles compressed air system although these are not used often. The expanding heated oil compresses the air in the tank and creates a positive pressure in the system. but not over-filled. Never open the reservoir when it is pressurised. When pressure in the tank reaches the vacuum relief valve pressure setting.5 psi). Filler Screen Prevents large contaminants from entering the tank.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Pressurised Tank Figure 41 The pressurised tank is completely sealed.45 kPa (0. it absorbs heat and expands. Atmospheric pressure does not affect the pressure in the tank. Filler Tube Allows the tank to be filled to the correct level.


Prevents the return oil from flowing directly to the tank outlet, allowing time for bubbles to rise to the top. It prevents the oil from sloshing which helps reduce foaming of the oil.

Ecology Drain
Used to prevent accidental spills when removing water and sediment from the tank.

Return Line
Returns oil from the hydraulic circuit/s to the tank.

Return screen
Prevents larger particles from entering the tank, but does not provide fine filtering.

Pump Pick-up Line
The pump pick-up line directs oil to the inlet side of the pump. The line does not normally touch the bottom of the tank. This prevents sediment at the bottom of the tank being directed to the pump.

Vented Tank

Figure 42 - Vented tank and ISO Symbol

The vented tank is the most common type of tank. It has a breather that allows air to enter and exit freely. Therefore, pressure inside the tank is atmospheric. An air cleaning element or screen is usually fitted in the vent to reduce the entry of airborne dust.


© Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd




Figure 43

The vented reservoir symbols (Figure 43) are shown to the left and are merely an open-topped box or rectangle. A pressurised reservoir is drawn as a completely closed box. Return line connections can be either above or below the fluid level. Examples of both types are shown. The reservoir symbol is one symbol which can be drawn as many times as necessary on a circuit schematic to reduce the number of lines which must be drawn. Although the symbol may be drawn several times, it only represents one tank, unless otherwise specified.

Fluid Filters

Figure 44 - Basic Symbol

The general symbol used for a fluid filter is an empty diamond as seen in Figure 44 above. Several different types of fluid conditioner symbols can be made by making slight changes or additions to this basic symbol.

Figure 45

First is a filter or strainer, shown in Figure 45 above, with a dashed vertical line inside the basic symbol. This represents the filtering media which the fluid must flow through.



© Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd


Figure 46

A line drawn horizontally across the bottom portion of the symbol, as shown in Figure 46, represents the separated matter that has settled to the bottom, such as water.

Figure 47

A short line extending from the bottom of the symbol, shown in Figure 47, represents a manual drain. If the short line is not on the symbol, it must be assumed to be a manual drain. Nothing on the symbol will indicate

Figure 48

Automatic drains will be represented by a small ‘V’ placed below the horizontal separation line as shown in Figure 48.

The hydraulic pump transfers mechanical energy into hydraulic energy. It is a device that takes energy from one source (i.e. engine, electric motor, etc.) and transfers that energy into a hydraulic form. The function of the pump is to supply the hydraulic system with a sufficient flow of oil to enable the circuits to operate at the correct speed. Pumps can generally be classified into two types: non-positive displacement positive displacement.


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or too far above it. The pump takes oil from a storage container (i. or anything in the system that hinders free flow to the tank. The availability of the fluid at the inlet is entirely dependent upon the reservoir pressures that force the fluid into the pump. With each element of fluid that is discharged from a hydraulic pump. A fluid that is too viscous to flow easily. an equal amount must be available at the inlet side to replace it. When one or more of these conditions exist to the point that "starvation" of the pump begins to occur. or the faster the pump runs. motors. Pumps create flow only. orifices. There are many factors that can hinder the flow of fluid between the reservoir and the pump: A fluid line that is too small for the volume of fluid going through it. tank) and pushes it into a hydraulic system. APLTCL025 44 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . A partial vacuum is created at the pump inlet and outside pressure (tank pressure and/or atmospheric pressure) forces the oil to the inlet passage and into the pump inlet chambers. A pump that is located too far away from the reservoir. fittings. Without sufficient pressure. The resistance to the flow causes pressure. they must be corrected immediately. All pumps produce oil flow in the same way. Resistance can be caused by flow through hoses. the more fluid is needed to replace the amount that is discharged. “starvation” of the pump will occur. This will depend upon there being adequate pressure in the reservoir to force fluid into the pump.e. A clogged outlet on the reservoir. cylinders. and ultimately cause pump failure. The gears are in mesh and rotated by a power source. and this will cause severe damage to the pump components.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 49 Figure 49 is showing a gear type pump. The pump idler gears carry the oil to the pump outlet chamber. Pumps DO NOT produce or cause ‘pressure’. The larger the pump.

This reduces leakage and provides a much higher efficiency when used in a high-pressure hydraulic system.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Positive Displacement Pump A positive displacement pump will discharge a specified amount of fluid during each revolution or stroke. (i. The output flow in a positive displacement pump is basically the same for each pump revolution. the flow rate can be easily converted by multiplying by the speed. As an example a pump maybe rated in lpm @ rpm @ kPa (i. Figure 50 The hand pump illustrated in Figure 50 provides an example of the operation of a positive displacement pump. positive displacement pumps are nearly always the pump of choice in hydraulic systems. GPM GPM GPM = = = in3 /rev X rpm/231 11. Positive displacement hydraulic pumps are designated by their volume of displacement. in rpm.000 kPa or 3000 psi) at which the pump is designed to operate. Positive displacement pumps are rated in two ways. and does not allow for any losses that may occur within the pump due to internal leakage.e.e. The second is by the specific output delivered either per revolution or at a given speed against a specified pressure.55 in 3 /rev or 190 cc/rev. we will calculate the flow of a pump that rotates 2000 rpm and has a flow of 11. One is by the maximum system pressure (21. such as gallons per minute. Positive displacement pumps have small clearances between components. When expressed in output per revolution.55 X 2000/231 100 LPM LPM LPM = = = cc/rev X rpm/1000 190 X 2000/1000 380. 2000 rpm) and dividing by a constant. almost regardless of the restriction on the outlet side.380 lpm @ 2000 rpm @ 690 kPa). This designation is usually a theoretical displacement. For example. cubic inches or cubic centimeters per revolution. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 45 . Because of this characteristic. litres per minute. Both the control of their output flow and the construction of the pump classify positive displacement pumps.

the impeller (2) that is mounted on an input shaft (4) and the housing (3). The greater the restriction on the outlet side. Fluid enters the centre of the housing (5) near the input shaft and flows into the impeller. the less flow the pump will discharge. The housing is shaped to direct the oil to the outlet port. The curved impeller blades propel the fluid outward against the housing. APLTCL025 46 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd .HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Non Positive Displacement Pump Figure 51 The outlet flow of a non-positive displacement pump is dependent on the inlet and outlet restrictions. The centrifugal impeller is an example of a non-positive displacement pump and consists of two basic parts. The impeller has a solid disc back with curved blades (1) moulded on the input side. An example of a non-positive displacement pump is the water pump rod on an engine (Figure 51).

a drive gear (6). a housing (8). This pressure limitation is due to the hydraulic imbalance that is inherent in the design. The hydraulic imbalance produces a side load on the shafts that is resisted by the bearings and the gear teeth to housing contact. a mounting flange (9). Bearings are mounted in the housing and mounting flange on the sides of the gears to support the gear shafts during rotation.579 kPa (4000 psi). Figure 53 Figure 53 shows the components of the gear pump: seal retainers (1). They deliver the same amount of oil for each revolution of the input shaft. an idler gear (7). Changing the speed of rotation controls the pump’s output. a flange seal (10) and pressure balance plates (11) on either side of the gears. seals (2). The gear pump maintains a ‘volumetric efficiency’ above 90% when pressure is kept within the designed operating pressure range. The maximum operating pressure for gear pumps is limited to 27. isolation plates (4).ups (3). APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 47 . seal back.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS GEAR PUMPS Figure 52 Gear pumps (Figure 52) are positive displacement pumps. spacers (5).

5". Two different types of seals are used with the later type of pressure balance plates.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Pressure Balance Plates Figure 54 There are two different types of pressure balance plates used in gear pumps (Figure 54). This is true on both gear pumps and gear motors. The earlier type (1) has a flat back. the tooth width totally determines flow differences within each centreline classification. On most gear pumps the inlet port is larger in diameter than the outlet port too ensure that there is always an ample supply of oil for the demand of the system and to ensure pump starvation does not occur. Figure 55 As the pump rotates (Figure 55).0". 2. On bi-directional pumps and motors. 2. This type uses an isolation plate. Most manufacturers standardised on a tooth depth and profile determined by the centreline distance (1. etc. APLTCL025 48 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd .6". the inlet port and outlet port will be the same size. With standardised tooth depths and profiles. The direction of rotation of the drive gear shaft is determined by the location of the inlet and outlet ports and drive gear will always move the oil around the outside of the gears from inlet to outlet port. Gear Pump Flow The output flow of the gear pump is determined by the tooth depth and gear width. 3. a seal shaped like a 3 and a seal retainer. The later type (2) has a groove shaped like a 3 cut into the back and is thicker than the earlier type. the gear teeth carry the oil from the inlet to the outlet side of the pump.) between gear shafts. a back up for the seal.0".

cartridge backup rings (6). mounting plate (3). The cartridge consists of the support plates (9) displacement ring (10). The shaft bearings carry the majority of the side load to prevent excessive wear between the tooth tips and the housing. The resistance to oil flow creates the outlet pressure.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Gear Pump Forces The outlet flow from a gear pump is created by pushing the oil out of the gear teeth as they come into mesh on the outlet side. cartridge seals (5). The pressurised oil is also directed between the sealed area of the pressure balance plates and the housing and mounting flange to seal the ends of the gear teeth. snap ring (7). flex plates (11). The pump output can be either fixed or variable. Each pump consists of the housing (1). The higher pressure oil pushes the gears toward the inlet port side of the housing. the gear shafts are slightly tapered from the outboard end of the bearings to the gear. The input shaft turns the slotted rotor. cartridge (2). vane pumps are positive displacement pumps. On the higher pressure pumps. mounting plate seal (4). The imbalance of the gear pump is due to outlet port pressure being higher than inlet port pressure. slotted rotor (12) and the vanes (13). The inside of the fixed pump displacement ring is elliptical in shape. VANE PUMP Figure 56 As shown in Figure 56. The vanes move in and out of the slots in the rotor and seal on the outer tips against the cam ring. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 49 . Both the fixed and variable vane pumps use common part nomenclature. This allows full contact between the shaft and bearing as the shaft bends slightly under the unbalanced pressure. The size of the sealed area between the pressure balanced plates and the housing is what limits the amount of force that pushes the plates against the ends of the gears. and input shaft and bearing (8).

the resultant pressure that builds from the resistance to that flow is directed into passages in the rotor beneath the vanes (1). To prevent the vanes from being pushed too hard against the displacement ring. The kidney shaped seals must be installed in the support plates with the rounded o-ring side into the pocket and the flat plastic side against the flex plate. the vanes are bevelled back (arrow) to permit a balancing pressure across the outer end. Vanes Figure 57 The vanes (Figure 57) are initially held against the displacement ring by centrifugal force created by the rotation of the rotor. APLTCL025 50 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . This pressurised oil beneath the vanes keep the vane tips pushed against the displacement ring to form a seal. directs the flow in and out of the vane pump. The support plates are used to direct the oil into the proper passages in the housing. in addition to providing support for the other parts of the vane pump. The flex plates seal the sides of the rotor and the ends of the vanes. As flow increases. the support plates and housing seal the sides of the rotating rotor and the ends of the vanes. The housing.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS The inside of the variable pump displacement ring is round in shape. Flex Plates Figure 58 The same pressurised oil is also directed between the flex plates and the support plates to seal the sides of the rotor and the end of the vanes (Figure 58). In some lower pressure designs. The size of the seal area between the flex plate and the support plates is what controls the force that pushes the flex plates against the sides of the rotor and the end of the vanes.

the high forces generated at the outlet ports cancel each other out. Since there are two lobes to the cam ring per revolution. This design has opposing sets of inlet and outlet ports. This prevents side-loading of the pump shaft and bearings and means that the shaft and bearings only have to carry the torque load and external loads.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Vane Pump Operation Figure 59 When the rotor rotates around the inside of the displacement ring Figure 59. The oil is pushed out of that segment of the rotor into the outlet passage of the pump. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 51 . The vane pump just described is known as the “unbalanced” vane pump. As the vanes move out of the slotted rotor. An increase in the distance between the displacement ring and the rotor causes an increase in the volume. Figure 60 Figure 60 shows the balanced design principle. the vanes slide in and out of the rotor slots to maintain the seal against the displacement ring. a decrease in the distance between the displacement ring and the rotor causes a decrease in the volume. As the rotor continues to rotate. the displacement of the pump is equal to twice the amount of fluid which is pumped by the vanes moving from one inlet to its corresponding outlet. The increase in volume creates a slight vacuum that allows the inlet oil to be pushed into the space between the vanes by atmospheric or tank pressure. the volume between the vanes changes. Since the ports are positioned exactly opposite each other.

shaft (3). port plate (5). The two designs of piston pumps are the axial piston pump and the radial piston pump. barrel (6) and the swashplate (7). wedge-shaped swashplate. Both pumps are highly efficient. The basic operation of piston pumps and motors are the same. Straight Housing Axial Piston Pumps and Motors Figure 62 shows an illustration of the positive displacement fixed output axial piston pump and the positive displacement variable output axial piston pump. The pump parts in the Figure 61 are the head (1). APLTCL025 52 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . Most publications assume that the fact that both pumps are positive displacement and refer to the pumps as fixed displacement pumps and variable displacement pumps. the output of some pumps is fixed and the output of some pumps is variable. In the fixed displacement axial piston pumps. However. positive displacement pumps. In the straight housing piston pump shown in Figure 62. housing (2). pistons (4).Fixed & Variable Displacement The fixed displacement axial piston pumps and motors are built in a straight housing or in an angled housing. the pistons move backward and forward in a line that is near parallel to the centreline of the shaft.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS PISTON PUMP Figure 61 Most piston pumps and motors have similar or common parts and use the same nomenclature. Axial Piston Pumps Figure 62 . the pistons are held against a fixed.

The angle of the housing to the shaft centreline controls the distance the pistons move in and out of the barrel chambers. The larger the angle of the wedge-shaped swashplate. either the swashplate or the barrel and port plate may pivot back and forth to change its angle to the shaft. The output flow of a fixed displacement piston pump can only be changed by changing the input shaft speed. The larger the angle of the housing. the piston moves forward. when a piston moves backward. The plate is an integral part of the shaft. the greater the pump output per revolution. the greater the distance of piston movement and the greater the pump output per revolution. the oil is pushed out through the exhaust creating flow into the system. The changing angle causes the output flow to vary between the minimum and maximum settings although the shaft speed is held constant. oil flows through the intake and displaces the piston. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 53 . Angled Housing Axial Piston Pump Figure 63 In the angled housing piston pump in Figure 63.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS The angle of the swashplate controls the distance the pistons move in and out of the barrel chambers. On either pump. Most piston pumps used on mobile equipment are axial piston pumps. the pistons are connected to the input shaft by piston links or spherical piston ends that fit into sockets in a plate. In the variable displacement axial piston pump. As the pump rotates.

As discussed.Fixed Displacement Pump ISO symbols are distinguished by a dark triangle in a circle. It can be said that without actuators.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS GRAPHIC SYMBOL . APLTCL025 54 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . that deliver their power in a rotating or circular motion. rippers etc. Hydraulic cylinder is the most common term for linear actuators. where it is converted to rotary power by motors.Variable Displacement Non-Compensated LINEAR ACTUATORS Figure 66 Actuator is the general term used for the output device of hydraulic systems. "jack". buckets. there is no reason for hydraulic systems to exist as the actuator actually does the work. or into linear power by cylinders.PUMP Figure 64 . The flow is directed through the system to the actuators. These other terms often have application specific meanings. so cylinder or hydraulic cylinder will be used to describe the majority of linear actuators. power in a hydraulic system is generated initially from a rotating device. although other terms such as "ram". and converted to fluid flow by a pump. and linear actuators (Figure 66) that deliver their power in a straight line. or "stroker" are frequently used. such as an IC engine. eg.blades. with the point of the triangle pointing toward the edge of the circle. Figure 65 . Force and motion are produced in a straight line to operate machine implements. Two broad categories are rotary actuators.

Seal Construction Rod seals are a flexible material that is held against the rod surface by a combination of initial compression (the seal inside diameter is slightly smaller than the rod outside diameter) and hydraulic pressure acting against it. There are many different types of seals for each of the these purposes depending on the fluid being used. for the seal to be lubricated properly. Cylinders must also be sealed between the body and the two heads. Also. although rubber compounds and plastic compounds are also used. A simple “O” ring seal with back-up rings may be used. A coil spring may be inserted over the lip to provide initial contact of the lip to the sliding or rotating surface. usually moulded onto a metal or hard plastic frame. The main criteria for material selection is compatibility with the fluid being used. it must be kept “wet” by the fluid. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 55 . lubrication qualities and cleanliness of the fluid in contact with the seal is by far the most important. a minute amount of lubrication film must be present for the seal to slide easily over the mating surfaces. a seal is considered effective if there is no obviously detected quantity of fluid passing it. In most applications.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Construction Figure 67 Seals Most cylinders have two locations where fluid must be sealed: across the piston and around the rod. Figure 68 . The lip seal is moulded material. however. As with the U-cup or V-cup. wear resistance and temperature conformance. Typical seal designs are shown in Figure 68. A “perfect” seal would be one that prevents all leakage. the concave side of the seal faces the pressure. the integrity of the sealing required and the desired services life. Seal wear depends a great deal on factors other than the material used. a lip-type seal is a popular design although the “U” cup or “V” cup packing are most commonly used. Materials used for seals are usually synthetic rubber. and the lip is forced against the sealing surface by pressure to create a tight seal. In practice.

Single acting 2. 1. APLTCL025 56 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . Double acting. The dark area represents oil under pressure and lighter coloured area is oil at tank pressure. Single acting cylinders Figure 69 Figure 69 is a schematic view of a single acting cylinder. They are retracted using the weight of the load or spring force.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS There are two basic types of cylinder. Single acting cylinders are rarely used in mobile equipment. Single acting cylinders use pressure oil from one end of the cylinder and provide force in one direction only.

rams can be found in “bottle” jacks and automobile hoists. the steering and other systems where the cylinder is required to do work in both directions. Single-acting cylinders re typically used for truck hoists and crane booms. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 57 . This is the most common hydraulic actuator used today on mobile equipment. Double acting means that the cylinder will provide force and movement in each direction. Most are mounted or used vertically and retract by the force of gravity. It is used on the implement. and leakage flow past the piston is ported to the reservoir to minimise external leakage.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 70 The simplest single acting cylinder is the hydraulic ram (Figure 70). The primary difference between a single-acting cylinder and a ram is the single acting cylinder uses a piston. Double acting cylinders Figure 71 Figure 71 shows a double acting cylinder. Single acting cylinders apply a force in one direction. relying on gravity or a counterforce to retract. Practical for long strokes. It has only one fluid chamber and exerts force in only one direction. Darker shaded oil is oil under pressure and lighter shaded oil is at tank pressure.

APLTCL025 58 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . Figure 73 A variation of the double-acting cylinder is the double-rod cylinder. In this version. During retraction. and therefore volume. thus equalising the area and volume between both ends of the cylinder. To extend. This differential area and volume causes a different force and velocity during extension and retraction. fluid is ported into the rod end of the cylinder. of each end is different by virtue of the space taken up by the rod area and volume. A typical use for double-rod cylinders is in power steering applications. the double-acting cylinder exerts force in both directions.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 72 Double-acting cylinder (Figure 72): Perhaps the most popular type of cylinder on mobile equipment. fluid is ported into the cap end of the cylinder and the rod end port is vented to the reservoir. extending and retracting. This equalises the forces and velocities during extension and retraction. Double-acting cylinders are also called differential cylinders because the effective area. the cylinder rod extends through both end caps (Figure 73). and the cap end port is vented to the reservoir.

although these are not too common. but retraction force requirements are very small. A long working stroke and a short collapsed length result. Figure 75 Telescopic cylinders may also be double-acting. retracting forces are quite low. due to the sequencing smaller diameters of sleeves. There may be two. Telescopic cylinders consist of a series of nested tubular rod segments called sleeves. see Figure 75. Each sleeve extends individually during extension. perhaps three.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS TELESCOPIC CYLINDERS Figure 74 Most telescopic cylinders (Figure 74) are single-acting. Double-acting telescopic cylinders are typically used in refuse haulers as high compaction forces and a long stroke are required. An inherent feature of telescopic cylinders. making them ideal for applications such as industrial lift trucks and large tilt bed or dump trucks. and possibly up to five sleeves in a cylinder. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 59 . is a reduction of force capability and an increase of velocity during each succeeding stage. Because of the very small areas involved in the retracting phase.

Cylinder cushions are a fairly common feature on mobile equipment that helps to slow the piston down near the end of its stroke and reduce the impact. though. The popularity of screw-in cartridge valves has made some of these features relatively easy and inexpensive to accomplish. Cushions may be found on one or both ends of a cylinder to act as hydraulic brakes during cycling. flow control and sequence valves can be found.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS MODIFIED CYLINDERS There are many special configurations of linear actuators that customise them for particular applications. APLTCL025 60 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . Others. are more generally available and may be considered standard options. Although the counterbalance valve (Figure 76) is probably the most popular type of integral valve. usually into the cap end head. Some of these are proprietary to specific machine manufacturers. Figure 77 shows one type of cushion used on the retraction stroke. other types such as directional control. Cushions Figure 77 Frequent and abrupt end-of-stroke stops can damage a cylinder. and are not typical beyond those applications. cylinders that extend and/or retract at high speed can fail catastrophically in just a few strokes. Counterbalance valve Figure 76 It frequently can be advantageous to incorporate some specific valve requirements within the cylinder.

A small integral relief valve or cartridge (Figure 80). it is frequently desirable to externally adjust the stroke travel. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 61 .HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Stroke limiting Figure 78 Although a simple stop tube (Figure 78) can be used to limit the travel of a cylinder. Reversing the flow direction will compress the valve spring and allow the cylinder to extend. will accomplish this task and prevent damage to the cylinder. and are then subjected to heat from the sun (or other source) may be damaged by the resulting fluid expansion. Thermal relief valves Figure 80 Cylinders that have cooled down. The stroke is adjusted by locating the stop flange on the cylinder rod to activate the stop valve at different retraction positions. set much higher than system pressure. Extremely high pressures can be developed as the fluid expands. unless there is a way to relieve the pressure and drain off a small amount of the fluid. Figure 79 This is done with a stroke control valve similar to that shown in Figure 79.

the left symbol shown should be used which depicts a large diameter rod. APLTCL025 62 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . When the rod to bore diameter is important to the function of the circuit. or cylinders which can only be pressure activated in one direction. The pressure rating is based on the size. Principle size features are bore (piston diameter or inside body diameter). and is established by the manufacturer. design and materials used.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS CYLINDER RATINGS The ratings of a cylinder include its size and pressure capability. Figure 82 has two examples of modified cylinders. The right symbol represents a pressure intensifying cylinder used for pressure multiplication. In the centre is a common example of a double acting cylinder while at the bottom an example of a double rod end cylinder similar to the steering cylinder used on the backhoe loaders and wheeled tractor scrapers is shown. The rod size and length of stroke is not reflected by the symbol's dimensions. Refer to the cylinder nameplate or the manufacturer’s catalogue for this information. piston rod diameter and stroke length. GRAPHIC SYMBOL .HYDRAULIC CYLINDER Figure 81 The symbols for a few basic types of hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders are shown in Figure 81. At the top two examples of single acting cylinders. Figure 82 The basic symbols for cylinders can also be modified to show other features and functions.

rotary actuators convert fluid power to rotary motion. Note the cushion block symbol is only on the rod side of the cylinder. Not shown in the illustration are the side plates. To the left we see a cutaway drawing of a cylinder with fixed cushions on both the extension and retraction sides. Gear Type Figure 84 A cross sectional view of an external gear hydraulic motor is shown in Figure 84. creating a force that rotates the gear. and the other will be an idler gear. Gear motors operate because of a pressure differential. which create a sealing wear surface on the sides of the gear set (and are similar to these used in a gear type pump). This design is referred to as “external gear” design because the gear teeth are machined on the outside of the gears. Resistance to rotation by an external load creates pressure in the hydraulic circuit and in the inlet of the motor. These are used to slow piston and rod travel near the end of the cylinder stroke.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 83 The two symbols in Figure 83 represent fixed and adjustable cushions or snubbers. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 63 . Another example of how a cylinder may be cushioned is seen on the next slide. Fluid is pushed into the inlet of the rotary actuator and causes the output shaft to rotate. The top symbol has a fixed cushion in both directions of travel. ROTARY ACTUATORS Linear actuators convert fluid power to linear motion. One of the gears will be connected to an output shaft. The bottom symbol is an adjustable cushion on the extension side only. between the motor inlet and outlet. denoted by the variability arrow drawn through the cushion block. or DP. This pressure differential acts across the gear teeth.

In addition. APLTCL025 64 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . rotor and vanes. The output shaft of the motor is connected to the centre of the rotor. This relieves any loading on the drive shaft and bearings caused by internal pressures and forces. The elements shown in the view are the cam (cam ring or displacement ring). either a spring clip or a small coil spring. Fluid entering the motor will pressure two opposite sides of the rotor assembly.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Vane Motors Figure 85 A cross sectional view of a balanced vane rotating group is shown in Figure 85. This way. and return fluid will exit two opposite sides. is placed under the vane to cause it to stay against the cam surface (Figure 86). The vanes slide in and out of the slots in the rotor so as to make contact with the cam surface. balancing forces across the rotor. equal pressures are always opposite each other. Figure 86 A form of spring. inlet fluid is also ported under the vanes so as to balance the pressure between the top and bottom and prevent pressure from pushing the vane back into the slot.

swash plate. turning the drive shaft. As fluid is forced through the valve plate into the cylinder block. In-line Piston Motors Figure 88 A cutaway view of an in-line piston motor is shown in Figure 88. The amount of vane that is exposed to pressure will determine the magnitude of the force (force equals pressure times area). APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 65 . and the show are held down to the swash plate by a hold-down plate. size of the vane (height extending above the rotor and width) and radius of the rotor (distance from the centreline of the drive shaft). The drive shaft is connected by splines to the cylinder block. causing them to slide along the angled swash plate. Therefore. The components that make up a piston motor rotating group are a cylinder block. pistons and shoes. The amount of torque that the motor will deliver is based on the force of the piston (pressure times area). pistons are forced out of the cylinder block. the torque output of a vane motor is dependent upon pressure. the greater the torque output for any given pressure. The higher the swash plate angle. This causes the cylinder block to rotate along with the pistons. shoe hold-down plate. and the distance from the centre of the exposed vane area to the centre of the drive shaft will determine the torque that is generated. As pistons are forced back into the cylinder block by the swash plate. valve plate and drive shaft. the radius of the piston circle (force times distance) and the angle of the swash plate. fluid is forced out through the valve plate and back to the reservoir.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 87 Figure 87 shows how the differential pressure across a vane will create a force on the vane.

pistons are forced out of the cylinder block. forcing the drive shaft flange to rotate. APLTCL025 66 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . The higher the cylinder block angle. and fluid is forced out through the valve plate and back to the reservoir.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Bent Axis Piston Motors Figure 89 A cross sectional view of a bent axis piston motor is shown in Figure 89. pistons and shoes. The piston shoes are lodged in the drive shaft flange. The main elements are a cylinder block. The amount of torque that a motor will deliver is based on the force of the piston (pressure times the piston cross sectional area). the radius of the drive shaft flange (force times distance) and the angle of the cylinder block. and the universal link maintains alignment between the cylinder block and the drive shaft so that they turn together. As fluid is forced through the valve plate into the cylinder block. Pistons are forced back into the cylinder block by the drive shaft flange. The entire operation is much the same as the in-line piston motor. a universal link and a valve plate. drive shaft and flange. the greater the torque output for any given pressure and piston size. This causes the drive shaft to rotate along with the cylinder block and pistons. except that the cylinder block and piston assembly is angled instead of a swash plate.

The inlet and outlet ports are drilled and threaded. The symbols only. pneumatic and electronic controls. This is shown by using the same basic component symbol as a pump. The maximum flow capacity and the pressure drop through the valve are the first considerations. ground to size and polished. Some valve spools are heat. The valve body and valve spool are then mated in assembly to the design specifications. Directional control valves direct the flow of oil in the hydraulic system. motors do just the opposite and convert fluid power into mechanical energy. This is a means by which the operator controls the machine.ROTARY ACTUATOR Figure 90 .Fixed Displacement The symbols used for motors are very similar to those used for pumps. hydraulic. ground to size and polished. Rather than creating flow or converting mechanical energy into fluid power though. It is important to remember that graphic symbols such as these for pumps and motors do not indicate the kind of pump or motor? (gear. Directional control valves may be interfaced with manual. The valve spool is machined from high-grade steel. This indicates that fluid power is taken into the component as the triangle's orientation shows. pointing inward. All other supplemental component elements used for motors are the same as those used for pumps. Other valve spools are chrome plated.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS GRAPHICS SYMBOL . The directional control valve directs the supply oil to the actuator in a hydraulic system. honed and sometimes the bore is heat-treated. vane or piston type) being represented. The valve body is drilled. but with the energy triangle reversed. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 67 . designate the type of pump displacement and method of operation. DIRECTIONAL CONTROL VALVES Figure 91 Directional Control Valves (DCV) are used to direct oil into separate circuits of a hydraulic system (Figure 91). the valve spool is the only part that moves.treated. When assembled. These factors are mostly determined during the initial system design.

Valve shifted right Oil can now flow from the P port to the cylinder B port. through the drillings in a valve to tank (T). Port T is drain oil to the tank. Ports A and B are the ports to the cylinder Port P is pressure oil from the pump. Valve shifted left Oil can now flow from the P port to the cylinder A port and oil can also flow from the non-active side of a double acting cylinder through B to tank (T). operates a double acting cylinder. Valve Centred Oil to the cylinder is blocked by the position of the spool. APLTCL025 68 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . Oil can also flow from the non-active side of a double acting cylinder through port A. by directing flow to either end of the cylinder.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Simple Spool DCV Figure 92 The spool shown in the Figure 92.

Figure 93 shows a cutaway diagram of a typical open centre directional control valve in the HOLD position. the pump oil flows into the valve body. to pass through a bypass area. The above example of a directional control valve also contains a load check valve. In the HOLD position. to keep the valve closed and prevent drift from the implements attached to the cylinder.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Open Centre Directional Control Valve Figure 93 DCV in Hold Position Open centre valves have a passage designed in the valve body casting that allows all inlet flow. when the spool is in neutral or centre position. This flow either exits the valve back to the tank or is available for another valve connected in series to the first valve. In the hold position. When the valve is in neutral. The main disadvantage is that there is a small time lag when the valve opens as pressure needs to build up in all of the circuit. the load check valve has spring tension behind it. The advantage of an open centre valve is that there is little work done by the pump. minimal pressure is built up. around the valve spool and returns to the tank. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 69 . The valve spool also blocks the oil in the line to the rod end and the head end of the cylinder.

pump oil flow is open to the load check valve. The oil in the rod end of the cylinder flows past the valve spool to the tank. When the valve spool is moved to the RAISE position. The pump oil flows pass the load check valve and around the valve spool to the head end of the cylinder. The valve spool also connects the cylinder head end to the oil behind the load check valve and the cylinder rod end to the tank passage.Raise Position Figure 94 shows the valve spool at the instant the spool is moved to the RAISE position. Figure 95 The increase in pump oil pressure overcomes the pressure behind the load check valve and unseats the valve. The load check valve prevents the oil in the head end of the cylinder from flowing into the pump oil passage. APLTCL025 70 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . the valve spool blocks the pump oil flow to the tank. The blocked pump oil flow causes an increase in the oil pressure.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 94 . This action prevents drift of the implement until pump pressure builds up. However. The reverse applies when the DCV is placed in the Lower position.

Figure 97 illustrates a typical closed centre mobile spool valve. In some circuits. but prevent (check) oil flow in the opposite direction. the check valve may be free floating (has no spring). These types of valves are used with variable displacement pumps where system flow in the neutral position does not exist as the pump will be in its “cut off” or “standby” position. However. In the valve on the left (Figure 96). when the pump oil pressure overcomes the oil pressure in back of the check valve plus the check valve slight spring force. directional control valve Figure 97 . Closed centre. inlet poppets with outlet poppets. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 71 . The check valve is sometimes called a ’one way’ check valve. or. These designs feature independent control of the valve inlet from the valve outlet with resulting flexibility to the control features of the valve. the check valve opens and allows the oil to flow to the implement.Closed Centre valve with bypass passage plugged Closed centre valves do not have a bypass passage and block all flow through the valve when the spool is in the neutral. a round ball is sometimes used instead of the tapered seat valve. or centre position. when the pressure of the pump oil is less than the oil pressure in the implement.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Check Valve Figure 96 The purpose of a check valve is to readily permit oil flow in one direction. Most check valves consist of a spring and a tapered seat valve as in the figure above. the check valve closes and prevents implement oil flow back through the valve. Closed centre valves can also be a combination of inlet spool with outlet poppets. In the valve on the right.

Series parallel designs spool valve. open centre valve. The reverse of this is illustrated in the third section. spool. or else the fluid will continue through the bypass and do no work (flow takes the path of least resistance). or tank. As illustrated in section 2. All of the flow is available to each of the valve sections. oil of least resistance and the section with the lowest pressure flow unless the operator is able to minimize this through the APLTCL025 72 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . the bypass will be completely shut off and a flow will then pass to the work port (port “B”). the bypass must first be restricted or dosed down. generally 2000 psi (13790kPa) or less. Valve Section 2 illustrates the bypass operation with the valve shifted out for flow through Port B.multiple spool valve with centre bypass construction Figure 98 shows a multiple located bypass passage. and. While they flow will follow the path will tend to have all the use of metering. with a centrally In Figure 98 valve section 1 is in the neutral position and the bypass feature is porting flow at the bypass pressure setting to the following valve sections. Series design valves are typically the lowest cost and are used in many cost sensitive applications where maximum system pressure is not very high. (Figure 98) are the most commonly used type of multiple permit independent pressure operation for each section. they are not advantageous in applications where system heat level or energy consumption is critical. but at the highest pressure demanded.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 98 . As such. coming back through the return line. Return flow. flow to Port A Before the flow in either section 2 or section 3 can be useable. Multiple spool valves are typically either series design or series parallel design. is free to flow to the outlet. when the spool is shifted far enough. passage to the reservoir. in Section 3.

seize or burst and the fluid lines do not burst or leak at their connections. Figure 99 .Basic direct acting relief valves Figure 99 illustrates a basic direct acting relief valve where either a ball or a poppet is held in the closed position by an adjustable spring. or limiting. the relief valve opens and creates a flow path to the reservoir. The relief valve performs this function by providing a means for system fluid to be diverted to the reservoir when the valve pressure setting is reached. allowing oil to flow directly to the tank (T) thus reducing or relieving system pressure. The function of a relief valve is to provide protection to a hydraulic system so that the system components do not malfunction. of fluid pressure in the system to the value of the spring force in the relief valve. As the fluid pressure rises to a level that exceeds the force of this spring. This valve can be adjusted manually.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS PRESSURE CONTROL VALVES Also known as relief valves. When pump pressure (p) exceeds spring tension. The opening of the relief valve is accomplished when pressure of the fluid in the system exceeds a pressure set by a spring force in the relief valve. the valve is forced off its seat. This action results in the “relieving”. This blocks the flow path to tank. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 73 . The spring holds the relief valve in its closed position.

The pressure required to begin valve opening is called the ’cracking pressure’. The process is repeated until the maximum volume of oil (full pump flow) is flowing through the relief valve. the valve moves against the spring and begins to open. However. excessive oil flow causes the oil pressure to increase. Relief Pressure Setting Figure 101 An increase in the resistance to oil flow (Figure 101) increases the volume of excess oil and increases the circuit pressure. When a condition develops that causes a resistance to the normal oil flow in the circuit. When the force of the increasing oil pressure overcomes the force of the relief valve spring. The simple relief valve is commonly used where the volume of excess oil flow is low or where there is a need for a quick response. the relief pressure setting is not the pressure at which the valve first begins to open. Cracking Pressure Figure 100 Figure 100 above shows a simple relief valve in the ‘cracking pressure’ position. This is the relief pressure setting. Simple Pressure Relief Valve. The increasing oil pressure is sensed at the relief valve. APLTCL025 74 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . This makes the simple relief valve ideal for relieving shock pressures or as a safety valve. The increase in circuit pressure overcomes the new spring tension and further opens the relief valve. The spring tension is set to the ’relief pressure’ setting. The valve opens just enough to allow excess oil to flow through the valve.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Simple Pressure Relief Valve. The simple relief valve (also called direct acting relief valve) is kept closed by spring force.

Therefore. The combined force in the spring chamber keeps the unloading valve closed. The system oil flows into the relief valve housing. The unloading valve can handle the complete pump flow at the designed maximum relief pressure. the unloading valve spring does not need to be strong and heavy and allows a more precise opening pressure.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Pilot Operated Relief Valve Closed Position Figure 102 The pilot operated relief valve (Figure 102) is often used in systems that require a large volume of oil and a small differential between the cracking pressure and the full flow pressure. It is much smaller and does not handle a large volume oil flow. It uses system oil pressure to keep closed. The combined force of the oil pressure in the unloading valve spring chamber and the spring force on the top of the unloading valve is greater than the force of the oil pressure against the bottom of the valve. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 75 . the same pressure is in the unloading valve spring chamber and the oil pressure is the same on both sides of the unloading valve. When the oil pressure increases in the system. This allows the pilot valve to use a small spring to control a high pressure. a pilot valve (simple relief valve) controls the main unloading valve. The oil in the unloading valve spring chamber contacts a small area of the pilot valve. through the unloading valve orifice and fills the unloading valve spring chamber. The difference between the pilot valve cracking and maximum pressure is minimal. It’s spring is much smaller allowing more precise pressure control. In the pilot operated relief valve.

There are four basic types of flow controls. FLOW CONTROL VALVES Flow control consists of controlling or regulating the volume of oil flow in or out of a circuit to a rate which is below that of the system pump output flow. The higher restriction increases the oil pressure. oil flows pass the pilot valve much faster than through the unloading valve orifice. APLTCL025 76 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . Controlling flow in a hydraulic circuit can be accomplished in several ways. The most common way of controlling flow is by installing an orifice. the orifice presents a higher than normal restriction to the pump flow. The path may be through another circuit or it may be over a relief valve. The force of the higher system oil pressure moves the unloading valve against the spring. These are: Non-compensated flow controls Flow dividers Pressure compensated flow controls Temperature compensated flow controls. The throttling holes allow the unloading valve to dump the volume of oil necessary to maintain the desired relief pressure. The excessive pump oil flows through the throttling holes in the unloading valve to the tank.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Open Position Figure 103 When the system oil pressure exceeds the pilot valve spring setting (Figure 103) the pilot valve opens. This allows the pressure to decrease in the unloading valve spring chamber. The increase in oil pressure causes some of the oil to take another path. The open pilot valve allows the oil in the unloading valve spring chamber to flow to the tank. Therefore. The pilot valve opening (orifice) is larger than the unloading valve orifice. When an orifice is installed.

If outlet or load pressure increases. A common example is a hole in a garden hose. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 77 . A small pinhole will leak in the form of a drip or a fine spray. meters a flow of water to the outside of the hose. 3. The amount of water metered depends on the size of the hole (orifice). An orifice is a small opening in the oil flow path. Flow through an orifice is affected by several factors. The simplest form of a non-compensated flow control is an orifice. Hydraulic oil becomes thinner and flows more readily as the temperature increases. The orifice size may be fixed or variable. Three of the most common are: 1. An orifice can conveniently be inserted into a hydraulic line as a stand alone valve. Viscosity is a measurement of the oil’s resistance to flow at a specific temperature. Orifice Size The size of the orifice controls the flow rate through the orifice.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Non-compensated Flow Controls The simplest type of flow control is the non-compensated flow control. The hole. into a hydraulic fitting as a means of restricting the flow into a branch circuit. A larger hole will leak in the form of a stream. flow may decrease proportionally. Needle or glob type valves are also commonly used as simple flow restrictions that control the flow into a branch circuit. flow through the non-compensated flow control will increase with a corresponding increase in pressure drop. The temperature of the oil The size of the orifice The pressure differential across the orifice. Noncompensated flow control valves are used as restrictors to control the rate of flow into a branch circuit at a given input pressure to the valve. Temperature The oil viscosity changes with changes in temperature. or more typically. 2. As system pressure increases. whether small or large.

the valve closes. In the needle valve. APLTCL025 78 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . All reverse flowing oil must flow through the orifice that controls the flow rate. When oil flow is in the normal direction.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Check Valve with a Fixed Orifice Figure 104 Figure 104 shows an example of a check valve with a fixed orifice that is commonly used in construction equipment. The fixed orifice is a hole through the centre of the check valve. the positioning of the valve tip in relation to the valve seat changes the size of the orifice. Variable Orifice Figure 105 Figure 105 shows a variable orifice in the form of a needle valve. the valve opens and allows oil to flow around the valve as well as through the orifice. When oil attempts to flow in the reverse direction.

Figure 106 Figure 106 is an example of how a variable orifice can be used to control the operating speed of a cylinder. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 79 . The needle valve is one of the most frequently used variable orifices. When the valve stem is turned counter-clockwise. When the valve stem is turned clockwise. the orifice becomes larger and the flow increases through the valve.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS The oil flow through the needle valve must make a 90° turn and pass between the valve tip and the valve seat. the orifice becomes smaller and the flow decreases through the valve.

By this means.e. It is possible to have more than two sections to produce more than two flow streams. They use a common inlet and stacked gear sections that are maintained at the same rotational rate by a common shaft. Their function is to divide the flow into two different streams. However. the incoming flow is divided into a stream of flow for each gear section.. or more) gear motor. These two streams typically are equal in flow rate. is possible to obtain different flow ratios for the two flow streams. or the use of different gear displacements. through the use of springs and spool design. i. each stream is half of the available flow. The volume of flow from each stream will be effected by the volumetric efficiency of each gear section.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Flow Dividers Figure 107 Flow dividers are either gear type or spool type. APLTCL025 80 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . Gear type flow dividers (Figure 107) are similar to a double (or triple.

HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 108 Spool type flow dividers (Figure 108) are more commonly used as they are typically more convenient to install in the hydraulic circuit. As input pressure increases. When used as a priority valve. a pressure compensation feature can be added to the spool type flow divider in order to prevent changes in output flow rate as inlet or outlet pressure changes. This prevents an increase of output flow as the increase of input Stem pressure tries to force more flow through the valve. or a priority output flow stream. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 81 . Their design is such that they provide either proportional output flow streams. When the accuracy of the output flow streams is critical to the application. In both cases constant output flow rate is achieved by using springs to maintain a constant pressure drop across the metering orifice. the priority flow stream provides a set rate of flow while the secondary stream provides only the flow that is available after the priority stream has been satisfied. or can be integrated into the outlet cover of a pump. Pressure Compensated Flow Controls Pressure compensated flow control valves are used to provide a constant output flow rate into a branch circuit regardless of system input pressure or load pressure. output flow is restricted as either the piston or spool is closed off. They can be either piston type or spool type.

At this point. will also increase to a level sufficient to overcome the pressure at the right of the hydrostat. the hydrostat will slide to the right. As the work load increases. It is this constant pressure drop across the orifice that maintains the pressure compensated flow to the regulated outlet. Inlet pressure. plus the value of the spring. The difference is the output flow is controlled by an orifice inserted in the regulated output line. pressure in the output line increases. the pressure on the left will be above it by virtue of the spring value. to the left of the hydrostat piston. as does the pressure in the spring chamber at the right side of the "hydrostat" piston. Thus. pressure compensated flow control with integral relief valve. This line maintains a constant flow to a work circuit.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 109 Figure 109 illustrates a bypass type. all excess flow being diverted to the reservoir through the tank line. the pressure in the spring chamber will be limited. allowing the excess flow to exit through the tank port. If the regulated outlet pressure exceeds the pilot spring setting inside the hydrostat. and the valve will function as a relief valve. regardless of the pressure on the right side of the hydrostat. APLTCL025 82 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd .

The amount of flow through the valve depends on the size of the orifice. By-pass Pressure Compensated Flow Control Valve Figure 111 Figure 111 shows an illustration of a by-pass type pressure compensated flow control valve. the force of the upstream oil pressure acting on the dump valve is greater than the combined force of the downstream oil pressure and the spring. The by-pass type pressure compensated flow control valve automatically adjusts to flow and load changes. output flow is controlled by an orifice in the main spool. an alternative design. When the pump flow is within the design flow of the orifice. The spring at the right of the spool maintains a constant pressure drop. The dump valve opens and the excess oil flows through the dump valve to the tank. The same pressure change acts against the dump valve and spring. A separate relief valve protects the regulated flow circuit. the force of the upstream oil pressure acting on the dump valve is less than the combined force of the downstream oil pressure and the spring. When the pump flow is more than the design flow of the orifice. Any change in oil flow through the orifice creates a change in pressure on the upstream side of the orifice.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 110 Figure 110. and therefore a constant flow across the orifice. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 83 . The dump valve remains closed and all of the pump oil flows through the orifice. and excess flow is diverted to the excess flow port.

APLTCL025 84 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . the action of the orifice will cause the spring to compress still more. The graphic on the left shows flow through the valve that is either at the flow rating or less than the flow rating of the valve. Temperature compensation is usually accomplished through a variable orifice that is controlled by a temperature sensitive. If the flow through the valve increases. The controlled (metered) flow remains fairly constant as flow to the valve increases or decreases. Temperature Compensated Flow Controls Temperature compensated flow control valves are used to maintain a constant output flow rate where a change in the fluid temperature would cause a change. The graphic on the right shows that flow is beginning to exceed the flow rating of the valve. and more flow will be dumped. the pressure differential resulting from the flow across the orifice becomes great enough to begin compressing the spring and start dumping the excess oil as shown. The pressure compensating operation is the same as the by-pass pressure compensated flow control valve. bi-metallic lever or rod. This valve combines the action of the orifice and dump valve in one moving part.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Combined Orifice and Dump Valve Figure 112 The more common type of flow control valve is shown in Figure 112.

Valves may have as many positions or ports as needed. An example of this will be seen later after discussing internal passages next. The number of envelopes used represents the number of positions that a valve can be shifted to. three or four ports but rather designates the number of ports flow is occurring between.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS GRAPHIC SYMBOLS . although most are in the range of 1-3 positions and 5 or fewer ports. Valve symbols are always drawn in their neutral or APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 85 .Internal Passageways Lines and arrows inside the envelope are used to represent flow paths and direction between ports (Figure 114). The other two symbols represent the typical port arrangements for three and four-way valves. These terms represent the internal flow condition of the valve in its neutral state. three. Next are valve ports. The terms two. Shifting and valve positions will be discussed in more detail later.Valve Envelopes & Ports The basic directional control valve symbol (Figure 113) consists of one or more basic envelopes as seen in the top row of symbols. outlet and working lines. normally blocked and normally open. not to be confused with a two-position valve as seen in the middle of the top row. The first symbol to the left has two ports and is commonly referred to as a two-way valve.VALVES Directional Control Valve Figure 113 . and four-way valve does not necessarily mean the valve will have two. Two basic types of valves are seen here. Figure 114 . or the connection points for inlet.

Valves drawn with only one envelope as previously seen are assumed to have infinite positioning capability and do not require the additional horizontal bars. The middle symbol in Figure 115 represents a two-position normally closed valve. in an infinite number of positions to meter the flow through the valve. the ports are labelled to denote supply. The top row of symbols represents one. This means the valve spool can be shifted either partially. or fully open. The shifting of valve spools or envelopes using graphic symbols must be done with your imagination. Later we will see an example of how symbols should be shifted using your imagination. components are always drawn in their neutral position. return and working ports. In full machine schematics. as shown by the right-hand envelope. Typically. three and other multiple position valves can also be shown to have infinite positioning or flow metering capability. two and three position valves in which flow is normally blocked in neutral. indicated by the small 'IT" symbol. While the bottom row of symbols depict one. whenever a valve symbol is shown by itself. from the top port to the bottom port. But rather than allowing infinite positioning of the valve spool to meter flow. The far right envelope shows cross flow is achieved between the ports when the spool is shifted left. The far left envelope shows that when the spool is shifted right connecting the flow paths in the left enclosure with the external port lines. But. when shown as a part of a complete circuit schematic. parallel flow is allowed between the valve ports. two and three position valves which are normally open to flow in their neutral position. return and working ports. In the fully open position. the external lines are connected to the ports of the envelope with internal passageways representing the valve's neutral condition. This is denoted by the two headed arrow. denoted by a single headed arrow. APLTCL025 86 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . In the neutral position flow is blocked. Figure 115 The first symbol seen to the left in Figure 115 represents a normally closed infinite positioning valve. That is. Valves which change position due to flow or pressure are in their neutral condition when there is no flow or pressure in the circuit. The function of this valve is very similar to the function of the valve just discussed. the connecting lines must be followed out to determine which ports are the supply. Let's take a closer look at the top row of symbols to further understand the internal flow conditions. This is done by the addition of two horizontal bars drawn parallel to the valve envelopes as will be seen in the next slide. Two. flow is allowed in either direction. The symbol seen to the right of Figure 115 represents a normally closed three position valve. Compare this to the previous symbol in which flow was only in one direction. this valve is either completely closed or fully open.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS unactivated position. The arrow here denotes flow is normally in one direction.

HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Figure 116 Shown to the left of Figure 116 are partial cutaway drawings of directional four-way control valves in their neutral positions. Seen to the right are the symbols for only the centred or neutral condition of the valves. The labelled port abbreviations are: p T A B Supply from pump Return to tank Work port Work port. Two more examples are seen here of valves and their related centre position symbol. The symbol to the right shows that ports "All and "B" are tied together and drain to tank. The symbol to the right indicates that all ports are tied together (junction dots) which would allow unrestricted flow between any of the ports. or return to tank. while pump supply is blocked. Figure 117 The cutaway in Figure 117 represents a closed-centre type spool. The top cutaway and symbol is representative of a closed centre motor spool in which ports "A" and "B" are both open to tank while pump supply is blocked. The valve cutaway to the upper left contains an open-centred type spool.” Ports “A” and “B” are also blocked by the spool from draining to tank. Supply flow from the pump is unrestricted to either working ports “A” and “B”. In this case supply flow will take the path of least resistance. Pump supply flow is blocked by the spool lands and valve housing to the right and left of working ports “A” and “B. The symbol to the right utilizes small “T” crossed lines to denote flow is blocked internally on all four ports. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 87 .

It also shows that system pressure is sensed through the pilot line and works against a spring tension which can be varied. while ports "A" and "B" are both blocked. the second valve being fed by the return oil of the first. An example of this type valve arrangement will be seen later. once again you must keep in mind symbols are used to represent the components resulting function not necessarily the component's construction which achieves this function. Nothing from the symbol identifies whether the relief has both a pilot and relief poppet. one behind the other. The symbol to the right shows the pump supply port is tied to tank return and ports "All and "B" are blocked.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS The lower cutaway and symbol are representative of a tandem-type open centre valve. APLTCL025 88 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . PRESSURE CONTROL VALVE Figure 118 The symbol in Figure 118 shows a single valve envelope which is normally closed to flow. the two valve sections are in tandem or series. nothing from the symbol shows its done by means of a hollow spool." it could be diverted to another valve section from port 'IT." Therefore. Although. Pump supply is open to tank by means of a passageway inside of the spool. This valve is referred to as a tandem-type valve because rather than having pump flow go directly to tank through port 'IT. or that pressure is sensed through an orifice.

APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 89 .HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Graphic Sysmbols . The fluid in the hydraulic system is the component that is used to transfer the flow energy generated by the pump to the mechanical components which convert fluid energy into mechanical energy. the hydraulic fluid must be selected on the basis of its characteristics and properties to accomplish the designed task. for the system to operate correctly and have an acceptable service life. Service records show that incorrect oil or oil containing dirt or other contaminants cause approximately seventy percent of hydraulic system problems.Flow Control HYDRAULIC FLUID The selection and care of the hydraulic fluid will have an important effect on the life of the system. Just like the hardware components of a hydraulic system. to do work. Examples of these components may be cylinders and hydraulic motors.Flow Control Valves Figure 119 . The fluid used in a hydraulic system is as important as any other component in the system.

Petroleum oil is the primary fluid used in developing most hydraulic oils. For example. The primary functions of hydraulic fluids are: power transmission lubrication sealing cooling. Therefore. Therefore. once the hydraulic system is filled with fluid it can instantly transmit power from one area to another.685kPa (3000psi). fluids can transmit power instantaneously in a hydraulic system.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Functions of Hydraulic Liquids Figure 120 Liquids are virtually incompressible. However. Choosing the correct hydraulic fluid depends on the application and the operating conditions. petroleum oil compresses at approximately 1-1. APLTCL025 90 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . The rotating or sliding components must be able to function without touching other surfaces. heat and wear. Lubrication Hydraulic fluid must lubricate the moving parts of the hydraulic system.5% at a pressure of 20. The viscosity of the fluid helps to determine its ability to function as a seal. petroleum oil can maintain a constant volume under high pressure. Sealing Many hydraulic components are designed to use hydraulic fluid instead of mechanical seals within the component. Power Transmission Because hydraulic fluids are virtually incompressible. this does not mean that all hydraulic fluids are equal and will transmit power with the same efficiency. The hydraulic fluid must maintain a thin film between the two surfaces to prevent friction.

In other words. (too thick). Viscosity in hydraulic oil is very important because if an oil becomes too thin (low viscosity as the temperature rises). vegetable oil becomes thinner and pours more readily. Likewise. heat flows from the warmer components to the cooler fluid. the viscosity increases. the thickness of the oil. invented by George Saybolt. a stopcock (orifice) was opened and the fluid flowed out of the container and into a 60 ml. it may leak past seals. The fluid gives up the heat to the reservoir or to coolers that are designed to maintain fluid temperatures within design limits. Viscosity of the oil also effects its ability to lubricate the moving parts of the system. A fluid’s viscosity is affected by temperature. The viscosity was recorded as the number of seconds the flask took to fill at a given temperature. A fluid that flows easily has a low viscosity. vegetable oil thickens and is very slow to pour. when a fluid cools. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 91 . sluggish operation of the system will result requiring extra power to be used just to push the oil around the system. the fluid’s viscosity becomes lower. If the hydraulic oil has a high viscosity.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Cooling The hydraulic system develops heat as it transfers mechanical energy to hydraulic energy and hydraulic energy back to mechanical energy. The Saybolt Viscosimeter Figure 121 The most common tool of measuring viscosity is the Saybolt Viscosimeter. at a set temperature. As vegetable oil is heated. Properties of Hydraulic Fluids Viscosity Viscosity is a measurement of a fluid’s resistance to flow at a specific temperature. Any area of leakage will effect the performance of the system. The Saybolt Viscosimeter unit of measurement is the Saybolt Universal Second (SUS). Vegetable oil is a very good example of how viscosity changes with a change in temperature. flask. A stopwatch was used to measure the time it took to fill the flask. valves and internally leak in pumps and motors. As the fluid moves throughout the system. When the temperature was reached. When a fluid becomes warmer. In the original viscosimeter a container of fluid was heated to a specific temperature. joints. When vegetable oil is very cold.


If a fluid, when heated to a temperature of 24° C, took 115 seconds to fill the flask, its viscosity was 115 SUS @ 24 ° C. If the same fluid was heated to 38 ° C and took 90 seconds to fill the flask, its viscosity would be 90 SUS @ 38° C. Viscosity Index Viscosity index (VI) is a measure of a fluid’s change in thickness with respect to changes in temperature. If a fluid’s consistency remains relatively the same over varying temperatures, the fluid has a high VI. If a fluid becomes thick at low temperatures and very thin at high temperatures, the fluid has a low VI. In most hydraulic systems, fluids with a high VI are desirable over fluids with a low VI. Viscosity Improver These types of additives help maintain the oil’s viscosity over a wide range in temperatures. When the oil is cold the system will operate correctly and when the oil is hot the system will also operate correctly.

Anti-wear Additives
Hydraulic oil contains a selected number of additives to increase and insure its antiwear capabilities. It must provide good lubrication to lower and hold to a minimum, the friction between components in the system.

Foaming in hydraulic oil refers to the oil being mixed with air bubbles. A liquid can not be compressed but air can, these anti foaming additives help the oil absorb the air so that it does not affect the operation of the system. If the oil is mixed with an amount of air that is greater than it can absorb, the oil will foam. When the oil becomes foamed the system will operate with a slower response to direction changes and load changes, in other words an unsatisfactory operation. The air in the system will also affect the oils ability to lubricate the system components, cause system overheating and erratic operation.

Water Resistant Separation
Water vapour enters the system through the reservoir, and any small leaks in the system. As the oil is moving around the system it is subjected to violent mixing, churning and continual recirculation (flowing from the mechanical work area back to the reservoir). This action mixes the oil and water together and it becomes what is known as an emulsion. This emulsion promotes rust, acids and forms sludge in the system. It will also greatly reduce the ability of the oil to lubricate system components. Additives to the oil help separate the water from the oil.



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Types of Hydraulic Fluids
Petroleum Oil
All petroleum oil becomes thin as the temperature goes up and thickens as the temperature goes down. If the viscosity is too low, there may be excessive leakage past seals and from joints. If the viscosity is too high, sluggish operation may be the results and extra power is needed to push the oil through the system. Viscosity of petroleum oil is expressed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) numbers: 5W, 10W, 20W, 30W, 40W, etc. The lower the number, the better the oil will flow at low temperatures. The higher the number, the more viscous the oil and the more suited to high temperatures. Viscosity in the ISO standards is expressed in mm2/S, called centiStokes (cSt).

Synthetic Oils
Synthetic oils are formed by processes that chemically react to materials of a specific composition to produce a compound with planned and predictable properties. Synthetic oils are specifically blended for extreme service at both high and low temperatures.

Fire Resistant Fluids
There are three basic types of fire resistant fluids: water-glycols, water-oil emulsions and synthetics. They are used in situations of high fire risk, such as in underground mining, steel making and oil wells. Water-glycol fluids contains 35% to 50% water (water inhibits burning), glycol (synthetic chemical similar to some anti-freeze) and a water thickener. Additives are added to improve lubrication and to prevent rust, corrosion and foaming. Water-glycol fluids are heavier than oil and may cause pump cavitation (Formation and collapse of vapour bubbles in hydraulic oil, resulting in erosion and pitting of metal surfaces) at high speeds. These fluids may react with certain metals and seals and cannot be used with some types of paints. Water-oil emulsion is the least expensive of the fire resistant fluids. A similar amount (40%) of water is used as in water-glycol fluids to inhibit burning. Water-oil can be used in typical hydraulic oil systems. Additive may be added to prevent rust and foaming.

Oil Life
The hydraulic oil never wears out, although a breakdown of the chemical additives will eventually cause the base oil to become ineffective as hydraulic oil. The use of filters to remove solid particles and some chemicals add to the useful life of the oil. However, eventually the oil will become so contaminated that it will have to be replaced. In construction machines, the oil is replaced at regular time intervals. The contaminants in the oil may also be used as indicators of high wear and prospective problem areas. The hydraulic oil should be analysed at scheduled intervals.


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Filler Screen

Figure 122

The filler screen is usually located in the filler tub. It keeps large contaminants from entering the tank when the fill cap is removed.

Inlet strainers are usually mounted inside the reservoir submerged in the oil. Normal flow is through the filtering element. Should the filter become blocked the pressure on the inside will decrease (pump ’sucking’) and oil can flow past the bypass valve. A strainer not fitted with a bypass will damage a pump very quickly should it become blocked.


Figure 123



© Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd

Inlet filters are mounted in the reservoir or in the line going to the pump. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 95 . Figure 124 A full flow system filters the entire supply of oil each time it circulates in the hydraulic system. Should the filter become blocked. Normal flow is from the outside of the filtering element to the centre of the filter. pressure will build up around the outside of the filter and open the bypass valve. Return line filters are mounted in the line returning oil back to the reservoir. This system has a major disadvantage in that it is filtering oil after it leaves the circuit. They are usually located after the pump and can be recognised by their heavy pressure proof housing. For this reason they are the most commonly used system. Strainers are preferred because they are not as fine as high-pressure filters.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Oil filters may be located in a number of positions in the hydraulic circuit. High-pressure filters protect sensitive valves in the system. This type of filter is housed in a low-pressure housing or may be a spin-on type.

Neglect the filters and the system will rapidly breakdown or fail. Bypass Valves Figure 126 They are fitted to prevent pressure building up. IN and OUT. Maintenance of filters is probably the most important factor in obtaining long hydraulic system life.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Filter Construction Surface Filter Figure 125 As the name implies they trap contaminants on the surface of the element. They are used in special applications only and have the advantage that they can remove very fine contaminants. The element is usually constructed of treated porous paper and is pleated to increase the surface area. This is the most common type of filter element. All filters containing a bypass are marked to show oil flow. A partial flow or bypass filter system only filters part of the oil that flows through the system. They rely on the oil flowing through the system several times to clean the oil properly. i. APLTCL025 96 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd .e.

HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Visual inspection gives no indication that the oil is bypassing the filter. right). COOLERS Any fluid used in mobile machinery absorbs and carries heat away from heat generating components such as cylinders and pumps. They are simply a pressure gauge that tells the operator the flow is restricted and pressure is building up. To dissipate heat. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 97 . The operation is exactly like an automobile radiator. air is blown over the tubes and fins by a fan. Provision should be made in machine design to circulate the oil through oil coolers. Air coolers are generally used where water is not readily available or too expensive. Even well designed hydraulic systems can be expected to turn some portion of its input horsepower into heat. Even a well designed system may convert 20% of its power into heat. Figure 127 Coolers are divided into air coolers and water coolers. Hydraulic reservoirs are sometimes incapable of dissipating all this heat. Some filters are fitted with an indicator that signals the operator to clean or replace the element. Some system designs may not allow sufficient transfer of fluid to the reservoir. particularly with long lines from the rod end of cylinders. Inefficiency in the form of heat can be expected in all hydraulic systems. In these cases a cooler is used. Air cooler In an air cooler (Figure 127. fluid is pumped through tubes to which fins are attached. filters must be regularly serviced. Follow manufacturer’s specification on the recommended intervals and use a filter with the same micron rating. This can cause a buildup of heat and oxidized fluid in an isolated segment of a circuit and result in destruction of the fluid and components. The fluid then must be allowed to circulate as much as possible against the heat dissipating sides of a reservoir before it is allowed to reenter the pump.

Coolers in a circuit Coolers are usually rated at a relatively low operating pressure (150 PSI). left).HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Water cooler A water cooler basically consists of a bundle of tubes encased in a metal shell (Figure 127. The separator with a manual drain. First is a filter or strainer which is shown with a dashed vertical line inside the basic symbol. The line drawn horizontally across the bottom APLTCL025 98 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . This requires that they be positioned in a low pressure part of a system. a system's hydraulic fluid is usually pumped through the shell and over the tubes which are circulated with cooling water. This cooler is also known as a shell-and-tube type heater exchanger. the cooler may be installed in its own separate circulating system. In this cooler. or in a case drain line of a variable volume. Several different types of fluid conditioner symbols can be made by making slight changes or additions to this basic symbol.Fluid Conditioners Fluid Conditioners The general symbol used for a fluid conditioner (Figure 128) is an empty diamond as seen at the top. pressure compensated pump. This represents the filtering media which the fluid or gas must flow through. If this is not possible. GRAPHIC SYMBOLS . To insure that a pressure surge in a line does not damage a shell-and-tube type cooler. after a relief valve. Coolers can be located in a system's return line.FLUID CONDITIONER Figure 128 . It is a true heat exchanger since hydraulic fluid can also be heated with this device by simply running hot water through the tubes. they are generally piped into a system in parallel with a 65 PSI check valve.

Automatic drains will be represented by the small "V" placed below the horizontal separation line as seen in the bottom symbol. It must be assumed manual. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 99 . Contaminated fluid systems result in: shorter component and fluid life reduced productivity can lead to catastrophic failure and costly down-time and repairs 75-85% of hydraulic system failures can be traced to contamination. Further right is the symbol for an in circuit oil cooler which can be air cooled in water cooled type. resulting in lost sales. we can expect: warranty costs to increase rework to increase repeat failures and associated failures to increase increased customer dissatisfaction. To the right are the symbols for combination filter separators with manual and automatic drains. Result: today’s fluid systems are more sensitive to contamination in: hydraulics transmissions and final drives fuel systems engines. CONTAMINATION CONTROL Why Contamination Control? Figure 129 Customers are demanding: more power greater breakout forces faster cycle times. The industry now uses: more electro-hydraulics higher system pressures tighter clearances. If we don’t address fluid contamination. Nothing on the symbol will designate it has a manual drain.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS portion of the symbol represents the separated matter which has settled to the as water from fuel The short line extending from the bottom of the symbol represents the drain.

2. 1 Micron = . 4.e. Filtration Figure 130 Strainer Rating: the degree of filtration of a strainer is measured by its mesh size or sieve number. APLTCL025 100 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . Filter Rating: the degree of filtration of a filter is measured by its micron ratio. How Much is Too Much? 1/2 Teaspoon of dust in 55 gallons (250 litres) of hydraulic oil exceeds contamination allowed in new Caterpillar machines. During the manufacture of the machine During the manufacture of the oil Operational factors. 3. Pay attention to particles too small to see. 5.001 mm or .HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS What Is Contamination? dirt weld spatter paint rag fibres metal wear particles cigarette ashes grease heat water air products from oil oxidation or bacteria growth. Contamination Sources 1. dusty conditions Careless maintenance Lack of maintenance. i.000001 metre (1 millionth of a metre).

0059 .0021 .HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Sizes of Particles & Comparison of Dimensional Units Sizes of Familiar Objects Substance Micron 297 238 210 149 105 Grain of Table Salt 100 74 Human Hair 70 53 44 Lower Limit of Visibility White Blood Cells Talcum Powder Red Blood Cells 40 25 10 8 5 2 Bacteria (average) 1 Table 1 Inch .0083 . they are usually constructed of porous treated paper.0039 . i. APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 101 .0117 . Filters provide fine filtration.0017 .e. 10 micron absolute filter .00019 .00158 . They remove ferrous or magnetic metal contaminants only.00039 .001 .000078 .000039 Paper Paper 270 325 200 Screen Size Mesh Size 50 60 70 100 140 Absolute Rating: this type stops all contaminants larger than the filter rating. Strainers provide course filtration and are usually constructed of fine wire mesh. Nominal Rating: this stops most (50 . This is the more common type of rating.0027 .95%) of the contaminants. The difference between a filter and a strainer is their filtering ability.0029 .0041 .003 . Magnetic plugs are often found in the reservoir on the drain plug.009 .traps all contaminants larger than 10 microns. It is presumed that repeated flows through the filter will trap all particles.

Opportunities to Control Contamination Housekeeping Oil storage and transfer Parts handling and storage Hose assembly and storage Component repair and assembly Field service Particle Count. suppliers. Customers Educate operators and service personnel Implement contamination control measures. Servicing Dealer Assign contamination control administrator Educate employees and customers Acquire contamination control tooling Develop and implement contamination control procedures.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Roles and Responsibilities Everybody needs to think: Equipment Manufacturer Design machines for life-cycle cleanliness Build & ship clean products & components New standards developed Formed Contamination Control Teams Provide tooling and information support Educate employees. dealers and customers. APLTCL025 102 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd .

APLTCL025 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 103 . Oil Transfer and Storage Figure 132 Filter new oil from bulk tanks and 44-gallon (200 litre) drums Store oil drums inside Use drum covers.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Housekeeping Figure 131 Keep work areas clean and organised Sweep floors daily Clean up spills immediately Keep work benches uncluttered and free of debris Limit use of floor storage.

to clean up spills Establish ‘clean’ processes Use a rotary brush to clean hydraulic cylinders after honing Separate welding and cleaning operations. Field Service Keep parts and components packaged until ready to install Stock vehicles with High Efficiency Filters Ensure lube trucks supply clean fluids.HYDRAULIC FUNDAMENTALS Parts Handling and Storage Figure 133 Keep components packaged until ready to install Return parts to storage in packaging Clean in-process components. Hose Assembly and Storage Figure 134 Clean assembled hoses with Cat Hose Cleaner Protect assembled hoses with caps & plugs Protect bulk hose with caps and plugs.not Oil Dry . APLTCL025 104 © Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd . Component Repair and Assembly Use absorbent pads .