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Fluid Power

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30794-00

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Hydraulics Fundamentals

Student Manual

Fluid Power

Hydraulics Fundamentals
Student Manual
30794-00

First Edition
Published March 2013
1996 by Lab-Volt Ltd.
Printed in Canada
All rights reserved
ISBN 978-2-89289-349-6 (Printed version)
ISBN 978-2-89640-651-7 (CD-ROM)
Legal Deposit Bibliothque et Archives nationales du Qubec, 1996
Legal Deposit Library and Archives Canada, 1996
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in
any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopied, recorded, or otherwise, without
prior written permission from Lab-Volt Ltd.
Information in this document is subject to change without notice and does not represent a
commitment on the part of Lab-Volt. The Lab-Volt materials described in this document are
furnished under a license agreement or a nondisclosure agreement.
The Lab-Volt logo is a registered trademark of Lab-Volt Systems.
Lab-Volt recognizes product names as trademarks or registered trademarks of their
respective holders.
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Other trademarks and trade
names may be used in this document to refer to either the entity claiming the marks and
names or their products. Lab-Volt disclaims any proprietary interest in trademarks and trade
names other than its own.

Safety and Common Symbols

III

Safety and Common Symbols

IV

Foreword
The Lab-Volt Hydraulics Training System is a modularized presentation of the
principles of hydraulic energy and its controlled application. The Hydraulics Training
System consists of an introductory and an advanced training program.
The introductory program is based on two manuals: Volume 1,
Hydraulics Fundamentals, covers the basic principles of hydraulics; Volume 2,
Hydraulics Electrical Control, covers electrical circuits and ladder diagrams for
hydraulics applications. Both manuals are intended to be used with the Lab-Volt
Hydraulics Trainer.
The advanced training program expands upon the introductory course with
hydraulics applications using programmable controllers, sensors, proportional
controls, and servo controls. The covered applications are based on those
encountered in the industry. The introductory program is a prerequisite for the
advanced program.
This manual, volume 1 of the Hydraulics series, introduces students to the basic
principles of hydraulics. Subjects covered are the theory, generation, storage, and
usage of hydraulic energy. The creation of pressure by applying force to a confined
liquid is discussed. The usefulness of fluid pressure and velocity is examined, and
the relationship between flow rate, velocity, and power is defined. The basic types
of hydraulic circuits are introduced. Identification and operation of basic hydraulic
components is also covered. Finally, a methodical approach to troubleshooting is
outlined, based on the first principles of hydraulics.
The Lab-Volt Instructors Guide for Hydraulics Fundamentals (P/N 30794-10)
provides answers to all procedure steps and review questions found in each exercise
in this manual. We also recommend that you use the Parker-Hannifins manual
Industrial Hydraulic Technology as a reference.

Acknowledgments
We wish to thank Mr Patrick Quirion, Mech. Eng., CEFP, MGI, for
his participation in the elaboration of the hydraulics courseware. Mr
Quirion teaches fluid power classes in Montreal, Canada.

VI

Table of Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XI
Unit 1 Introduction to Hydraulics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-1
An introduction to hydraulic circuit. Safety rules to follow when using the
Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer.
Exercise 1-1 Familiarization with the
Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-5
Identification of the various system components. Safety rules
to follow when using the Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer.
Exercise 1-2 Demonstration of Hydraulic Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-27
Lifting up the hydraulic Power Unit using a small-bore
cylinder. Investigation of a basic hydraulic circuit.
Unit 2 Fundamentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-1
Basic concepts of hydraulics. Creation of pressure by applying force to a
confined fluid. Relationship between flow rate, velocity, and power.
Exercise 2-1 Pressure Limitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-3
Design and operation of a relief valve. Determining the oil
flow path in a circuit using a relief valve. Connection and
operation of a circuit using a relief valve.
Exercise 2-2 Pressure and Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-17
Verifying the formula F = P x A using a cylinder and a load
spring. Discovering what happens to a cylinder when equal
pressures are applied to each side of its piston. Pressure
distribution in a cylinder in equilibrium of forces. Measuring
the weight of the hydraulic Power Unit given the pressure
required to lift it.
Exercise 2-3 Flow Rate and Velocity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-35
Design and operation of a flow control valve. Relationship
between flow rate and velocity. Connection and operation of
meter-in, meter-out, and bypass flow control circuits.
Exercise 2-4 Work and Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-57
Definition of the terms work and power. Relationship
between force, work, and power. Calculating the work,
power, and efficiency of the circuit used to lift the hydraulic
Power Unit.

VII

Table of Contents

Unit 3 Basic Circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-1


Connection and operation of simple, practical hydraulic circuits. Design and
operation of a directional control valve.
Exercise 3-1 Cylinder Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-3
Control of the direction, force, and speed of a cylinder.
Design and operation of a directional control valve. Effect of
a change in system pressure and flow rate on the force and
speed of a cylinder.
Exercise 3-2 Cylinders in Series . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-19
Description of the operation of a series circuit. Starting and
stopping two cylinders at the same time by connecting them
in series. Demonstration of pressure intensification in a series
circuit.
Exercise 3-3 Cylinders in Parallel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-31
Description of the operation of a parallel circuit. Extension
sequence of parallel cylinders having differing bore sizes.
Synchronizing the extension of parallel cylinders using a flow
control valve.
Exercise 3-4 Regenerative Circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-41
Design and operation of a regenerative circuit. Effect of
regeneration on cylinder force and speed.
Unit 4 Functional Circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-1
Connection and operation of functional hydraulic circuits using
accumulators, hydraulic motors, pressure reducing valves, and remotely
controlled pressure relief valves.
Exercise 4-1 Accumulators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-3
Description of the general types of accumulators. How
accumulators can be used in auxiliary power, emergency
power, leakage compensation, and shock suppression.
Safety requirements for accumulator circuits.
Exercise 4-2 Hydraulic Motor Circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-19
Design and operation of a hydraulic motor. Calculating the
torque and speed of a hydraulic motor. Effect of a change in
flow rate or pressure on motor operation.

VIII

Table of Contents
Exercise 4-3 Pressure Reducing Valves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-35
Design and operation of a pressure reducing valve.
Connection and operation of a clamp and bend circuit using
a pressure reducing valve.
Exercise 4-4 Remotely Controlled Pressure Relief Valves . . . . . 4-53
How to control a pressure relief valve remotely. Connection
and operation of a circuit using a remotely controlled valve to
control the tonnage of a press cylinder.
Unit 5 Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-1
Developing a methodical approach for testing the main components of a
hydraulic system, based on the manufacturer specifications and on the first
principles of hydraulics. Observing the effects of temperature changes on
the operating characteristics of a hydraulic system.
Exercise 5-1 Hydraulic Pumps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-3
Basic operation of a hydraulic pump. Using manufacturer
pump specifications to test a pump. The effects of oil
temperature on flow rate and volumetric efficiency.
Exercise 5-2 Directional Valve Testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-19
Showing normal leakage of a directional valve. Evaluating the
condition of a directional valve according to the amount of
leakage flow.
Exercise 5-3 Flowmeter Accuracy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-31
Verifying the accuracy of a flowmeter. Determining the effect
of temperature on flowmeter accuracy.
Exercise 5-4 Effects of Temperature on System Operation . . . . 5-41
The effects of temperature changes on pressure drop and
circuit flow rate.
Appendix

A
B
C
D

Equipment Utilization Chart


Care of the Hydraulics Trainer
Conversion Factors
Hydraulics and Pneumatics Graphic Symbols

Bibliography
We Value Your Opinion!

IX

Introduction
The basic principles of fluid power date back to Pascals research and the invention
of the piston, but only recently has fluid power become a large scale industry. The
growing use of hydraulics in industry comes from the need for fast, low cost means
of production with better quality, less waste, and increased power.
Hydraulic systems provide many other advantages. A few of these are spark- and
burnout-resistance, fine control, and compact size. This means that almost all
manufactured products have been formed, treated, or handled by fluid power at
some time.
This manual, Hydraulics Fundamentals, provides basic training in hydraulics. It
covers the theory, generation, storage, and usage of hydraulic energy.
The manual is divided into five units:

Units 1 and 2 present the basic concepts of hydraulics. Unit 1 introduces


students with the Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer. Unit 2 discusses the creation of
pressure and defines the relationship between flow rate, work, and power.

Units 3 and 4 introduce basic and functional hydraulic circuits.

Unit 5 presents the basic troubleshooting techniques used in troubleshooting


hydraulic circuits.

These five units provide a complete course in hydraulics. They lay a solid foundation
for the study of Volume 2 of the courseware series, Electrical Control of Hydraulic
Systems.
The exercises in this manual provide a systematic and realistic means of learning the
subject matter. Each exercise contains

A clearly defined Exercise Objective.


A Discussion of the theory involved.
A list of Equipment Required.
A Procedure Summary which provides a bridge between the theoretical
Discussion and the laboratory Procedure.
A detailed step-by-step laboratory Procedure in which the student observes and
measures important phenomena. Illustrations facilitate connecting the modules
and guide the students observations. Well-organized tables help in performing
calculations. Questions direct the students thinking process and help in
understanding the principles involved.
A Conclusion to confirm that objective has been reached.
Review Questions which verify that the material has been well assimilated.

XI

XII

Unit

Introduction to Hydraulics

UNIT OBJECTIVE
When you have completed this unit, you will be able to identify the Hydraulics Trainer
components and to safely operate the trainer. You will demonstrate your ability by
constructing simple hydraulic circuits.
DISCUSSION OF FUNDAMENTALS
Introduction
The intensive use of hydraulics in todays industry comes from the many advantages
provided by hydraulic systems. With hydraulic power, very little energy is required
to control and transmit tremendous amounts of power. For example, 1.5-kW (2-hp)
electric motors can be used to actuate hydraulic hoists lifting up to 4000 kg (8800 lb),
as Figure 1-1 shows.

Figure 1-1. Hydraulic hoist.

1-1

Introduction to Hydraulics
Gigantic rockets that hurl satellites into orbit around the earth, and that carry men
and women to the moon and other planets also depend on hydraulic power to control
their flight. Only hydraulic power systems have the muscle and power to control
with the delicacy of a feather touch, the millions of horsepower released by rocket
engines and direct the payload to its destination.
Aviation is another industry that presently places a heavy demand on hydraulics. The
hydraulic power used in aircraft travels anywhere a pipe or tube can be run. Aircraft
hydraulic systems are lightweight and compact, yet powerful enough to move the
control surfaces of the largest planes.
Another industry that relies heavily on hydraulics is robotics. The hydraulic systems
of robots, like those used by automobile manufacturers, are simpler than comparable
electrical systems. In general, the easy speed control, minimum vibration, and design
versatility of hydraulics will keep hydraulic power with industry for a long time to
come.
Hydraulics basic principles
Hydraulics is the technology or study of liquid pressure and flow. Liquids are
materials which pour and conform to the shape of their containers. Example of
liquids are oil and water.
Because liquids are not very compressible, they permit to transfer and multiply
forces. Figure 1-2 illustrates this basic property of liquids. The force applied to the
input piston produces a pressure on the liquid. The liquid then exerts the same
amount of pressure equally in all directions. As a result, the pressure applied to the
input piston transfers to the output piston.

Figure 1-2. Direct transfer of force.

Now what happens if the pistons are of different sizes, as in Figure 1-3? The input
piston is the same size as in the previous example (6.5 cm2), but the output piston
is now 26 cm2. Since the liquid exerts the same amount of pressure equally in all
directions, the force transferred to the output piston now equals 1780 N, which
provides a mechanical advantage in force of 4:1.

1-2

Introduction to Hydraulics

Figure 1-3. Multiplication of force.

Pressure is the amount of force exerted by a liquid on a unit of area. Pressure is


measured in kilopascals (kPa) in the S.I. system, in bars (bar) in the metric system,
and in pounds per square inch (psi) in the English system. 1 kPa is equal to 0.01 bar
or 0.145 psi. 1 psi is equal to 6.895 kPa or 0.069 bar. The pressure of a liquid can
be measured by using a pressure gauge, or manometer.
Operation of a basic hydraulic circuit
A hydraulic circuit is a path for oil to flow through hoses and components. Figure 1-4
shows a basic hydraulic circuit.
The reservoir holds the oil.
The pump pushes the oil, attempting to make it flow through the circuit.
The directional control valve allows the operator to manually control the oil flow
to the cylinder.
The cylinder converts fluid energy into linear mechanical power.
The relief valve limits system pressure to a safe level by allowing oil to flow
directly from the pump back to the reservoir when the pressure at the pump
output reaches a certain level.

1-3

Introduction to Hydraulics

Figure 1-4. Basic hydraulic circuit.

With the directional control valve in the condition shown in Figure 1-4 (a), the
pumped oil flows to the cap end of the cylinder. Since the oil is under pressure from
the pump, it pushes the piston inside the cylinder, causing the piston rod to extend.
The oil on the rod end of the cylinder is drained back to the reservoir through the
directional control valve.
With the directional control valve in the condition shown in Figure 1-4 (b), the
pumped oil flows to the rod end of the cylinder, causing the piston rod to retract. The
oil on the cap end of the cylinder is drained back to the reservoir through the
directional control valve.

1-4

Exercise

1-1

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To become familiar with the Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer;


C To identify the various system components;
C To be aware of the safety rules to follow when using the Lab-Volt Hydraulics
Trainer.
DISCUSSION
The Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer
The Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer consists of a work surface, hydraulic components
and instruments, hoses, and a power unit.
Work surface
The work surface consists of a main perforated panel hinged to an oil catching tray
on which hydraulic components can be mounted either horizontally or vertically. The
main panel can be tilted to facilitate the mounting of the components. Two additional
perforated panels, respectively covering a third and two thirds of the main panel
surface, can be mounted on the main panel to increase the work surface area. Any
number of work surfaces can be positioned side by side and components be bridgemounted across adjacent work surfaces.
Hydraulic components
Each hydraulic component is attached to a base plate that allows the component to
be secured to the work surface using either push-lock fasteners or the Quick-Lock
System. Each component has its symbol and part number indicated on a sticker
affixed on the component body or on the component base plate.
Figure 1-5a shows how a component can be secured to the work surface when
push-lock fasteners are used. The component base plate has four identical pushlock fasteners. To secure a component to the work surface, align the four push-lock
fasteners with the work surface perforations, then firmly push on the fasteners.

1-5

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer

Figure 1-5a. Securing a component to the work surface with push-lock fasteners.

Figure 1-5b shows how a component can be secured to the work surface when the
Quick-Lock System is used. With this system, each component base plate has four
fasteners: three fixed (black) fasteners and one twist-lock fastener (fastener with a
yellow knob and a red tab).
(1) First, ensure that the yellow rotating knob of the twist-lock fastener is turned
fully, so that the red tab (pointed by the arrow) of this fastener is fully visible.
On some components, the yellow knob must be turned fully counterclockwise,
while on other components, the yellow knob must be turned fully clockwise.
(2) Align the red pins of the four fasteners with the work surface perforations, then
press the component base plate gently into the work surface.
(3) Lock the component into place by turning the yellow knob fully in the required
direction, depending on the component.
Note: To secure components to the work surface, the yellow knob must
be turned fully clockwise on some components, or fully counterclockwise
on other components.

(4) Ensure that the red tab of the twist-lock fastener is not visible, which indicates
that the component is safely locked into place.

1-6

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer

Figure 1-5b. Securing a component to the work surface with the Quick-Lock System.

To remove the component from the work surface, unlock the component by turning
the yellow knob fully in the required direction so that the red tab of the twist-lock
fastener becomes fully visible, then withdraw the component.
Note: Throughout this manual, the components are shown with
quick-lock fasteners.

1-7

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer
Hoses
The trainer components and hoses use quick connect fittings. This type of fitting
allows you to easily and quickly connect and disconnect circuits. Quick connect
fittings have check valve on their end to prevent oil from running out of the hose or
component when the hoses are disconnected. Note, however, that these fittings
should only be connected and disconnected when they are not under pressure.
A hose rack is provided to store the trainer hoses. The rack has a slotted top for
hanging hoses, and a drip pan bottom to catch oil from the hose connectors.
Power Unit
The Power Unit supplies oil under pressure to the system. It mainly consists of an
oil reservoir, a hydraulic pump, a pressure relief valve, and a filter. Figure 1-6 shows
the Power Unit, as well as its symbol.

Figure 1-6. Power Unit.

The return line filter, connected between the return line port and the reservoir (see
Figure 1-6), keeps dirt and indissoluble contaminants from entering the reservoir.
This filter is equipped with a Delta-P gauge measuring the drop in pressure through
the filter. When the pressure drop is too high, the filter must be replaced. The gauge
has a safety valve which will allow the oil to flow unfiltered into the reservoir if the
filter becomes clogged.

1-8

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer
Figure 1-7 shows an inside view of the Power Unit. The reservoir holds the oil. The
hydraulic pump is connected directly to the electric motor shaft. It converts
mechanical power from the motor into fluid power to supply oil under pressure to the
circuit. A pressure relief valve limits system pressure and working forces to a safe
level by allowing oil to flow directly from the pump output back to the reservoir when
the pressure at the valve reaches a certain level. This level has been factory set to
6200 kPa (900 psi) @ 22C (72F). The maximum circuit pressure you will use
throughout this manual is about 4100 kPa (600 psi).

Figure 1-7. Inside view of the Power Unit.

Safety rules
The Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer has been designed with safety as a primary
concern. However, the instructor and student must be aware of certain potential
hazards that exist when using the Hydraulics Trainer.
a.

The Power Unit must be connected to an appropriate ac outlet with safety


ground. The ground connection must never be removed from the end of the
Power Unit line cord. If the cord does not fit your receptacle, call an electrician.
The electric cord should be inspected periodically to ensure that the insulation
has not deteriorated.

b.

The pressure relief valve on the Power Unit should NEVER be tampered with
or readjusted.

c.

Hoses, components, and other devices that are not part of the trainer should not
be used with the trainer because they may burst and injure the operator.

1-9

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer
d.

Avoid stretching or twisting the hoses. Also, avoid sharp bends which could
pinch or weaken the hose.

e.

Leaks on hydraulic equipment should never be tightened while there is pressure


in the system. Stop the Power Unit and release the pressure, then repair the
leak.

f.

Should a component or a system develop a leak that sprays or shoot a stream


of fluid, do not try to cover the leak. Immediately turn off the Power Unit. The
reason for this is that high pressure oil can be forced through your skin and
cause serious problems. Numerous fluid power personnel have been injected
with fluid. An awareness of this industrial hazard will help you protect yourself
and the others from injury. Should you be injected with any fluid, get immediate
medical attention.

g.

Use caution whenever any part of the trainer is under pressure. It is easy to
forget that immobile components may be pressurized to as much as 4100 kPa
(600 psi) or more. Make sure that the Power Unit is off whenever connecting or
disconnecting hoses.

h.

Hydraulic cylinders produce tremendous forces. Never place the cylinders in a


position where they may become wedged or confined between rigid parts of the
trainer. Damage to the operator and the unit could result.

Figure 1-8. Component safety.

i.

1-10

Cylinders may pinch fingers. Do not get your hands close to cylinders when
operating the unit.

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer
j.

When using the flywheel with the hydraulic motor, be sure it is free of sharp
edges or burrs. Do not allow the flywheel to turn in your hand. Always wear
leather gloves when holding the flywheel. Be sure the flywheel is tight on the
shaft.

k.

Oil spilled on the trainer or on the floor should be cleaned immediately. Use
rags or towels. Granular floor-dry should be avoided in the hydraulic laboratory
because it powders and gets into the hydraulic equipment.

l.

Always wear facility approved safety glasses whenever the Hydraulics Trainer
is being used.

m. Before disassembling your circuits, move the lever of the directional control valve
through all positions. This will release the pressure in the components and make
hose coupling and uncoupling easier.
n. Keep the trainer and its components clean and in good working order. Clean
plastic components with mild soap and water. Harsh cleanser can cause crazing.
Inspect components and other equipment for damage. Any damaged equipment
should not be used until further inspection indicates they are safe for operation.
Following the above safety rules allows you to use the Hydraulics Trainer without
injury.
Procedure summary
In the first part of the exercise, you will identify the various components of your
Hydraulics Trainer.
In the second part of the exercise, you will configure your work surface.
In the third part of the exercise, you will measure the pressure setting of the relief
valve in your Power Unit.
In the fourth part of the exercise, you will verify the condition of the return line filter
on your Power Unit.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Identifying the trainer components

1. Inspect your hydraulic Power Unit. To do so, identify the various


components of the unit by writing the appropriate names in the blank spaces
of Figure 1-9. Then, physically locate each component on your Power Unit.

1-11

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer

Figure 1-9. Identifying the Power Unit components.

2. The components illustrated in Figure 1-10 are supplied with your Hydraulics
Trainer. Get these components from their storage location, then look at the
symbol drawn on the sticker affixed on each component. Draw the symbol
of each component in Figure 1-10.

3. Examine the Pressure Gauges. These instruments convert pressure into


rotary motion which translates to a dial reading. Each Pressure Gauge is
equipped with three quick connect fittings. These fittings are interconnected,
so that the hoses connected to a gauge are also connected together.
The Pressure Gauges are calibrated in metric units of bars (bar) and in
english units of pounds per square inch (psi). They measure pressures
between 0 and 69 bar (0 and 6900 kPa) or 0 and 1000 psi. Based on the
Pressure Gauge dials, how many bar is 300 psi?

4. How many psi is 3500 kPa?


Note: 1 bar equals 100 kPa.

1-12

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer

Figure 1-10. Identifying the Hydraulics Trainer components.

1-13

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer
G

5. Examine the two 5-ports Manifolds. These devices are identical. Each
manifold has five quick connect fittings. These fittings are interconnected,
so that the hoses connected to a manifold are also connected together.
One of the two 5-ports Manifolds is used as a supply manifold. It receives
the oil under pressure directly from the Power Unit and supplies it to the
circuit. The other 5-ports Manifolds is used as a return manifold. It receives
the oil from the circuit and returns it to the Power Unit reservoir through the
filter.
To which port on the Power Unit must the supply manifold be connected?

To which port on the Power Unit must the return manifold be connected?

6. Examine the various valves of your trainer. Valves are used in hydraulics to
control pressure and flow. Some valves have two ports. Other valves have
more. List the number of ports on each trainer valve in Table 1-1.
TYPE OF VALVE

NUMBER OF PORTS

Flow Control Valve

Directional Control Valve


Relief Valve
Pressure Reducing Valve
Table 1-1. Identifying the trainer valves.

7. Examine the cylinders of your trainer. Cylinders are actuators that convert
fluid energy into linear mechanical power. The cylinders of your trainer are
of double-acting type because they work in both the extension and retraction
stroke of their piston rod. List the number of ports on each cylinder in
Table 1-2.

TYPE OF CYLINDER

Double-acting, 2.54-cm (1-in) bore x 1.59-cm


(0.625-in) rod x 10.16-cm (4-in) stroke cylinder
Double-acting, 3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore x 1.59-cm
(0.625-in) rod x 10.16-cm (4-in) stroke cylinder
Table 1-2. Identifying the trainer cylinders.

1-14

NUMBER OF PORTS

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer
Configuring the work surface

8. Install your work surface on a work table or on a support bench, if any. Make
sure the work surface is secured to the work table or support bench to
ensure that it will not move or fall down. If you use a support bench, make
sure the four caster brakes are locked.

9. Figure 1-11 shows different ways of configuring your work surface. The
main panel can be tilted to facilitate component mounting. Additional panels
can be mounted on the main panel to increase the work surface area. They
both can be tilted and used as control panels by mounting your hydraulic
instruments (Pressure Gauges and Flowmeter) on them.
Configure your work surface according to your preferences:

To help you lift and tilt the panels, lift handles have been supplied with
your trainer kit. To fasten a lift handle to a panel, align the fasteners of
the handle base plate with the panel perforations, then lock the handle
into place with the fasteners, as shown in Figure 1-12.

To tilt a panel, slowly lift it until the desired inclination is obtained, then
hold the panel in place using the two legs on the back of the panel.
Fasteners on the legs and perforations on each side of the panel allow
you to tighten down the legs, as shown in Figure 1-13. Tighten these
down.
CAUTION!
When using tilted surfaces, always check their legs to make
sure they are secure before turning on the Power Unit.
Failure to this important step may result in panels or
components coming loose from the trainer. The result can be
personal injury or equipment damage.

1-15

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer

Figure 1-11. Various work surface configurations.

1-16

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer

Figure 1-12. Fastening lift handles to a panel.

Figure 1-13. Tightening the panel legs.

1-17

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer
Measuring the pressure setting of the Power Unit relief valve

G 10. Set up the basic circuit shown in Figure 1-14. To do so, perform the
following steps:
a. Mount the supply manifold (5-ports Manifold) and the Pressure Gauge
on the work surface. Secure these components to the work surface:
align the fasteners on the component base plate with the perforations
of the work surface, then lock the components into place with the
fasteners.
Note: Do not mount the supply manifold too near of the edge of
the work surface. This will prevent oil from dripping onto the floor
when you disconnect hoses from the supply manifold.

b. Connect a hose between the pressure line port of the Power Unit and
the input port of the supply manifold, as Figure 1-14 shows. Connect a
second hose between one of the four remaining ports on the supply
manifold and one of the three ports on the Pressure Gauge.
To connect a hose, pull the knurled collar back over the hose end (see
Figure 1-15), push the hose onto the fitting until it seats firmly, then
release the collar. To make sure a hose is firmly connected, pull on the
hose. If it holds, it is correctly connected. Avoid stretching or twisting the
hoses. Also, avoid sharp bends which could pinch or weaken the hose.
To disconnect a hose, push the hose toward the fitting while pulling the
knurled collar back over the hose, then pull the hose off the fitting.

1-18

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer

Figure 1-14. Basic circuit to mount.

1-19

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer

Figure 1-15. Connecting and disconnecting a hose.

G 11. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a. Make sure your hoses are firmly connected.
b. Check the level of the oil in the reservoir as indicated by the
temperature/oil level indicator on the Power Unit. The red line indicates
the low oil level and the black line indicates the full oil level. With the
Power Unit off, oil should cover, but not be over, the black line above
the indicator, as Figure 1-16 shows.

Figure 1-16. Oil should cover but not be over the black line.

1-20

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer
Fresh oil must be added to the reservoir periodically because
disconnecting quick-connect fittings spills some oil. If required, add oil
by unscrewing the reservoir breather/filler cap and by filling the reservoir
up to the black line. Use one of the fluids listed on the information
sticker on the front of the reservoir. Spilled or drained oil should NOT be
re-used. If re-use is imperative, the oil must be carefully strained or
filtered as it is returned to the reservoir.
c. Put on safety glasses.
d. Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an appropriate ac outlet.

G 12. Turn on the Power Unit by setting its power switch to ON. Since the oil flow
is blocked at the Pressure Gauge because there is no return path to the
reservoir, all the pumped oil is now flowing through the pressure relief valve
inside the Power Unit.
The Pressure Gauge reading corresponds to the pressure setting of the
pressure relief valve and to the pressure at the pressure line port of the
Power Unit. Record the Pressure Gauge reading below.
Gauge pressure:

kPa or

psi

Note: If you are working with S.I. units, multiply the measured
pressure in bar by 100 to obtain the equivalent pressure in kPa.

G 13. Turn off the Power Unit.


Verifying the condition of the return line filter

G 14. Disconnect the end of the hose connected to the input port of the supply
manifold, then connect it to the return line port of the Power Unit, as
Figure 1-17 shows. This circuit allows all the pumped oil to return directly to
the reservoir through the Power Unit return line filter.

1-21

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer

Figure 1-17. Modified circuit.

G 15. Turn on the Power Unit.


G 16. Evaluate and record the reading of the Delta-P gauge on the return line
filter. This is the drop in pressure across the return line filter, in psi.
Delta-P gauge pressure:

kPa or

psi

If the pressure drop is greater than 70 kPa (10 psi), the filter needs to be
replaced. Does the filter need to be replaced?

G Yes

G No

G 17. Turn off the Power Unit. If the filter needs to be replaced, get instructors
attention. Appendix B of this manual indicates how to replace the filter.

1-22

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer
G 18. Disconnect all hoses and return them to the hose rack. The loose ends of
the hoses must be kept inside the drip pan to prevent oil from dripping on
the floor. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

G 19. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 20. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and the trainer. Properly dispose
of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.
CONCLUSION
In this exercise, you identified the various trainer components. You connected a
basic circuit restricting the system pressure through the pressure relief valve to
measure the valve pressure setting. Next, you connected the pressure line port to
the return line port on the Power Unit and verified that the pressure drop across the
return line filter was lower than 70 kPa (10 psi).
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Which port on the Power Unit provides oil under pressure to the circuit?

2. How many ports are there on the input manifold?

3. What is the purpose of the return manifold?

4. What does the Delta-P gauge on the return line filter measure?

5. Why is it necessary to have a pressure relief valve in a hydraulic circuit?

1-23

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer
6. In the circuit shown in Figure 1-18, what should be the pressure gauge reading?
Explain.

Figure 1-18. Circuit for review question 6.

1-24

Familiarization with the


Lab-Volt Hydraulics Trainer
7. Study the graphic diagram shown below and identify each of the lettered
symbols.
A.

E.

B.

F.

C.

G.

D.

H.

Figure 1-19. Symbol identification.

1-25

1-26

Exercise

1-2

Demonstration of Hydraulic Power

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To raise a heavy load using a small hydraulic actuator;


C To investigate a basic hydraulic circuit.
DISCUSSION
Hydraulic power is often called the muscle of industry. Hydraulic power can be
used to lift entire buildings, or to move huge heavy loads. One of the most common
hydraulic power applications is to raise various objects.

Figure 1-20. Directional control valve lever moved outward from the valve body.

Figure 1-20 shows a typical hydraulic circuit using a cylinder to lift and lower a heavy
load. A directional control valve controls the direction of oil flow in the system and,
therefore, the direction of motion of the cylinder piston. The valve has four ports,
labelled P, T, A, and B. P and T stand for pressure and tank (or reservoir), and A and
B are output ports. The valve can be operated in three different positions.

1-27

Demonstration of Hydraulic Power


When the directional control valve lever is moved outward from the valve body, as
in Figure 1-20, the oil from the pump flows through path P-B of the directional control
valve to the lower end of the cylinder. Since the oil is under pressure, it pushes up
on the piston inside the cylinder, which lifts the attached load. As the piston moves
upward, it forces the oil at the upper end of the cylinder to exit the cylinder. This oil
drains the cylinder to the reservoir through path A-T of the valve.
When the directional control valve lever is moved toward the valve body, as in
Figure 1-21, the oil from the pump flows through path P-A of the valve to the upper
end of the cylinder. The oil pushes the piston downward, which lowers the attached
load. At the same time, the oil at the lower end of the cylinder flows back to the
reservoir through path B-T of the directional control valve.

Figure 1-21. Directional control valve lever moved toward the valve body.

When the directional control valve lever is released, the valve automatically returns
to the center (neutral) position, as shown in Figure 1-22. In this position, all four ports
are blocked and oil cannot escape from either side of the cylinder. This stops the
movement of the piston and causes oil to flow from the pump back to the reservoir
through the pressure relief valve.

1-28

Demonstration of Hydraulic Power

Figure 1-22. Directional control valve lever centred.

Procedure summary
In the first part of the exercise, you will try to lift the hydraulic Power Unit by yourself.
In the second part of the exercise, you will set up and operate a hydraulic circuit
using a small-bore cylinder to raise and lower the Power Unit.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Estimating the weight of the Power Unit

1. Make sure the Power Unit line cord is disconnected from the wall outlet.
Make sure there are no hoses connected to the Power Unit.

1-29

Demonstration of Hydraulic Power

2. Try to lift the Power Unit to feel how heavy it is. Be careful not to tip or drop
the Power Unit. Can the Power Unit be easily lifted?

G Yes
G

G No

3. How much do you think the Power Unit weighs?

Setup

4. Get the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore cylinder from your storage location. Remove the
cylinder from its adapter by unscrewing its retaining ring, as shown in
Figure 1-23. Make sure the cylinder tip (bullet) is removed from the cylinder
rod end.

Figure 1-23. Unscrew the retaining ring and remove the cylinder.

1-30

5. Insert the cylinder rod into the cylinder hole in the Power Unit lifting frame,
as shown in Figure 1-24 a). Fasten the cylinder to the lifting frame by
tightening its retaining ring securely.

Demonstration of Hydraulic Power

Figure 1-24. Power Unit installation.

6. Make sure the Power Unit is near of your work surface. Position the lifting
frame over the Power Unit, with its open side at the rear of the Power Unit,
as Figure 1-24 b) shows.

1-31

Demonstration of Hydraulic Power


CAUTION!
For safety purposes, the base of the lifting frame has three
full sides used to prevent anybody from placing his feet
under the Power Unit when it is lifted. Therefore, make sure
the open side of the lifting frame is at the rear of the Power
Unit.

7. Get an extra-long hose (1.52 m/60 in) from your storage location and fill it
with oil. To do so, connect one end of the hose to the pressure line port on
the Power Unit and the other end to the return port of the Power Unit.
Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a. Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add fresh oil if required.
b. Put on safety glasses.
c. Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
d. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.
Turn on the Power Unit by setting its power switch to ON; this will fill the
hose with oil. Turn off the Power Unit.
Remove the hose filled with oil and fill a second extra-long hose with oil by
repeating the same procedure. Turn off the Power Unit and remove the
second hose.

8. Connect the two ports of the cylinder to each other by using one of the
extra-long hoses you filled with oil. Slowly pull the piston rod of the cylinder
out until it touches the lifting attachment on the Power Unit, as
Figure 1-24 c) shows.

9. Fasten the cylinder to the Power Unit by screwing the lifting attachment onto
the threaded end of the cylinder rod, as Figure 1-24 d) shows. Then,
disconnect the hose from the cylinder.

G 10. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 1-25. Use the two extra-long hoses filled
with oil to connect the cylinder to ports A and B of the Directional Control
Valve. Relate each hose connection of this circuit to the pictorial diagram in
Figure 1-26.
Note: For ease of connection, the Directional Control Valve
supplied with your Hydraulics Trainer is bolted to a sub-plate to
which the hoses can be connected. The arrangement of ports P,
T, A, and B on the valve subplate does not follow the symbol for
the directional valve appearing on the manufacturer nameplate on
top of the valve and on the Lab-Volt symbol sticker. Thus, port P
actually faces port B on the subplate, while port T faces port A.
Therefore, always refer to the letters stamped on the valve
subplate when connecting the valve into a circuit.

1-32

Demonstration of Hydraulic Power

Figure 1-25. Setup used for lifting the Power Unit.

1-33

Demonstration of Hydraulic Power

Figure 1-26. Connection diagram of the circuit in Figure 1-25.

G 11. Have your instructor verify your setup. Do NOT proceed to the next step
until your setup has been approved.
Lifting the Power Unit using a small cylinder

G 12. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following steps:
a. Make sure the hoses and the Power Unit line cord will not become
wedged between rigid parts of the trainer when the Power Unit is lifted.
b. Make sure the Relief Valve is connected correctly. The Pressure (P)
port must be connected to the supply manifold. The Tank (T) port must
be connected to the return manifold. The Vent (V) port must be left
unconnected.
c. Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.
d. Put on safety glasses.

1-34

Demonstration of Hydraulic Power


G 13. Pull the Relief Valve adjustment knob and turn it fully counterclockwise,
then turn it 3 turns clockwise. Use the vernier scale on the knob for
accurate adjustment.

G 14. Turn the Flow Control Valve adjustment knob fully clockwise, then turn it
1 turn counterclockwise. Use the vernier scale on the knob for accurate
adjustment.

G 15. Make sure that all persons are standing clear of the Power Unit. Turn on the
Power Unit. The cylinder rod should not move yet.

G 16. Retract the cylinder rod by moving the lever of the Directional Control Valve
outward from the valve body, as Figure 1-27 shows. Keep the lever shifted
until the rod is fully retracted, then release it. What happens to the Power
Unit?
CAUTION!
Do not place any part of your body under the Power Unit
while it is hanging from the lifting frame.

Figure 1-27. Directional Control Valve lever positions.

G 17. Extend the cylinder rod by moving the lever of the Directional Control Valve
toward the valve body. What happens to the Power Unit?

1-35

Demonstration of Hydraulic Power


G 18. Move the lever of the Directional Control Valve outward from the valve body,
then release it while the cylinder is retracting and in midstroke. Does the
cylinder rod stop or does the Power Unit begin to move downward?

G 19. Turn off the Power Unit. Does the Power Unit begin to move downward?
G Yes

G No

G 20. Move the lever of the Directional Control Valve toward the valve body. The
weight of the Power Unit will push the cylinder down. Keep the lever shifted
until the rod is fully extended and the Power Unit has returned to the ground,
then release it.

G 21. Open the Relief Valve completely by turning its adjustment knob fully
counterclockwise.

G 22. Disconnect the line cord of the Power Unit from the wall outlet. Disconnect
all hoses. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.
Note: If you experience difficulty to disconnect equipment, move
the directional valve lever back and forth to relieve static pressure
that might be trapped in the A and B cylinder lines.

G 23. Unscrew the cylinder from the lifting attachment on the Power Unit. Unscrew
the ring retaining the cylinder to the lifting frame. Remove the cylinder from
the lifting frame. Reinstall the cylinder on its adapter by fastening its
retaining ring securely.

G 24. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 25. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and from the trainer. Properly
dispose of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.
CONCLUSION
In the first part of this exercise, you tried to lift the Power Unit by yourself and saw
that it was quite heavy. You then set up and operated a circuit using a small
hydraulic cylinder to lift and lower the Power Unit. The small cylinder easily lifted and
lowered the Power Unit. Hydraulic circuits are often used as non-flowing or static
circuits. Static circuits transmit power by pushing on a confined liquid, as opposed
to dynamic circuits, which transmit power by using the energy associated with motion
of a liquid.
1-36

Demonstration of Hydraulic Power

REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What caused the cylinder rod to retract during this exercise?

2. How do you explain that such a small cylinder can lift such a heavy load?

3. Figure 1-28 shows the circuit you used in this exercise (without the Relief Valve
and Flow Control Valve ). Draw arrow heads on the lines in Figure 1-28 to show
the flow of fluid in your circuit. Use arrow heads as illustrated in the diagram.

Figure 1-28. Circuit for review question 3.

1-37

1-38

Unit

Fundamentals

UNIT OBJECTIVE
When you have completed this unit, you will be able to state the laws governing
hydraulics, and perform simple calculations involving force, pressure, area, velocity,
and rate of flow.
DISCUSSION OF FUNDAMENTALS
Hydraulic equipment is found in industry, on agricultural machinery, and on
construction machinery, as Figure 2-1 shows. While each machine or job may use
a different style of components in its circuits, the concept or basic ideas behind these
components is the same.
This unit demonstrates how flowing oil behaves and shows the difference between
flowing and non-flowing systems. This may be your first exposure to physical laws
such as the Pascals Law. As you proceed, you will be introduced to several other
laws which you will test and use. You will find that these laws are very important in
the field of hydraulics.

2-1

Fundamentals

Figure 2-1. Hydraulic applications.

2-2

Exercise

2-1

Pressure Limitation

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To introduce the operation of a pressure relief valve.


C To establish the oil flow path in a circuit using a pressure relief valve.
C To connect and operate a circuit using a pressure relief valve.
DISCUSSION
Pressure limitation
Pressure is the amount of force exerted against a given surface. Flow is the
movement of fluid caused by a difference in pressure between two points. Fluid
always flows from a higher pressure point to a lower pressure point. The city
waterworks, for example, builds up a pressure greater than the atmospheric pressure
in our water pipes. As a result, when we turn on a water tap, the water is forced out.
When two parallel paths of flow are available, fluid will always take the path of least
resistance. An example of this in the everyday life would be a garden hose branching
into two sections, as Figure 2-2 shows. One section is blocked, while the other
section allows water to move freely in it. All the water will flow through the unblocked
section since it is less restrictive than the blocked section. The input pressure will
rise just enough for the water to flow through the unblocked section. The pressure
in the blocked section will not build up beyond the level required to make the water
flow in the unblocked section. The pressure gauges in Figure 2-2, therefore, will
indicate low, equal pressures.

Figure 2-2. Unrestricted flow path.

2-3

Pressure Limitation
Now what happens if we squeeze the unblocked section so that water is restricted
but not completely confined, as Figure 2-3 shows? All the water will flow through the
squeezed section since it is still less restrictive than the blocked section. The input
pressure will rise to the level necessary to flow through the restricted path. The
pressure in the blocked section will not build up beyond the needs of the squeezed
section. The pressure gauges in Figure 2-3, therefore, will indicate high, equal
pressures.

Figure 2-3. Restricted flow path.

So we see that the pressure in the blocked section can never be higher than the
pressure in the unblocked section. In fact, these pressures will always be equal. If
the restricted section were closed completely, confining water instead of merely
restricting it, the pressure in both sections would equal the maximum pressure
available at the input.
In a hydraulic circuit, flow is produced by the action of a pump, which continuously
discharges the oil at a certain flow rate. Pressure is not created by the pump itself
but by resistance to the oil flow. When the oil is allowed to flow with no resistance
through a hydraulic circuit, the pressure in that circuit is theoretically zero. When the
flow is resisted, however, the circuit pressure increases to the amount necessary to
take the easier path.
Relief valves
Figure 2-4 shows a hydraulic circuit consisting of two parallel paths of flow. The oil
from the pump can pass through a relief valve or through a hydraulic circuit
consisting of a directional control valve and a cylinder.
The relief valve can be compared to the hand in the hose example previously
described. It limits the maximum pressure in the system by providing an alternate
flow path to the reservoir whenever the oil flow to the circuit is blocked, as when the
directional valve is in the blocked center position or when the cylinder is fully
extended or retracted.

2-4

Pressure Limitation
The relief valve is connected between the pump pressure line and reservoir. It is
normally non-passing. It is adjusted to open at a pressure slightly higher than the
circuit requirement and divert the pumped oil to the reservoir when this pressure is
reached.
In Figure 2-4, for example, all the oil from the pump flows through the circuit as long
as the cylinder is not fully extended because the circuit provides an easier path than
the relief valve. While the cylinder is extending, the pressure rises only to the amount
necessary to force oil on the rod side of the cylinder into the reservoir (here 700 kPa,
or 100 psi).

Figure 2-4. Oil flows through the circuit.

Once the cylinder is fully extended, the cylinder circuit becomes blocked and the
pumped oil can no longer flow through it. The system pressure climbs to 3450 kPa
(500 psi), then the relief valve opens and the oil is dumped back to the reservoir at
the relief valve pressure setting of 3450 kPa (500 psi), as Figure 2-5 shows.
Thereafter, no flow occurs throughout the circuit and the pressure is equal
throughout. The circuit pressure, therefore, cannot build up beyond the relief valve
pressure setting.

2-5

Pressure Limitation

Figure 2-5. Oil flows through the relief valve.

Hydraulics Trainer relief valves


Your Hydraulics Trainer contains two relief valves. One of these valves, called main
relief valve, is located inside the Power Unit. The other valve, called secondary
relief valve, is supplied with your kit of hydraulic components. The two valves are
identical. However, you will operate the secondary valve only. The main valve is
factory-set at a higher pressure than the secondary valve. It is used as an additional
safety device for backing up the secondary valve. It should not be readjusted or
tampered with.
Figure 2-6 illustrates the relief valve supplied with your kit of hydraulic components.
This valve is of pilot-operated type. The valve body has three ports: a pressure (P)
port, which is to be connected to the pump pressure line, a tank (T) port, which is to
be connected to the reservoir, and a vent (V) port, which is used for control of the
valve from a remote point by external valve. The use of the vent port will be
discussed in detail in Exercise 4-4. When not used, this port should be left
unconnected.
By sensing the upstream pressure on the P port of the valve, an internal spool
controls the flow of oil through the valve by acting on a large spring. The pressure
level where the spool is wide open and all the pumped oil passes through the valve
is called relieving pressure, or full-open pressure.
The relieving pressure can be set by using the adjustment knob on the valve body.
Turning the knob clockwise increases the compression of a small spring located
above the valve spool, which increases the relieving pressure and allows higher
pressures to build up in the circuit. Notice that the knob must first be pulled before
it can be turned. When the knob is released, a spring forces the knob to engage a
fixed spline. This prevents vibrations and shocks from changing the adjustment.

2-6

Pressure Limitation
The pressure at which the relief valve begins to open is called cracking pressure.
This pressure is below the valve relieving pressure. At cracking pressure, the valve
opens just enough to let the first few drops of oil through. Pressure override is the
pressure difference between the cracking pressure and the relieving pressure.
Before turning on the Power Unit, the valve should always be completely open
(adjustment knob turned fully counterclockwise) to allow the pump to start under the
lightest load and to prevent the system components from being subjected to
pressure surges. Once the Power Unit is running, the relief valve can be closed
gradually until the desired pressure is reached.
REFERENCE MATERIAL
For detailed information on pilot-operated relief valves, refer to the chapter entitled
Pilot Operated Pressure Control Valve in the Parker-Hannifins manual Industrial
Hydraulic Technology.

2-7

Pressure Limitation

Figure 2-6. The trainer Relief Valve.

Procedure summary
In the first part of the exercise, you will measure the cracking pressure of the Relief
Valve supplied with your kit of hydraulic components. You will adjust the valve
relieving pressure by modifying the compression of its spring.
In the second part of the exercise, you will test the effect of pressure limitation on a
basic hydraulic circuit.

2-8

Pressure Limitation

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Relief valve operation

1. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 2-7. Refer to the connection diagram
shown in Figure 2-8 to make your connections.
Note: As Figure 2-7 shows, the vent (V) port of the Relief Valve
is unused in this circuit. Therefore, leave this port unconnected.

Figure 2-7. Schematic diagram of the circuit for adjusting the Relief Valve.

2-9

Pressure Limitation

Figure 2-8. Connection diagram of the circuit for adjusting the Relief Valve.

2. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.
f. Open the Relief Valve completely. To do so, pull the valve adjustment
knob and turn it fully counterclockwise.

3. Turn on the Power Unit by setting its power switch to ON. Since the oil flow
is blocked at gauge A, all the pumped oil is now being forced through the
Relief Valve.
The pressure reading of gauge A is the minimum pressure required to
develop an oil flow through the valve (cracking pressure). It corresponds to
the pressure required to counteract the resistance of the spring inside the
valve. Record below the pressure reading of gauge A.
Cracking pressure =

2-10

kPa or

psi

Pressure Limitation
Note: The Trainer Pressure Gauges provide bar and psi
readings. Since bar is a metric unit of measurement for
pressures, students working with S.I. units must multiply the
measured pressure in bars by 100 to obtain the equivalent
pressure in kilopascals (kPa).

4. Now, compress the spring of the Relief Valve by turning its adjustment knob
clockwise 2 turns. Use the vernier scale on the knob for the adjustment.
What is the reading of gauge A?
Pressure =

kPa or

psi

5. Why does the pressure reading increase as the spring compression is


increased?

6. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob fully clockwise while watching the
reading of gauge A. Can the pressure level be increased beyond 6200 kPa
(900 psi)? Why?

7. Turn off the Power Unit.

8. Based on the cracking pressure recorded in step 3, at which pressure will


the Relief Valve start to open if the relieving pressure is set to 3450 kPa
(500 psi)?

Limiting system pressure

9. Modify the existing circuit in order to obtain the circuit shown in Figures 2-9
and 2-10. Make sure to mount the 3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore cylinder in a
position where its rod can extend freely.

2-11

Pressure Limitation
Note: For ease of connection, the Directional Control Valve
supplied with your Hydraulics Trainer is bolted to a subplate to
which the hoses can be connected. The arrangement of ports P,
T, A, and B on the valve subplate does not follow the symbol for
the directional valve appearing in Figure 2-9 and on the
manufacturer nameplate on top of the valve. Thus, port P actually
faces port B on the subplate, while port T faces port A. Therefore,
always refer to the letters stamped on the valve subplate when
connecting the valve into a circuit.

Figure 2-9. Schematic diagram of the cylinder actuation circuit.

G 10. Make sure the hoses are firmly connected. Open the Relief Valve
completely by turning its adjustment knob fully counterclockwise.

G 11. Turn on the Power Unit.


G 12. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until gauge A reads
1400 kPa (200 psi).

G 13. Stay clear of the cylinder rod. Move the lever of the Directional Control
Valve toward the valve body, which should extend the cylinder rod. Then,
move the lever outward from the valve body, which should retract the rod.

2-12

Pressure Limitation

Figure 2-10. Connection diagram of the cylinder actuation circuit.

G 14. While watching the reading of gauge A, move the lever of the directional
valve toward the valve body to extend the cylinder rod. What is the pressure
at gauge A during the extension stroke of the rod?
Pressure =

kPa or

psi

G 15. What is the pressure at gauge A when the cylinder is fully extended?
Pressure =

kPa

or

psi

G 16. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body to
retract the cylinder rod.

G 17. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until gauge A reads
2100 kPa (300 psi).

2-13

Pressure Limitation
G 18. While watching the reading of gauge A, move the lever of the directional
valve toward the valve body to extend the cylinder rod. What is the pressure
at gauge A during the extension stroke of the cylinder rod?
Pressure =

kPa or

psi

G 19. What is the pressure at gauge A when the cylinder rod is fully extended?
Pressure =

kPa or

psi

G 20. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body to
retract the cylinder rod.

G 21. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely by turning its
adjustment knob fully counterclockwise.

G 22. Explain the reason for the nearly identical pressures registered during
cylinder extension at the two relief valve pressure settings.

G 23. Why does the circuit pressure increase when the cylinder rod is fully
extended?

G 24. Disconnect all hoses. It may be necessary to move the directional valve
lever back and forth to relieve static pressure; the quick connects can then
be removed. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

G 25. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 26. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and the trainer. Properly dispose
of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.

2-14

Pressure Limitation
CONCLUSION
In the first part of the exercise, you measured the minimum pressure setting of a
relief valve by connecting the valve between the pump pressure line and reservoir
and by opening the valve completely.
You then modified the valve relieving pressure by increasing the compression of its
internal spring, which increased the circuit pressure.
In the second part of the exercise, you tested the effect of pressure limitation on a
basic hydraulic circuit. You learned that pressure changes depend on the movement
of oil through the circuit. When the cylinder rod extends or retracts, the circuit
pressure rises only to the amount required to force oil out of the cylinder back into
the reservoir. When the cylinder rod becomes fully extended or retracted, however,
the circuit pressure rises to the relief valve pressure setting.
Up to that point, we have seen that pilot-operated relief valves provide pressure
control by sensing pressure upstream on their input line. Pilot-operated relief valves
can also sense pressure in another part of the system or even in a remote system
by means of a vent line. This type of operation is identified as remote control and is
achieved through the use of the relief valve vent port. Remote control of a relief valve
will be described in detail in Exercise 4-4.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What is the purpose of a relief valve?

2. Explain the difference between the main relief valve in the Power Unit and the
Relief Valve supplied with your kit of hydraulic components (secondary relief
valve)?

3. What type of relief valve is used in your Hydraulics Trainer?

2-15

Pressure Limitation
4. What might happen to a hydraulic system if the tank port of the relief valve is not
connected to the power unit return line port?

5. Define the term cracking pressure.

6. In the circuit of Figure 2-11, what will be the pressure reading of gauge A during
cylinder extension and when the cylinder is fully extended if the relief valve
pressure setting is changed from 3400 kPa (500 psi) to 6900 kPa (1000 psi)?
Note: The pressure required to extend the cylinder rod is 600 kPa
(85 psi).

Figure 2-11. Circuit for review question 6.

2-16

Exercise

2-2

Pressure and Force

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To verify the formula F = P x A using a cylinder and a load spring;


C To discover what happens to a cylinder when equal pressure is applied to each
side of its piston;
C To explain the concept of pressure distribution in a cylinder in equilibrium of
forces;
C To determine the weight of the Power Unit given the pressure required to lift it.
DISCUSSION
Pascals Law
Pascals Law states that pressure applied on a confined fluid is transmitted
undiminished in all directions, and acts with equal force on equal areas, and
at right angles to them.
Figure 2-12 illustrates this basic properties of fluids. The bottle in this example is
completely filled with a non-compressible fluid. When a stopper is placed in the top
of the bottle, and a force is applied to the top of the stopper, the fluid inside the bottle
resists compression by pushing with an equal pressure in all directions.

Figure 2-12. Force applied to a confined fluid.

The generated pressure is equal to the force applied to the top of the stopper divided
by the area of the stopper. In equation form:

2-17

Pressure and Force


S.I. units:

English units:

As you can see, pressure is measured in Newtons per 10 square centimeters (kPa)
in S.I. units, or in pounds per square inch (psi) in English units. In physics formula,
the word per can be rewritten as a division sign.
Memorizing the pyramid in Figure 2-13 will make rearranging of formula P = F/A
easier. In the pyramid, the letter on the top row equals the product of the bottom two
letters. A letter on the bottom row equals the top letter divided by the other bottom
letter.

Figure 2-13. Rearranging formulas.

Hydraulic pressure versus cylinder force


In a hydraulic circuit, the force that pushes the oil, attempting to make it flow, comes
from a mechanical pump. When the oil pushed on by the pump is confined within
a restricted area, as in the body of a cylinder, there is a pressure build-up, and this
pressure can be used to do useful work.
As you can see, pressure is not created by the pump but by resistance to the
oil flow. The amount of pressure created in a circuit will only be as high as required
to counteract the least resistance to flow in the circuit. Resistance to flow mainly
comes from three sources: resistance to motion of the load attached to the cylinder,
frictional resistance of the cylinder seals, and frictional resistance of the inner wall
of the hoses.

2-18

Pressure and Force


In Figure 2-14, the oil from the pump is confined in the cap end of the cylinder. As
a result, pressure develops in the cap end of the cylinder. This pressure is exerted
evenly over the entire surface of the cap end of the cylinder. It acts on the piston,
resulting in a mechanical force to push the load.

Figure 2-14. Cylinder pushing a load.

To find the amount of force generated by the piston during its extension, we can
rewrite the formula P = F/A as F = P x A. Therefore, the generated force is equal to
the pressure in the cap end of the cylinder times the piston area being acted upon.
This area is called full area, or face area.
In Figure 2-15, the oil from the pump is confined in the rod end of the cylinder. As
a result, pressure develops in the rod end of the cylinder. This pressure is exerted
evenly over the entire surface of the rod end of the cylinder. It acts on the piston,
resulting in a mechanical force to pull the load.

2-19

Pressure and Force

Figure 2-15. Cylinder pulling a load.

This time, however, the generated force is lower because the piston area available
for the pressure to act on is reduced by the fact that the cylinder rod covers a portion
of the piston. This area is called annular area, or donut area. Therefore, the system
must generate more pressure to pull than to push the load.
Conversion factors
Table 2-1 shows the conversion factors used to convert measurements of force,
pressure, and area from S.I. units to English units and vice versa.

2-20

Pressure and Force


Force
Newtons (N)

x 0.225

= Pounds-force
(lb; lbf)

x 4.448

= Newtons (N)

x 0.145

= Pounds-force
per square inch
(psi; lb/in2; lbf/in2)

x 6.895

= Kilopascals (kPa)

x 0.155

= Square inches
(in2)

x 6.45

= Square centimeters
(cm2)

Pressure
Kilopascals (kPa)

Area
Square centimeters
(cm2)

Table 2-1. Conversion factors.

For example, the pressure generated by the fluid in Figure 2-12 is 10 kPa, in
S.I. units, or 1.45 psi, in English units, as demonstrated below:
S.I. units:

English units:

REFERENCE MATERIAL
For additional information on the relationship between force and pressure, refer to
the chapters entitled Hydraulic Transmission of Force and Energy and Hydraulic
Actuators in the Parker-Hannifins manual Industrial Hydraulic Technology.
Procedure summary
In the first part of the exercise, you will verify the formula F = P x A by measuring the
compression force of a cylinder on a loading device.
In the second part of the exercise, you will predict and demonstrate what happens
when equal pressure is applied to both sides of a piston.
In the third part of the exercise, you will determine how much pressure there is in
each side of a cylinder in equilibrium of forces.

2-21

Pressure and Force


In the fourth part of the exercise, you will measure the pressure required to lift the
Power Unit in order to determine its weight.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Conversion of pressure to force

1. What is the formula for determining the force in a hydraulic system?

2. If the bore diameter, D, of a cylinder piston equals 3.81 cm (1.5 in), calculate
the full area, Af, of this piston. Use the formula shown in Figure 2-14. It is
given below for your convenience.

3. Using this area and the formula from step 1, calculate the theoretical force
of the cylinder for the pressure levels in Table 2-2. Record your calculations
in Table 2-2 under THEORETICAL.
PRESSURE APPLIED ON
FULL PISTON AREA

THEORETICAL CYLINDER
FORCE

ACTUAL CYLINDER FORCE

3500 kPa (500 psi)


2800 kPa (400 psi)
2100 kPa (300 psi)
Table 2-2. Cylinder force versus pressure.

2-22

4. Remove the 3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore cylinder from its adapter by unscrewing
its retaining ring. Make sure the cylinder tip (bullet) is removed from the
cylinder rod end.

5. As Figure 2-16 (a) shows, screw the cylinder into the Loading Device until
the load piston inside the Loading Device begins to push on the spring and
the cylinder fittings point upwards. Do not use a tool to turn the cylinder!

Pressure and Force

Figure 2-16. Loading device assembly.

Note: If the 3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore cylinder is not fully retracted,


do not try to screw the cylinder into the Loading Device. Instead
connect the cylinder actuation circuit of Figure 2-10. Turn the
knob of the relief valve fully counterclockwise, then turn on the
power unit. Actuate the lever of the directional control valve to
retract the cylinder rod fully, then turn off the power unit.
Disconnect the circuit. Now screw the cylinder into the Loading
Device as shown in Figure 2-16 (a).

2-23

Pressure and Force


G

6. Clip the NEWTON/LBF-graduated ruler to the Loading Device, and align the
0 Newton or 0 lbf mark with the colored line on the load piston.
Figure 2-16 (b) shows ruler installation for measurement of forces in
Newtons (N). The ruler must be installed on the other side of the Loading
Device in order to measure forces in pounds (lbf or lb).

7. Connect the circuit shown in Figures 2-17 and 2-18.

Figure 2-17. Schematic diagram of the circuit for measuring the output force of a cylinder.

8. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.
f. Open the Relief Valve by turning its adjustment knob fully
counterclockwise.

2-24

Pressure and Force

Figure 2-18. Connection diagram of the circuit for measuring the output force of a cylinder.

9. Turn on the Power Unit.

G 10. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to direct
the pumped oil toward the cap end of the cylinder. While keeping the valve
lever shifted, turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the
pressure at gauge A equals 4100 kPa (600 psi). Observe that the applied
pressure caused the cylinder to compress the spring in the Loading Device.

G 11. With the lever of the directional valve still shifted toward the valve body, turn
the Relief Valve adjustment knob counterclockwise to decrease the
pressure at gauge A at 3500 kPa (500 psi). Note the force reading on the
Loading Device, and record this value in Table 2-2 under ACTUAL.
Note: To counteract hysteresis of the spring load device and
obtain a more accurate force reading at 3500 kPa (500 psi), the
pressure applied to the cylinder piston must first be set at
4100 kPa (600 psi) and then decreased at 3500 kPa (500 psi).

2-25

Pressure and Force


G 12. By shifting the directional valve lever and adjusting the knob on the Relief
Valve to decrease the pressure at gauge A in steps, measure the force
reading for the pressure levels in Table 2-2. Record your results in
Table 2-2.

G 13. When you have finished, move the directional valve lever outward from the
valve body to retract the rod, then turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief
Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

G 14. Compare the actual forces you obtained in the experiment with the
theoretical forces in Table 2-2. Are these values within 10% of each other?

G Yes

G No

G 15. Does force increase or decrease as pressure increases?

Applying equal pressure on both sides of a piston

G 16. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 2-19. Use the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore
cylinder.

Figure 2-19. Applying equal pressure on both sides of a piston.

2-26

Pressure and Force


Note: If the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore cylinder is not fully retracted, do
not connect the circuit of Figure 2-19. Instead connect the
cylinder actuation circuit shown in Figure 2-10. Open the relief
valve completely, then turn on the power unit. Actuate the lever
of the directional valve to retract the cylinder rod fully, then turn
off the power unit. Disconnect the circuit. Now, connect the circuit
of Figure 2-19.

G 17. Examine the circuit of Figure 2-19. This circuit applies equal pressure to the
full and annular sides of the piston. However, the piston area available for
the pressure to act on is less on the annular side because the cylinder rod
covers a portion of the piston. Given that force is equal to pressure
multiplied by area, predict which side of the piston will develop the most
force.

G 18. What do you think will happen to the cylinder rod?

G 19. Turn on the Power Unit.


G 20. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the circuit pressure
at gauge A equals 2100 kPa (300 psi).

G 21. While observing the cylinder rod, move the lever of the directional valve
toward the valve body so that the pumped oil is directed toward both sides
of the cylinder piston. In which direction does the rod move? Why?

G 22. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the relief valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).
Pressure distribution in a cylinder in equilibrium of forces

G 23. Disconnect the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore cylinder from the circuit. Connect the two
ports of this cylinder to the return manifold. Slowly push the piston rod in
until it is retracted half way. Disconnect the cylinder from the return
manifold, then connect the circuit shown in Figure 2-20 (a).

2-27

Pressure and Force

Figure 2-20. Determining pressure distribution in a cylinder.

2-28

Pressure and Force


G 24. Examine the circuit in Figure 2-20 (a). The oil in the rod side of the cylinder
is captured because there is no return path to the reservoir. The piston
cannot move because the oil cannot be compressed. The pressures in the
cap and rod sides build until the forces exerted on both sides of the piston
are exactly equal.

The force on the full area of the piston is:

The force on the annular area of the piston is:

Since these forces are equal:

Based on the above formulas, predict which gauge in Figure 2-20 (a) will
read the most pressure. Explain.

G 25. Turn on the Power Unit. Turn the relief valve adjustment knob clockwise
until the input pressure at gauge A (Pf) is 1400 kPa (200 psi). Then, record
the output pressure at gauge B (Pa) in Table 2-3.
INPUT PRESSURE
AT GAUGE A
(Pf)

PART A
INPUT
PRESSURE
APPLIED ON
FULL PISTON
AREA

INPUT
PRESSURE
APPLIED ON
ANNULAR
AREA

INPUT/OUTPUT
PRESSURE RATIO
(Pf/Pa)

RECIPROCAL OF
AREA RATIO (Aa/Af)

OUTPUT PRESSURE AT
GAUGE B (Pf)

INPUT/OUTPUT
PRESSURE RATIO
(Pa/Pf)

RECIPROCAL OF
AREA RATIO (Af/Aa)

1400 kPa
(200 psi)
2100 kPa
(300 psi)
INPUT PRESSURE
AT GAUGE A (Pa)

PART B

OUTPUT PRESSURE AT
GAUGE B
(Pa)

1400 kPa
(200 psi)
2100 kPa
(300 psi)
Table 2-3. Pressure distribution in the cylinder of Figure 2-20.

G 26. Increase the Relief Valve pressure setting until the input pressure at
gauge A is 2100 kPa (300 psi) and again record the output pressure at
gauge B in Table 2-3.

G 27. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).

G 28. Switch the two hoses connected to the ports of the cylinder with each other
so that the rod end is connected to gauge A and the cap end is connected
to gauge B, as Figure 2-20 (b) shows.

2-29

Pressure and Force

G 29. Examine the circuit in Figure 2-20 (b). Predict which gauge will read the
most pressure. Explain why.

G 30. Turn on the Power Unit. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise
until the input pressure at gauge A (Pa) is 1400 kPa (200 psi). Record the
output pressure at gauge B (Pf) in Table 2-3.

G 31. Increase the Relief Valve pressure setting until the input pressure at
gauge A is 2100 kPa (300 psi) and again record the output pressure at
gauge B in Table 2-3.

G 32. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).

G 33. Complete the fourth column of Table 2-3, INPUT/OUTPUT PRESSURE


RATIO, using the input and output pressures registered in parts A and B of
the experiment.

G 34. Complete the fifth column of Table 2-3, RECIPROCAL OF AREA RATIO,
given that the piston diameter, D, is 2.54 cm (1 in) and the rod diameter, d,
is 1.59 cm (0.625 in). Use the formulas below to determine Af and Aa.
Af = D x 0.7854
Aa = (D ! d) x 0.7854

G 35. In a cylinder in equilibrium of forces, the ratio of input to output pressure is


theoretically equal to the reciprocal (inverse) of the area ratio.
Compare the input/output pressure ratios Pf/Pa in Table 2-3, part A, with the
reciprocal of area ratio, Aa/Af. Also, compare the input/output pressure ratios
Pa/Pf in Table 2-3, part B, with the reciprocal of area ratio, Af/Aa. Are the
pressure ratios approximately equal to the reciprocal of area ratio?

G Yes

2-30

G No

Pressure and Force


Measuring the weight of the Power Unit

G 36. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet.
G 37. Disconnect the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore cylinder from the circuit, then remove the
cylinder from its adapter.

G 38. Insert the cylinder rod into the cylinder hole in the Power Unit lifting frame,
then fasten the cylinder to the lifting frame by tightening its retaining ring
securely. Position the lifting frame over the Power Unit, with its open side at
the rear of the Power Unit.

G 39. Connect the two cylinder ports together using a hose full of oil, then pull the
piston rod out until it touches the lifting attachment on the Power Unit.
Fasten the cylinder to the Power Unit by screwing the lifting attachment onto
the threaded end of the cylinder rod. Then, disconnect the hose from the
cylinder.

G 40. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 2-21.


CAUTION!
Make sure the hoses and Power Unit line cord will not
become wedged between rigid parts of the trainer when the
Power Unit is lifted.

G 41. Plug the Power Unit line cord into the wall outlet, then turn on the Power
Unit.

G 42. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body and
slowly turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the Power Unit
begins to rise. Then, release the valve lever.

G 43. According to gauge A, how much pressure is currently applied on the


annular area of the cylinder piston?
Pressure =

kPa or

psi

G 44. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to return the
Power Unit to the ground.

2-31

Pressure and Force

Figure 2-21. Circuit used to lift the Power Unit.

G 45. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).

G 46. Based on the annular pressure recorded in step 43, determine the weight
(mass) of the Power Unit in both S.I. and English units.

Note: 1 Newton is equal to 0.1019 kilogram.

G 47. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet, then disconnect all
hoses. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

G 48. Unscrew the cylinder from the Power Unit lifting attachment. Unscrew the
ring retaining the cylinder to the lifting frame. Remove the cylinder from the
lifting frame. Reinstall the cylinder on its adapter by fastening its retaining
ring securely.

G 49. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.
2-32

Pressure and Force

G 50. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and from the trainer. Properly
dispose of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.
CONCLUSION
In this exercise, you learned that the force exerted on a given surface is directly
proportional to the pressure applied on this surface. Since the relationship between
force and pressure is linear, it is possible to predict the force exerted by the cylinder
at any pressure setting.
You also learned what happens when equal pressure is applied to both sides of a
piston. Since the working area on the rod side of the cylinder is less than the working
area on the cap side of the cylinder, the piston has a tendency to extend when equal
pressure is applied to each end.
You then determined the pressure distribution in a cylinder in equilibrium of forces.
The cylinder was blocked and the oil was captured in the cylinder, so the pressures
in the cap and rod sides had to build until the forces exerted on both sides of the
piston were exactly equal. The rod side of a cylinder in equilibrium of forces must
build more pressure than the cap side because the working area on the rod side
(annular area) is less than the working area on the cap side (full area).
Finally, you measured the pressure required to lift the Power Unit using the 2.54-cm
(1-in) bore cylinder. You then calculated the force exerted on the annular area of the
piston using the measured pressure and the formula F = P x A. This force was
corresponding to the weight (mass) of the Power Unit.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What is the formula for calculating the force in a hydraulic system? How can you
rewrite this formula to calculate pressure?

2. What is the formula for calculating the surface area of a piston?

3. How much pressure must be applied to the cap end of a 2.54-cm (1-in) bore
cylinder in order to compress a spring 5.08 cm (2 in), if the spring rate is
728 N/cm (416 lb/in)?

2-33

Pressure and Force


4. In the circuit of Figure 2-20 (a), what will be the pressure at gauge B if the
pressure at gauge A pressure is raised to 3500 kPa (500 psi)?

5. In the circuit of Figure 2-20 (b), what will be the pressure at gauge B if the
pressure at gauge A pressure is raised to 3500 kPa (500 psi)?

2-34

Exercise

2-3

Flow Rate and Velocity

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To describe the operation of a flow control valve;


C To establish the relationship between flow rate and velocity;
C To operate meter-in, meter-out, and bypass flow control circuits.
DISCUSSION
Flow rate is the volume of fluid passing a point in a given period of time. Flow rate
is often measured in liters per minute (l/min) in metric units. It is usually measured
in US gallons per minute [gal(US)/min] in English units. 1 l/min equals
0.264 gal(US)/min.
Figure 2-22 shows an example. If 100 liters (26.4 US gallons) of water flow past the
bridge within one minute, then the river has a flow rate of 100 l/min
[26.4 gal(US)/min].

Figure 2-22. River flowing under a bridge.

Velocity is the average speed of a particle of fluid past a given point. In hydraulics,
velocity is often measured in centimeters per min (cm/min) in metric units, or in
inches per min (in/min) in English units.

2-35

Flow Rate and Velocity


In a hydraulic line, the rate of oil flow is equal to the oil velocity multiplied by the line
cross-sectional area. In equation form:
Metric units:

Note: A liter is 1000 cm3. Therefore, divide the number of cubic centimeters
per minute (cm3/min) by 1000 to obtain flow rates in l/min.

English units:

Note: A US gallon is 231 in3. Therefore, divide the number of cubic inches per
minute (in3/min) by 231 to obtain flow rates in gal(US)/min.

The above formulas tell us that a constant flow rate will result in a higher velocity
when the cross-sectional area decreases or a lower velocity when the crosssectional area increases. In fact, the velocity of oil is inversely proportional to the
cross-sectional area. Figure 2-23 shows an example, in which a constant flow rate
is pumped through two pipes of different diameters. The cross-sectional area of
pipe B is twice as large as the cross-sectional area of pipe A. Oil velocity in pipe B,
then, is only half as fast as oil velocity in pipe A.

Figure 2-23. Relationship between oil velocity and cross-sectional area.

Flow rate and rod speed


The speed at which a cylinder rod moves is determined by how fast the pump can
fill the volume behind the cylinder piston. The more flow the cylinder receives, the
more quickly the volume behind the piston will fill with oil and the faster the rod will
extend or retract.

2-36

Flow Rate and Velocity


The speed of a cylinder rod (V) is calculated by dividing the oil flow rate (Q) by the
piston area (A) being acted upon. In equation form:

The extension speed of a cylinder rod, then, is equal to the oil flow rate divided by
the full piston area, as Figure 2-24 shows. The flow rate and piston area are
multiplied by multiplication constants for correct numerical results. Figure 2-24 also
shows the formula for calculating the extension time of the cylinder rod, which is a
variation of the formula used to calculate the extension speed.

Figure 2-24. Rod speed during extension.

The retraction speed of a cylinder rod is equal to the oil flow rate divided by the
annular piston area, as Figure 2-25 shows. Since there is less volume to fill during
retraction, the rod will retract faster than it extends for any given flow rate.

2-37

Flow Rate and Velocity

Figure 2-25. Rod speed during retraction.

Flow measurement
The rate of oil flow is measured with an instrument called flowmeter. Figure 2-26
shows the Flowmeter provided with your Hydraulics Trainer. Inside the Flowmeter
is a red mark on a white indicating ring. The ring slides over a graduated cylinder,
indicating the amount of flow. The Flowmeter must be connected for the direction of
flow to be measured, the input port being at the bottom of the scale.
The trainer Flowmeter is graduated in liters per minute (lpm) only. As we said at the
beginning of the exercise, liters per minute is a metric unit of measurement for flow
rates. When working with English units, the measured flow rate in liters per minute
must be multiplied by 0.264 for determining the equivalent flow rate in US gallons per
minute [gal(US)/min].
Note: The trainer Flowmeter provides a lpm reading. Lpm means exactly the
same as l/min, that is, liters per minute. Since, however, l/min is the metric unit
commonly used for measuring flow rates, flow values in liters per minute will be
expressed in l/min throughout the manual.

2-38

Flow Rate and Velocity

Figure 2-26. Trainer Flowmeter.

Flowmeters are designed to accurately read the rate of flow at a specific oil
temperature. At lower temperatures, the oil is thick, which places extra pressure on
the internal parts of the flowmeter and causes the flowmeter reading to be slightly
higher than the actual flow rate. As the oil warms and becomes thinner, the
flowmeter reading gets closer to the actual flow value.
Flow control valves
A flow control valve is an adjustable resistance to flow that operates very much like
a faucet. By adjusting the resistance, or opening, of this valve, you can modify the
rate of oil flow to a cylinder and, therefore, the speed of its piston rod.
Since the flow control valve increases the circuit resistance, the pump must apply a
higher pressure to overcome this resistance. This may open the relief valve partially,
causing some part of the pumped oil to return to the reservoir through the relief
valve, and less oil to go to the flow control valve and cylinder.
Figure 2-27 shows an example. The pump in this figure has a constant flow rate of
3.0 l/min [0.8 gal(US)/min]. The sum of the flow rates in the two parallel paths of flow,
then, will always be equal to 3.0 l/min [0.8 gal(US)/min]. Decreasing the opening of
the flow control valve will cause more oil to go to the relief valve and less oil to go to
the cylinder. Conversely, increasing the opening of the flow control valve will cause
less oil to go to the relief valve and more oil to go to the cylinder.

2-39

Flow Rate and Velocity

Figure 2-27. Parallel flow paths.

A basic rule of hydraulics states that whenever oil flows through a component, there
is a pressure difference, or pressure drop ()P) across the component, due to
frictional resistance, or opposition to the oil flow, of the component. The pressure
drop increases as the component resistance increases. In Figure 2-27, for example,
the smaller the flow control valve opening, the higher the resistance of the valve, and
the greater the pressure drop across the valve. When the valve is open completely,
the valve resistance to oil flow is minimum, so the pressure drop across the valve is
also minimum.
Figure 2-28 shows the Flow Control Valve supplied with your kit of hydraulic
components. It consists of a needle valve and a check valve integrated in one
package.
The needle valve is an adjustable orifice restricting the oil flow from the input to the
output port. The check valve allows the oil to flow freely from the output to the input
port, however it keeps the oil from flowing in the other direction. Turning the Flow
Control Valve knob counterclockwise increases the needle valve orifice and allows
more oil to pass through the valve, which increases the cylinder speed.
The trainer Flow Control Valve is of non-compensated type. This means that the
valve does not compensate for pressure changes in the system, resulting in a
different flow rate through the needle valve for the same needle setting.
Some flow control valves compensate for pressure changes in the system by
adjusting the pressure drop across the needle valve, which maintains a constant flow
rate through the needle valve for the same needle setting. These valves are of
pressure-compensated type.

2-40

Flow Rate and Velocity

Figure 2-28. Non-compensated Flow Control Valve.

Flow control circuits


There are three ways to meter the oil flow in order to control the speed of a cylinder,
which are: meter-in, meter-out, and bypass.
With the meter-in method, the flow control valve is connected in series between the
pump and the cylinder, as Figure 2-29 (a) shows. It restricts the working oil flow to
the cylinder. The extra flow delivered by the pump is drained back to the reservoir
through the relief valve. This method is useful to control cylinders having a load that
resists to the pump delivery, as cylinders raising a load.

2-41

Flow Rate and Velocity

Figure 2-29. Basic flow control circuits.

With the meter-out method, the flow control valve is connected in series between
the cylinder and the reservoir, as Figure 2-29 (b) shows. It restricts the flow away
from the cylinder. The extra flow delivered by the pump is drained back to the
reservoir through the relief valve. This method is useful to slow down cylinders
having a load that tends to run away, as cylinders lowering a load.
With the bypass method, the flow control valve is connected between the pump and
the reservoir, as Figure 2-29 (c) shows. The extra flow is diverted directly to the
reservoir through the flow control valve. This method is more energy efficient than
the meter-in and meter-out methods because the extra flow returns to the reservoir
at the load pressure rather than at the relief valve pressure. However, this method
is less accurate because it does not provide direct control of the working flow to the
cylinder.
Conversion factors
Table 2-4 shows the conversion factors used to convert measurements of flow
rate, velocity, and area from S.I. (or metric) units to English units, and vice versa.

2-42

Flow Rate and Velocity


FLOW RATE
Liters per minute
(l/min)

x 0.264 =

US gallons per
minute [gal(US)/min]

x 3.79 =

Liters per minute


(l/min)

x 0.394 =

Inches per minute


(in/min)

x 2.54 =

Centimeters per
minute (cm/min)

x 0.155 =

Square inches (in2)

x 6.45 =

Square
centimeters (cm2)

VELOCITY
Centimeters per
minute (cm/min)

AREA
Square
centimeters (cm2)

Table 2-4. Conversion factors.

REFERENCE MATERIAL
For additional information on flow control valves and flow control circuits, refer to the
chapter entitled Flow Control Valves in the Parker-Hannifins manual Industrial
Hydraulic Technology.
Procedure summary
In this exercise, you will test the operation of meter-in, meter-out, and bypass flow
control circuits while noting the actuation times and pressure drops across the trainer
Flow Control Valve. Then, you will test the effect of a meter-out circuit on an overrunning load.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Meter-in flow control circuit

1. What is the formula for calculating the extension time, t, of a piston rod?
(Refer to Figure 2-24.)

2-43

Flow Rate and Velocity


G

2. Using this formula, calculate the extension time of the 3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore
cylinder rod for the flow rates in Table 2-5. The stroke length, L, is 10.16 cm
(4 in). Record your calculations in Table 2-5 under THEORETICAL.

3. Connect the circuit shown in Figures 2-30 and 2-31. This circuit meters the
oil flow going to the cylinder.
Notice that the Flow Control Valve must be connected so that the arrow
points away from the pump.

Figure 2-30. Schematic diagram of a meter-in flow control circuit.

2-44

Flow Rate and Velocity

Figure 2-31. Connection diagram of a meter-in flow control circuit.

4. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.
f. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

5. Close the Flow Control Valve completely by turning its adjustment knob fully
clockwise.

6. Turn on the Power Unit.

7. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body and observe
the pressure reading at gauge A. Since the Flow Control Valve is fully
2-45

Flow Rate and Velocity


closed, the pumped oil is blocked at the Flow Control Valve and is now
being forced through the relief valve, so gauge A indicates the minimum
pressure setting of the relief valve. While keeping the directional valve lever
shifted, turn the relief valve adjustment knob clockwise until gauge A reads
2100 kPa (300 psi).

8. With the lever of the directional valve still shifted toward the valve body,
open the Flow Control Valve, 1 turn counterclockwise, to extend the rod.
You should observe that the extension speed increases as you increase the
opening of the Flow Control Valve.

9. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body to
retract the rod. Did the rod retract faster than it extended?

G Yes

G No

G 10. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend the
cylinder rod. As the rod extends, close the Flow Control Valve completely
by turning its adjustment knob fully clockwise. Does the Flow Control Valve
provide direct control of the rod speed?

G Yes

G No

G 11. Retract the rod by moving the lever of the directional valve outward from the
valve body. Observe that the rod still retracts at full speed even though the
Flow Control Valve is completely closed. Explain why.

G 12. Open the Flow Control Valve 1 turn counterclockwise.


G 13. Now adjust the Flow Control Valve to 1.5 l/min [0.40 gal(US)/min]*. To do
so, move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend
the cylinder rod. As the cylinder extends, observe the Flowmeter reading.
Adjust the Flow Control Valve so that the Flowmeter reads 1.5 l/min
[0.40 gal(US)/min], then retract the rod. Accurate adjustment may require
that the cylinder be extended and retracted several times.
Note: The trainer Flowmeter provides a lpm reading. Lpm
means exactly the same as l/min, that is, liters per minute.
Since, however, l/min is the metric unit commonly used for
measuring flow rates, flow values in liters per minute will be
expressed in l/min throughout this manual.

2-46

Flow Rate and Velocity

G 14. Measure the time required for the rod to extend fully using a stopwatch or
the second hand on a watch. Record this value in Table 2-5 under
ACTUAL. Also record the readings of gauges A and B while the rod is
extending. When you have finished, retract the rod.
FLOW RATE TO
CYLINDER

THEORETICAL
EXTENSION
TIME

ACTUAL
EXTENSION
TIME

GAUGE A

GAUGE B

)P
(GAUGE A !
GAUGE B)

1.5 l/min
0.40 gal(US)/min
2.0 l/min
0.53 gal(US)/min
2.5 l/min
0.66 gal(US)/min
Table 2-5. Meter-in flow control circuit data.

G 15. Repeat steps 13 and 14 for the other flow rates in Table 2-5.
G 16. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely by turning its
adjustment knob fully counterclockwise.

G 17. Compare the actual and theoretical extension times registered in Table 2-5.
Are these values within 10% of each other?

G Yes

G No

G 18. Does the rod speed increase or decrease as the flow rate decreases?

G 19. Calculate the pressure drop (GAUGE A ! GAUGE B) across the Flow
Control Valve for each flow rate in Table 2-5. Record your results in
Table 2-5 under )P.

G 20. According to Table 2-5, does the pressure drop across the valve increase
or decrease as the opening of the valve is increased? Why?

2-47

Flow Rate and Velocity


Meter-out flow control circuit

G 21. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 2-32. This circuit meters the oil flow
going out of the cylinder.
Notice that the Flow Control Valve must be connected so that the arrow
points toward the pump.

Figure 2-32. Meter-out flow control circuit.

G 22. Close the Flow Control Valve completely by turning its adjustment knob fully
clockwise.

G 23. Turn on the Power Unit.


G 24. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body to
retract the cylinder rod completely. With the cylinder rod fully retracted, all
the oil from the pump now flows through the Relief Valve and gauge B
indicates the minimum pressure setting of the Relief Valve. While keeping
the directional valve lever shifted, turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob
clockwise until gauge B reads 2100 kPa (300 psi).

G 25. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend the
cylinder rod. As the rod extends, open the Flow Control Valve 1 turn
counterclockwise. You should observe that the extension speed of the rod
increases as you increase the Flow Control Valve opening. Retract the rod.

2-48

Flow Rate and Velocity

G 26. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend the
cylinder rod. As the rod extends, close the Flow Control Valve completely
(turn knob fully clockwise). Does the Flow Control Valve provide direct
control of the rod speed?

G Yes

G No

G 27. Retract the rod. Does the setting of the Flow Control Valve have an effect
on the retraction speed?

G Yes

G No

G 28. Adjust the Flow Control Valve so that the Flowmeter reads 1.5 l/min
[0.40 gal(US)/min] as the rod extends, then retract the rod.

G 29. Measure the extension time of the cylinder rod. Record this value in
Table 2-6 under EXTENSION. Also record the readings of gauges A and
B while the rod is extending.
FLOW RATE FROM
CYLINDER

EXTENSION
TIME

GAUGE A

GAUGE B

)P (GAUGE A !
GAUGE B)

1.5 l/min
0.40 gal(US)/min
2.0 l/min
0.53 gal(US)/min
2.5 l/min
0.66 gal(US)/min
Table 2-6. Meter-out flow control circuit data.

G 30. Repeat steps 28 and 29 for the other flow rates in Table 2-6.
G 31. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).

G 32. Calculate the pressure drop (GAUGE A ! GAUGE B) across the Flow
Control Valve for each flow rate in Table 2-6. Record your results in
Table 2-6 under )P.

2-49

Flow Rate and Velocity

G 33. According to Table 2-6, does the pressure drop across the valve increase
or decrease as the opening of the valve is increased? Why?

G 34. Are the pressure drops in Table 2-6 for a meter-out circuit similar to the
pressure drops in Table 2-5 for a meter-in circuit? Why?

Bypass flow control circuit

G 35. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 2-33. This circuit diverts the extra flow
directly to the reservoir through the Flow Control Valve. Notice that the Flow
Control Valve must be connected so that the arrow points toward the pump.

G 36. Close the Flow Control Valve completely by turning its adjustment knob fully
clockwise.

G 37. Turn on the Power Unit.


G 38. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend the
piston rod completely. With the Flow Control Valve closed and the cylinder
rod fully extended, all the oil from the pump now flows through the Relief
Valve and gauge A indicates the pressure setting of the Relief Valve. While
keeping the directional valve lever shifted, adjust the Relief Valve so that
gauge A reads 2100 kPa (300 psi). Then, retract the rod completely.

2-50

Flow Rate and Velocity

Figure 2-33. Bypass flow control circuit.

G 39. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend the
rod fully. Since there is no bypass flow path between the pump and the
reservoir (i.e., since the flow control valve is fully closed), all the oil flow
goes to the cylinder and the rod extension time is minimum. Retract the rod,
then extend it and measure the rod extension time. Also, note the flowmeter
reading while the rod extends. Record your results in the first row of
Table 2-7.
BYPASS FLOW PATH

ROD EXTENSION TIME

None (flow control valve


fully closed)

Minimum:

Open (flow control valve


fully open)

Maximum:

Partially open (flow


control valve partially
open)

Intermediate:

FLOW RATE

Table 2-7. Bypass flow control circuit data.

G 40. Retract the rod, then open the Flow Control Valve completely by turning its
adjustment knob fully counterclockwise. Extend the rod fully. Since the
bypass flow path is open (i.e., since the Flow Control Valve is open), the oil
flow is diverted directly to the reservoir and the rod extension time is
2-51

Flow Rate and Velocity


maximum. Retract the rod, then extend it and measure the rod extension
time. Also, note the flowmeter reading while the rod extends. Record your
results in the second row of Table 2-7.

G 41. Retract the rod. Calculate the difference ()t) between the maximum and
minimum rod extension times recorded in Table 2-7. Then, determine the
intermediate rod extension time and record your result in the last row of
Table 2-7.

)t = maximum extension time


extension time (no bypass) =
s

(with

bypass)

Intermediate extension time = minimum extension time


+ )t/2 =
s

minimum

(without bypass)

G 42. Extend and retract the rod several times and adjust the flow control valve so
that the rod extension time is equal to the intermediate value obtained in
step 41. Note and record the Flowmeter reading when the rod extends at
the intermediate speed in the last row of Table 2-7.

G 43. Continue to experiment with bypass flow control by varying the opening of
the Flow Control Valve and observing the effect that this has on the rod
extension time. Record your observations.

Controlling the speed of an over-running load

G 44. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet.
G 45. Remove the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore cylinder from its adapter. Make sure the
cylinder tip (bullet) is removed from the cylinder rod end.

G 46. Insert the cylinder rod into the cylinder hole in the Power Unit lifting frame,
then fasten the cylinder to the lifting frame by tightening its retaining ring
securely. Position the lifting frame over the Power Unit, with its open side at
the rear of the Power Unit.

G 47. Connect the two cylinder ports together using a hose full of oil, then pull the
piston rod out until it touches the lifting attachment on the Power Unit.
Fasten the cylinder to the Power Unit by screwing the lifting attachment onto
the threaded end of the cylinder rod. Then, disconnect the hose from the
cylinder.
2-52

Flow Rate and Velocity

G 48. Connect the circuit used to lift the Power Unit shown in Figure 2-34. The
Flow Control Valve will restrict the flow going out of the cylinder.
CAUTION!
Make sure the hoses and the Power Unit line cord will not
become wedged between rigid parts of the trainer when the
Power Unit is lifted.

Figure 2-34. Meter-out circuit with over-running load.

G 49. Open the Flow Control Valve completely by turning its adjustment knob fully
counterclockwise.

G 50. Plug the Power Unit line cord into a wall outlet, then turn on the Power Unit.
G 51. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until gauge A reads
2800 kPa (400 psi).

G 52. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body to lift the
Power Unit. Then, move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve
body. Does the Power Unit returns to ground uncontrolled?

G Yes

G No

2-53

Flow Rate and Velocity

G 53. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body to lift the
Power Unit, then release the lever. Close the Flow Control Valve completely
by turning its adjustment knob fully clockwise.

G 54. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body. Does the
Power Unit return to ground? Why?

G 55. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body and slowly
open the Flow Control Valve c turn. Does the Power Unit return to ground
suddenly or smoothly? Why?

G 56. Once the Power Unit has returned to ground, move the lever of the
Directional Control Valve outward from the valve body to lift the Power Unit.
Is the lifting speed controlled by the Flow Control Valve? Explain why.

G 57. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body until the Power
Unit has returned to ground.

G 58. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).

G 59. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet, then disconnect all
hoses. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

G 60. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe any hydraulic oil
residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 61. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and the trainer. Properly dispose
of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.

2-54

Flow Rate and Velocity


CONCLUSION
By now, you are familiar with flow control valves. The circuits you studied in this
exercise show the three basic flow control techniques. As you tested the flow control
circuits, you saw how well hydraulic devices can be controlled under different
conditions.
In the first part of this exercise, you used meter-in control to change the cylinder
extension speed. At the same time, you observed that the setting of the Flow Control
Valve had little effect on the speed of retraction. This was due to the check valve
inside the valve. The meter-in control is straight-forward. This control works best
against a load which does not change direction. Hydraulic presses and positioning
equipment are good examples of such a load.
In the second part of the exercise, you used meter-out control to change the cylinder
extension speed. The meter-out circuit is useful in controlling loads that might
suddenly start pulling on the actuator and tend to run away. Earth moving equipment
is designed to lift and dump loads. At the point where the load begins to drop quickly,
a meter-out control circuit keeps flow from moving out of the rod end of the cylinder
and generates a back pressure to keep the bucket from falling uncontrolled.
In the third part of the exercise, you tested a bypass flow control circuit. It is fairly
different from the meter-in and meter-out circuits. The extra flow is diverted directly
to the reservoir through the Flow Control Valve. This method is more energy efficient
than the meter-in and meter-out controls because the extra flow returns to the
reservoir at the load pressure rather than at the relief valve pressure. However, this
method is less accurate because it does not provide direct control of the working flow
to the cylinder.
Finally, you tested the effect of a meter-out circuit on an over-running load. Without
a meter-out circuit, the Power Unit falls uncontrolled to the ground. With a meter-out
circuit, the Power Unit smoothly returns to the ground. The speed at which it returns
to the ground can be controlled by modifying the Flow Control Valve opening.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What happens to the speed of a piston rod as the diameter of the piston
increases but the flow rate remains the same? Explain.

2. Find two ways to decrease the speed at which a cylinder rod extends or retracts.

2-55

Flow Rate and Velocity


3. What flow rate is required to make a 10.16-cm (4-in) bore x 3.81-cm (1.5-in) rod
x 30.48-cm (12-in) stroke cylinder extend in 6 seconds?

4. Describe the route of hydraulic oil moved by the pump and not metered through
the flow control valve in either a meter-in or meter-out circuit.

5. What type of metering circuit is used to control cylinders having a load that
resists to the pump delivery, as cylinders raising a load?

6. What type of metering circuit is used to slow down cylinders having a load that
tends to run away, as cylinders lowering a load?

7. Name one advantage and one disadvantage of a bypass flow control circuit over
the meter-in and meter-out circuits.

2-56

Exercise

2-4

Work and Power

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To define the terms work and power;


C To establish the relationship between force, work, and power;
C To calculate the work, power, and efficiency of a hydraulic system.
DISCUSSION
Work
Work is the motion of a load through a distance that results in something useful
being done. Work is expressed in units of force multiplied by distance. In hydraulic
systems, work is measured in Joules (J) or Newton-meters (N@m) in S.I. units, and
in feet-pounds (ft@lb) in English units.
When the exerted force is constant throughout the motion of the load, the amount
of performed work is equal to the force exerted multiplied by the distance moved. In
equation form:
S.I. units:

English units:

In Figure 2-35, for example, if the cylinder exerted a force of 100 N (22.5 lb) over a
vertical distance of 1 m (3.28 ft), then 100 J (73.8 ftAlb) of work was accomplished.

2-57

Work and Power

Figure 2-35. Performed work: 100 J (73.8 ft@lb).

Power
Power is the rate at which work is done. It is measured in watts (W) in S.I. units, or
in horsepower (hp) in English units. Power is equal to the amount of work performed
in a given period of time. In equation form:
S.I. units:

English units:

Note: A horsepower (hp) is 550 ft@lb per second. Therefore, divide the number
of feet-pounds (ft@lb) by 550 to obtain power in hp.

2-58

Work and Power


In Figure 2-35, for example, if the 100 J (73.8 ft@lb) work were done in 2 seconds, the
rate of doing work would be
S.I. units:

English units:

Conversion of power in a hydraulic system


A hydraulic system operates through a two-step power conversion process, as
Figure 2-36 shows.

Figure 2-36. Conversion of power in a hydraulic system.

The first step is for the pump to convert the mechanical power given to it by the
motor into fluid power. The second step is for the cylinder to convert the fluid power
back into mechanical power to move the load.
Pump output power
The amount of fluid power generated by the pump is equal to the circuit flow rate
multiplied by the circuit pressure. In equation form:
S.I. units:

English units:

2-59

Work and Power


Thus, an increase in either circuit pressure or flow rate will increase the fluid power
generated by the pump. Conversely, if system pressure or flow rate decreases, the
fluid power generated by the pump will decrease.
Dissipated power
As Figure 2-37 shows, not all the fluid power from the pump is converted into
mechanical power at the cylinder. Some power is lost as heat by frictional resistance
to oil flow in the hoses, valves, and cylinder seals.

Figure 2-37. Power distribution in a hydraulic system.

The amount of power dissipated as heat by any component is equal to the rate of oil
flow through the component multiplied by the pressure drop across it. In equation
form:
S.I. units:

English units:

2-60

Work and Power


Efficiency
The electric motor which drives the hydraulic pump in your Power Unit consumes
electrical power. Electrical power is measured in watts. If the electric motor, the
pump, the transmission hoses, and all components were 100% efficient, the electric
motor would consume the same amount of power as the cylinder in Figure 2-36.
However, because some energy is always lost as heat from friction, the electric
motor will consume more power than the cylinder.
Often, the overall efficiency of a hydraulic system must be calculated to know how
much power is actually being used. The formula for overall system efficiency as a
percentage is:

Notice that the output and input power values for this equation must be stated in the
same kind of units (watt, horsepower, etc.)
Sometimes, however, we are more interested in knowing the efficiency of the
hydraulic circuit itself, that is, the amount of pump output power actually being used
by the cylinder. The formula for hydraulic circuit efficiency as a percentage is:

Conversion factors
Table 2-8 shows the conversion factors used to convert measurements of work
and power from S.I. units to English units, and vice versa.
Work
Joules (J)

x 0.738 =

Foot-pounds (ft@lb)

x 1.355 =

= Joules (J)

Horsepower (hp)

x 745.7 =

= Watts (W)

Power
Watts (W)

x 0.0013 =

Table 2-8. Conversion factors.

REFERENCE MATERIAL
For additional information on work and power, refer to the chapter entitled The
Physical World of a Machine in the Parker-Hannifins manual Industrial Hydraulic
Technology.

2-61

Work and Power


Procedure summary
In the first part of the exercise, you will lift the Power Unit using the small cylinder.
You will measure the retraction time and the pressure required at the cylinder piston,
then you will calculate the cylinder work and power.
In the second part of the exercise, you will restrict the oil flow from the pump with the
Flow Control Valve. You will measure the pump output power and the amount of
power dissipated by the valve at several different pressures.
In the third part of the exercise, you will calculate the efficiency of the circuit used to
lift the Power Unit, using the data collected in the first and second parts of the
exercise.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Cylinder work and power

2-62

1. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet.

2. Remove the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore cylinder from its adapter by unscrewing its
retaining ring. Make sure the cylinder tip (bullet) is removed from the
cylinder rod end.

3. Insert the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore cylinder rod into the cylinder hole in the Power
Unit lifting frame. Fasten the cylinder to the lifting frame by tightening its
retaining ring securely. Position the lifting frame over the Power Unit, with
its open side at the rear of the Power Unit.

4. Connect the two cylinder ports together using a hose. Pull out the piston rod
until it touches the lifting attachment on the Power Unit. Fasten the cylinder
to the Power Unit by screwing the lifting attachment onto the threaded end
of the cylinder rod. Then, disconnect the hose from the cylinder.

5. Connect the circuit shown in Figures 2-38 and 2-39.

Work and Power

Figure 2-38. Schematic diagram of the circuit for measuring cylinder work and power.

2-63

Work and Power

Figure 2-39. Connection diagram of the circuit for measuring cylinder work and power.

CAUTION!
Make sure the Power Unit line cord will not become wedged
between the Power Unit and the lifting frame when the Power
Unit is lifted.

6. Before turning on the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an appropriate outlet.
f. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

2-64

7. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise), then
open it turn.

Work and Power

8. Turn on the Power Unit.

9. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the pressure reaches
4200 kPa (600 psi) at gauge A.

G 10. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body to raise
the Power Unit. Measure the time the cylinder takes to retract fully as
accurately as possible. Record the retraction time in Table 2-9.
RETRACTION
TIME

ANNULAR
PRESSURE

DEVELOPED
FORCE

CYLINDER
WORK

CYLINDER
POWER

Table 2-9. Cylinder work and power.

G 11. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to return the
Power Unit to the ground.

G 12. Perform the following steps to accurately measure the pressure required at
the cylinder to lift the Power Unit:

Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob fully counterclockwise to set the
pressure to minimum.

Move the directional valve lever outward from the valve body and slowly
increase the Relief Valve pressure setting (turn knob clockwise) until the
Power Unit begins to rise. Then, release the valve lever.

Record in Table 2-9 the annular pressure required to raise the power
unit, as indicated by gauge B.
Note: The pressure reading at gauge B may slowly drop after the
directional valve lever is released, due to internal leakage in the
directional valve. Take your reading immediately after the valve
lever is released.

G 13. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to return the
Power Unit to the ground. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve
completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

G 14. Using the formula F = P x A, calculate the force developed by the cylinder
to lift the Power Unit, based on the annular pressure registered in Table 2-9.
Record your calculated value in Table 2-9.

2-65

Work and Power


G 15. Calculate the amount of work accomplished by the cylinder to lift the Power
Unit, based on the force value registered in Table 2-9, and on a moved
distance of 0.102 m (0.333 foot). Record your calculated value in Table 2-9.
Note: The moved distance corresponds to the cylinder stroke
length. This length is 10.16 cm (4 in), or 0.102 m (0.333 foot).

G 16. Calculate the amount of power developed at the cylinder when the Power
Unit is lifted, based on the retraction time and work values registered in
Table 2-9. Record your calculated value in Table 2-9.

G 17. Disconnect all hoses and wipe off any hydraulic oil residue. Unscrew the
cylinder from the Power Unit lifting attachment. Unscrew the ring retaining
the cylinder to the lifting frame. Remove the cylinder from the lifting frame.
Reinstall the cylinder on its adapter by fastening its retaining ring securely.
Pump output power and power dissipation

G 18. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 2-40.

Figure 2-40. Circuit for measuring the pump output power and dissipated power.

G 19. Close the Flow Control Valve completely by turning its adjustment knob fully
clockwise.

2-66

Work and Power


G 20. Turn on the Power Unit.
G 21. With the Flow Control Valve fully closed, all the oil from the pump is flowing
through the Relief Valve and gauge A indicates the minimum pressure
setting of the relief valve. Turn the relief valve adjustment knob clockwise
until gauge A reads 4200 kPa (600 psi).

G 22. Open the Flow Control Valve completely by turning its adjustment knob fully
counterclockwise. The full pump flow should now be going through the Flow
Control Valve. Record below the reading of the Flowmeter.
Full pump flow =

l/min or

gal(US)/min

Note: The trainer Flowmeter is graduated in liters per minute


only. If you are working with English units, multiply the measured
flow rate in liters per minute by 0.264 for determining the
equivalent flow rate in gallons (US) per minute.

G 23. Now reduce the Flow Control Valve opening until the circuit pressure at
gauge A is 1400 kPa (200 psi). Since the system pressure is below the
Relief Valve pressure setting, the flow rate indicated by the Flowmeter is the
maximum flow available from the pump at this pressure. Record the
Flowmeter reading in Table 2-10 under FLOW. Also, record the pressure
reading at gauge B.
CIRCUIT
PRESSURE
(GAUGE A)

FLOW RATE

PRESSURE
AT GAUGE B

PUMP OUTPUT
POWER

POWER
DISSIPATED
BY VALVE

1400 kPa
(200 psi)
2100 kPa
(300 psi)
2800 kPa
(400 psi)
3500 kPa
(500 psi)
Table 2-10. Power dissipation versus pressure drop.

G 24. Repeat step 23 for the other pressures listed in Table 2-10.
G 25. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely by turning its
adjustment knob fully counterclockwise.

G 26. Using the values recorded in Table 2-10, plot the pump flow rate versus
pressure data on the graph of Figure 2-41.
2-67

Work and Power

Figure 2-41. Flow rate versus circuit pressure.

G 27. According to Figure 2-41, does the flow rate decrease as the system
pressure increases? Explain.

G 28. Calculate the pump output power for each circuit pressure listed in
Table 2-10, based on the registered flow values. Record your calculations
in Table 2-10 under PUMP OUTPUT POWER.

2-68

Work and Power

G 29. Does the pump output power increase as the Flow Control Valve opening
is decreased? If so, explain why.

G 30. Calculate the amount of power dissipated by the Flow Control Valve for
each circuit pressure listed in Table 2-10, based on the registered flow rate
and on the pressure drop (gauge A - gauge B) across the valve. Record
your calculations in 2-10 under POWER DISSIPATED BY VALVE.

G 31. Does the dissipated power increase as the Flow Control Valve opening is
decreased? If so, explain why.

Efficiency

G 32. Record below the annular pressure required to lift the Power Unit, as
registered in Table 2-9 of this exercise.

G 33. Based on the curve plotted in Figure 2-41, what is the pump flow rate at the
pressure level recorded in step 32?

G 34. Calculate the pump output power at the pressure and flow rate recorded in
steps 32 and 33. Record your calculated value in Table 2-11 under PUMP
OUTPUT POWER.
PUMP OUTPUT POWER

CYLINDER OUTPUT
POWER

EFFICIENCY

Table 2-11. Circuit efficiency.

G 35. Record in Table 2-11 the amount of power developed at the cylinder when
the Power Unit is lifted, as registered in Table 2-9.

2-69

Work and Power

G 36. Calculate the efficiency of the circuit used to lift the Power Unit, based on
the data registered in Table 2-11. Record your calculated value in
Table 2-11.

G 37. Was the circuit used to lift the Power Unit 100% efficient? Why?

G 38. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet, then disconnect all
hoses. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

G 39. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 40. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and the trainer. Properly dispose
of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.
CONCLUSION
In the first part of the exercise, you used formulas to calculate work and power from
the results of your tests. You were able to find the amount of work performed by the
cylinder to lift the Power Unit a given distance based on the amount of force exerted
and on the cylinder stroke length. You also calculated the cylinder output power by
using rod retraction time measurements since power is work divided by time.
In the second part of this exercise, you observed that fluid power is converted into
heat when fluid flows through a restricted orifice such as a flow control valve. The
greater the pressure drop across the flow control valve, the greater the dissipated
power. You also learned that the flow rate of a pump decreases as the circuit
pressure increases, because of the increased internal leakage of the pump. The
relationship between pump flow rate and circuit pressure will be studied in detail in
a later exercise.
In the third part of this exercise, you learned about efficiency in hydraulic systems.
You were able to calculate the efficiency of the circuit used to lift the Power Unit
based on the pump and cylinder power measurements previously performed.

2-70

Work and Power


REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What happens to the power dissipated by a directional control valve when the
flow rate across the valve doubles?

2. A 1300-N load is moved 1 m by a 3-cm bore cylinder. The cylinder is then


replaced with a 6-cm bore cylinder and the load is again moved 1 m. Which
cylinder accomplished the greatest amount of work?

3. A 5-in bore, 3-feet stroke cylinder must lift a 5000-lb load through its stroke in
4 seconds. Calculate the amount of power required at the cylinder if the
hydraulic circuit is 100% efficient.

4. In a hydraulic system where the combined efficiency of the electric motor, the
pump, and the hoses is 75%, how many watts would the electric motor draw to
satisfy the power requirement from review question 3?

2-71

2-72

Unit

Basic Circuits

UNIT OBJECTIVE
When you have completed this unit, you will be able to operate and test simple,
practical hydraulic circuits. You will also be able to describe the operation of a
directional control valve.
DISCUSSION OF FUNDAMENTALS
Hydraulic systems perform a variety of tasks, ranging from the very simple to the
very complex. Controlling cylinders is one of the most important aspects of
hydraulics. For example, two cylinders may be required to operate at the same
speed, or a cylinder may need to extend rapidly under no-load conditions.
Exercise 3-1 shows how a directional control valve alter the flow paths, and it
discusses cylinder speed and force control. Although previous exercises have made
use of directional control valves, this will be your first chance to learn about their
design.
Exercises 3-2 and 3-3 discuss cylinder synchronization. The synchronized cylinders
on the front end loader shown in Figure 3-1 extend and retract at the same speed,
preventing the bucket from twisting and jamming.

Figure 3-1. Front end loader.

Regenerative circuits, discussed in Exercise 3-4, provide a means for rapid


extension of a cylinder. By using the cylinder output flow to supplement the pump
flow to the cylinder input port, the cylinder will extend rapidly until it meets a load. For
example, the piston of a hydraulic wood splitter extends quickly until it comes in
contact with the piece of wood.

3-1

3-2

Exercise

3-1

Cylinder Control

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To learn how to control the direction, force, and speed of a cylinder;


C To introduce the operation of a directional control valve;
C To describe the effect a change in system pressure or flow rate has on the speed
of a cylinder;
C To describe the effect a change in system pressure or flow rate has on the force
exerted by a cylinder.
DISCUSSION
This exercise introduces the three types of cylinder control functions: direction
control, force control, and pressure control:

C The direction of motion of a cylinder is controlled by selecting the direction of


the flow of oil through the cylinder, using a directional control valve.
C The force output of a cylinder is controlled by modifying the amount of pressure
available at its piston, using a pressure control valve.
C The extension or retraction speed of a cylinder is controlled by modifying the
flow rate to the cylinder, using a flow control valve.
Controlling the direction of motion of a cylinder
The direction of motion of a cylinder is controlled by using a directional valve. A
directional valve is a valve that stops, diverts, or reverses the oil flow. Directional
valves are found as two-way, three-way, and four-way types, as Figure 3-2 shows.
It is important to note that the terminology two-way, three-way, etc. does not truly
describe the number of ways, or flow paths, provided by the valve. It rather refers to
the number of port connections of the valve. A four-way valve, for example, has four
port connections.

3-3

Cylinder Control

Figure 3-2. Types of directional valves.

3-4

Cylinder Control
C Two-way directional valves allow or block flow through a line. They serve as
on or off device to isolate various system parts, as Figure 3-2 (a) shows.
C Three-way directional valves provide true directional control. They consist of a
pressure port, a tank port, and a cylinder port. They are used to power cylinders
that operate in one direction (single-acting cylinders) in either extension or
retraction stroke, as Figure 3-2 (b) shows. The rod of such cylinders are returned
by non-hydraulic forces.
C Four-way directional valves consist of a pressure port, a tank port, and two
cylinder ports. They are used to alternately extend and retract cylinders that
operate in two directions (double-acting cylinders), as Figure 3-2 (c) shows. This
is the type of directional valve you have used to extend and retract cylinders in
most exercises since Exercise 1-1.
Operation of the trainer directional valve
Figure 3-3 shows the directional valve supplied with your Hydraulics Trainer. The
complete description of this valve is a four-way, three-position, spring-centered,
closed-center, lever-operated directional valve.
Number of ways (ports)
The trainer directional valve is a four-way valve because it has four connection
ports, as Figure 3-3 shows:

C The P (PRESSURE) port is connected to the pump and supplies the oil under
pressure to the valve;
C The T (TANK) port is connected to the reservoir;
C The A and B ports are connected to the cylinder. They alternately serve as the
oil supply and return ports as the cylinder is moved in one direction and then the
other.
The designations on the external connections of a 4-way valve vary considerably
between manufacturers. Common designations for the pump and reservoir
connections are P and T, or Inlet and Outlet. Common designations for the
cylinder connections are A and B, or Cylinder 1 and Cylinder 2.

3-5

Cylinder Control

Figure 3-3. Four-way, three-position, spring-centered, closed-center, lever-operated directional


valve.

Number of positions
The trainer directional valve is a 3-position valve because it has two extreme
positions and a center position, as Figure 3-3 shows. A closely fitting spool is slid
back and forth to align passageways to direct the oil.

C Moving the valve lever toward the valve body causes the oil from the pump to
enter the valve through port P and to exit the valve through port A. The oil then
moves to the cylinder to extend or retract the rod, depending on whether port A
is connected to the rod or cap end of the cylinder. The oil forced out of the
cylinder returns to port B of the directional valve and flows to the reservoir
through port T. This position is referred to as the straight-through position.
3-6

Cylinder Control
C Moving the valve lever outward from the valve body causes the oil from the
pump to enter the valve through port P and to exit the valve through port B.
The oil then moves to the cylinder to extend or retract the rod. The oil forced out
of the cylinder returns to port A and flows to the reservoir through port T. This
position is referred to as the cross-connected position.
C Releasing the valve lever automatically returns the valve to the center position,
thanks to an internal spring. The center position is the neutral position so the
cylinder can be stopped and held at any point in the stroke. Without the center
position, the cylinder would always be moving through the stroke or be stopped
at one of the extreme positions.
Center conditions
The trainer directional valve is of closed-center type because it blocks flow between
all ports when it is centered. If ports A and B are connected to a cylinder, the position
of this cylinder will essentially be locked when the valve is in the center position, so
the pump flow will go through the relief valve.
Figure 3-4 shows other center configurations commonly used on 3-position
directional valves.

Figure 3-4. Typical center configurations on 3-position directional valves.

C Tandem-center valves lock the load when they are centered, in addition to
providing an alternate flow path for the pump flow through ports P and T, which
saves energy.
C Float-center valves connect ports A and B to the reservoir when they are
centered. Since there is no pressure flowing to ports A and B, a cylinder or motor
connected to them would be free to move or float. If a cylinder were on ports A
and B, it could be moved manually for set up. If a motor were on such a valve, it
would stop gently without cavitation to protect both the motor and its load.
3-7

Cylinder Control
C Open-center valves connect all the ports together when they are centered. These
valves provide a float-center condition, in addition to providing a flow path for the
pump flow through ports P and T, which saves energy.
Valve activation
The trainer directional valve is lever-operated because it is activated by manually
shifting a lever, as Figure 3-3 shows. Several other actuators can be used to activate
directional valves:

C Mechanical: a lever moved by a cam or linkage from a machine member;


C Pilot: a piston moved by pressure, controlled by another directional valve;
C Solenoid: a rod moved by magnetic forces in a solenoid.
When reading hydraulic diagrams, it is important to know that all connections to a
directional valve are made from the valve block which shows the oil flow when the
valve is deactivated, or at rest. On three-position spring-centered directional valves,
which is the type of valve supplied with your Hydraulics Trainer, circuit connections
are made to the center block, which is the block showing the oil flow when the valve
is at rest. On two-position spring-return directional valves, which is the type of valve
used in the circuits of Figure 3-2, circuit connections are made to the block nearest
the spring, which is the block showing the oil flow when the valve solenoid is
deenergized.
Controlling the speed and force output of a cylinder
When working with hydraulic equipment, it is often useful to change the speed of a
cylinder without affecting its force output, or to change its force output without
affecting its speed.

C Flow control affects only the cylinder speed. Hence, a flow control valve
provides easy control of the speed of a cylinder by allowing a given amount of oil
to flow through the cylinder.
C Pressure control affects only the cylinder force output. Hence, a relief valve
provides easy control of the maximum force output of a cylinder by allowing a
given amount of pressure to develop at the cylinder piston.
The use of the proper control valve allows you to select the combination of force and
speed that you need.
REFERENCE MATERIAL
For detailed information on directional control valves, refer to the chapter entitled
Directional Control Valves in the Parker-Hannifins manual Industrial Hydraulic
Technology.

3-8

Cylinder Control
Procedure summary
In the first part of the exercise, you will test a 4-way directional control valve for flow
direction with the valve lever in all three positions.
In the second part of the exercise, you will determine the effect of changing system
pressure on the cylinder retraction time.
In the third part of the exercise, you will determine the effect of changing system flow
rate on the cylinder retraction time.
In the fourth part of the exercise, you will determine the effect of changing system
pressure on the cylinder force.
In the fifth part of the exercise, you will determine the effect of changing system flow
rate on the cylinder force.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Testing the operation of a 4-way directional valve

1. Make sure the Power Unit line cord is disconnected from the wall outlet.

2. Remove the 3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore cylinder from its adapter by unscrewing
its retaining ring. Make sure the cylinder tip (bullet) is removed from the
cylinder rod end.

3. Insert the 3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore cylinder rod into the cylinder hole in the
Power Unit lifting frame. Fasten the cylinder to the lifting frame by tightening
its retaining ring securely. Position the lifting frame over the Power Unit, with
its open side at the rear of the Power Unit.

4. Connect the two cylinder ports together using a hose full of oil. Pull the
piston rod out until it touches the lifting attachment on the Power Unit.
Fasten the cylinder to the Power Unit by screwing the lifting attachment onto
the threaded end of the cylinder rod. Then, disconnect the hose from the
cylinder.

5. Connect the circuit used to lift the Power Unit shown in Figure 3-5. Notice
that the same circuit will be used in all five parts of the exercise.

3-9

Cylinder Control
CAUTION!
Make sure the hoses and Power Unit line cord will not
become wedged between rigid parts of the trainer when the
Power Unit is lifted.

Figure 3-5. Circuit for determining the effect of directional control, pressure control, and flow
control on cylinder operation.

6. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.
f. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

3-10

7. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise), then
open it 1 turn.

8. Turn on the Power Unit. According to the Flowmeter reading, is the oil from
the pump flowing through the Flow Control Valve? Why?

Cylinder Control

9. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the system pressure
at gauge A is 3500 kPa (500 psi).

G 10. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body while
observing the Power Unit. Based on the direction the Power Unit moved,
determine whether the directional valve P (pressure) port is connected to
port A or B when the valve lever is moved outward. Also determine whether
the T (tank) port is connected to port A or B.
Lever moved outward:

Port P connected to port


Port T connected to port

G 11. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body while
observing the Power Unit. Based on the direction the Power Unit moved,
determine whether the directional valve P port is connected to port A or B
when the valve lever is moved inward. Also determine whether the T port is
connected to port A or B.
Lever moved inward:

Port P connected to port


Port T connected to port

G 12. Record which direction the Power Unit moves for each lever position in
Table 3-1.
LEVER POSITION

ACTION

MOVED TOWARD VALVE BODY


MOVED OUTWARD FROM VALVE
BODY
CENTERED
Table 3-1. Power Unit action versus lever position.

G 13. Actuate the lever of the directional valve until the Power Unit has returned
to the ground. Turn off the Power Unit.

G 14. Switch the two hoses connected to the cylinder with each other so that the
cap end is connected to port B and the rod end is connected to port A.
Note: If you experience difficulty to disconnect equipment, move
the directional valve lever back and forth to relieve static pressure
that might be trapped in the A and B cylinder lines.

3-11

Cylinder Control
G 15. Turn on the Power Unit.
G 16. Raise and lower the Power Unit by shifting the lever of the directional valve.
Record which direction the Power Unit moves for each lever position in
Table 3-2.
LEVER POSITION

ACTION

MOVED TOWARD VALVE BODY


MOVED OUTWARD FROM VALVE
BODY
CENTERED
Table 3-2. Power Unit action versus lever position.

G 17. Actuate the lever of the directional valve until the Power Unit has returned
to the ground. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely
(turn knob fully counterclockwise).

G 18. Can the cylinder motion be easily changed by reversing the cylinder
connections to the directional valve?

G Yes

G No

G 19. Switch the two hoses connected to the cylinder in order to re-obtain the
circuit shown in Figure 3-5, then proceed to the next part of the exercise.
Effect of pressure control on cylinder speed

G 20. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise), then
open it 4 turns. Use the vernier scale on the valve knob to ensure an
accurate valve setting.

G 21. Turn on the Power Unit.


G 22. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the system pressure
at gauge A is 2800 kPa (400 psi).

G 23. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body to raise
the Power Unit. Note the pressure reading at gauge A during cylinder
retraction and when the cylinder is fully retracted. Record your readings in
Table 3-3. Also record the retraction time.

3-12

Cylinder Control

SYSTEM
PRESSURE

RETRACTION
TIME

PRESSURE
CYL. MOVING

CYL. STOPPED

2800 kPa (400 psi)


3500 kPa (500 psi)
Table 3-3. Effect of pressure control on cylinder speed.

G 24. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to return the
Power Unit to the ground, then release the valve lever.

G 25. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the system pressure
at gauge A is 3500 kPa (500 psi).

G 26. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body to raise
the Power Unit. Note the pressure reading at gauge A during cylinder
retraction and when the cylinder is fully retracted. Record your readings in
Table 3-3. Also record the retraction time.

G 27. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to return the
Power Unit to the ground. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve
completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

G 28. According to Table 3-3, does the cylinder rod retract faster as the system
pressure is increased? Why?

G 29. Explain the reason for the nearly identical pressure registered at gauge A
during cylinder retraction at the two relief valve settings.

G 30. Trace the oil flow through the system after the cylinder rod is fully extended
or retracted but before the Directional Control Valve is returned to the center
position.

3-13

Cylinder Control

Effect of flow control on cylinder speed

G 31. Turn on the Power Unit.


G 32. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the system pressure
at gauge A is 3500 kPa (500 psi).

G 33. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise), then
open it 1 turn. Use the vernier scale on the valve knob for accurate
adjustment.

G 34. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body to raise
the Power Unit. Measure and record the retraction time in the "1 TURN
OPEN" row of Table 3-4.
FLOW CONTROL VALVE SETTING

RETRACTION TIME

1 TURN OPEN
3 TURNS OPEN
Table 3-4. Effect of flow control on cylinder speed.

G 35. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to return the
Power Unit to the ground.

G 36. Open the Flow Control Valve 2 additional turns counterclockwise. Again use
the vernier scale on the knob for accurate adjustment.

G 37. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body to raise
the Power Unit. Measure and record the retraction time in the "3 TURNS
OPEN" row of Table 3-4.

G 38. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to return the
Power Unit to the ground. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve
completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

G 39. According to Table 3-4, does the cylinder rod retract faster as the flow rate
is increased? Why?

3-14

Cylinder Control

Effect of pressure control on cylinder force

G 40. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise), then
open it 1 turn.

G 41. Make sure the Relief Valve is open completely (knob turned fully
counterclockwise). Turn on the Power Unit.

G 42. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body while
observing the Power Unit. Is the Power Unit lifted?

G Yes

G No

G 43. Release the directional valve lever. Increase the amount of pressure
available at the cylinder piston. To do so, turn the Relief Valve adjustment
knob clockwise until the system pressure at gauge A is 2100 kPa (300 psi).

G 44. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body while
observing the Power Unit. Is the Power Unit lifted?

G Yes

G No

G 45. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to return the
Power Unit to the ground.

G 46. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).

G 47. From the observations you made in the previous steps, does increasing the
relief valve pressure setting allow the cylinder to lift heavier loads? Why?

Effect of flow control on cylinder force

G 48. Turn on the Power Unit.


G 49. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise), then
open it 3 turns.

3-15

Cylinder Control

G 50. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body and
increase the Relief Valve pressure setting until the Power Unit begins to
rise, then slowly decrease the valve setting until the cylinder stops.

G 51. While keeping the directional valve lever in the outward position, increase
the Flow Control Valve opening by turning its adjustment knob 1 turn
counterclockwise. Note the effect on the cylinder in the 4 TURNS row of
Table 3-5.
FLOW CONTROL SETTING

EFFECT ON CYLINDER

4 TURNS OPEN
5 TURNS OPEN
Table 3-5. Effect of flow control on cylinder force.

G 52. While keeping the directional valve lever in the outward position, open the
Flow Control Valve 1 more turn counterclockwise. Note the effect on the
cylinder in the 5 TURNS row of Table 3-5.

G 53. Move the lever of the directional valve lever toward the valve body to return
the Power Unit to the ground. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief
Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

G 54. What effect did the adjustment of the Flow Control Valve have on the stalled
cylinder? Why?

G 55. Based on what you have learned in this exercise, describe the effect of the
Relief Valve and Flow Control Valve on the speed and force of a cylinder.

G 56. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet, then disconnect all
hoses. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

3-16

Cylinder Control
G 57. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 58. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and from the trainer. Properly
dispose of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.
CONCLUSION
In the first part of the exercise, you tested a four-way directional valve and showed
how the valve ports were interconnected for each of the lever positions. You learned
that the term way refers to the total number of working ports or connections on the
valve, and that the term position refers to the number of settings for the valve spool.
You also learned that the center design determines how the ports are interconnected
when the valve spool is in the center or neutral position. The directional valve
supplied with your Hydraulics Trainer is of closed-center type because it blocks the
flow between all ports when it is centered.
In the other parts of the exercise, you discovered that hydraulic power can be easily
controlled. You learned how relief valves and flow control valves affect the cylinder
force and speed. You discovered that pressure control affects only the force, and
that flow control affects only the speed. When working with hydraulic equipment, it
is often useful to change one variable without affecting the other. The use of the
proper control valve allows you to select the combination of force and speed that you
need.
In conclusion, keep in mind that there are only three control valve categories.
Though you will find many special hydraulic components, they will usually come
under one of these three categories: pressure control, flow control, or directional
control.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What happens to the force output of a cylinder piston when the pressure applied
on the piston decreases?

2. What happens to the speed of a piston rod when the pressure applied on the
piston increases?

3. If the oil flow to a cylinder increases, does the force output increase, decrease,
or stay the same?

3-17

Cylinder Control
4. If the oil flow to a cylinder decreases, does the speed of the piston rod increase,
decrease, or stay the same?

5. What happens to the retraction speed of a cylinder rod if the diameter of the rod
increases but the oil flow to the cylinder stays the same?

6. What happens to the extension speed of a cylinder rod when the rod diameter
decreases, the pressure increases, but the flow rate to the cylinder stays the
same?

3-18

Exercise

3-2

Cylinders in Series

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To describe the operation of a series circuit;


C To cause two cylinders to start and stop at the same time by connecting them in
series.
C To demonstrate pressure intensification in a series circuit.
DISCUSSION
Cylinders in series
In some hydraulic applications, it is necessary for two cylinders to work together in
unison. For example, two cylinders may be required to start and stop extending at
the same time. Cylinders operating in this manner are said to be synchronized.
One method to synchronize two cylinders consists in connecting them in series, so
that the discharge flow from one cylinder serves as the input flow to the second
cylinder.
Figure 3-6 shows two cylinders connected in series. The rod end of one cylinder is
connected to the cap end of the second cylinder. With this circuit, neither cylinder
can move unless the other is also moving.

Figure 3-6. Cylinders connected in series.

Shifting the lever of the directional valve in Figure 3-6 will cause the cylinders to start
and stop at the same time. If the cylinders are of the same size and stroke, however,
cylinder 2 (downstream cylinder) will extend slower, and it will not extend completely

3-19

Cylinders in Series
since the flow out of the rod end of cylinder 1 (upstream cylinder) will be less than
the flow entering the cap end of cylinder 1.
If the two cylinders are of the same size, the total force of the two cylinders in series
is equal to the system pressure multiplied by the area of one of the piston.
Differences in cylinder size, however, will cause considerable variation.
Pressure intensification in a series circuit
Intensification of the system pressure will occur in a series circuit if the flow from the
rod end of the upstream cylinder is blocked or severely restricted as by a heavy load
on the downstream cylinder.
Figure 3-7 shows an example. The cylinders in this figure have the same size as the
two cylinders supplied with your Hydraulics Trainer. The input force exerted on the
full piston area of the upstream cylinder is 1775 N. Since the flow from the rod end
of this cylinder is partially blocked by the heavy load on the downstream cylinder, the
pressure at the rod end of the upstream cylinder will rise until the force applied on
the annular piston area of the upstream cylinder equals the input force of 1775 N.

Figure 3-7. Pressure intensification in a series circuit.

Due to the difference in exposure area between the full and annular piston area, the
pressure at the rod end of the upstream cylinder will intensify by a factor equal to the
ratio of the full piston area to the annular piston area, Af/Aa, resulting in a pressure
of 5763 kPa at the cap end of the downstream cylinder, and in a force of 6570 N at
the output load. Notice that the intensification ratio Af/Aa will hold as long as there is
no load on the upstream cylinder.
3-20

Cylinders in Series

REFERENCE MATERIAL
For detailed information on cylinder synchronization, refer to the chapter entitled
Check Valves, Accumulators and Cylinders in the Parker-Hannifins manual
Industrial Hydraulic Technology.
Procedure summary
In the first part of the exercise, you will connect two cylinders in series with a loading
device on the upstream cylinder. The loading device will be a flow control valve. You
will gradually increase the load on the upstream cylinder, while noting the effect a
change in load has on the synchronization of the cylinders, along with the pressures
applied to both cylinders.
In the second part of the exercise, you will connect the loading device to the
downstream cylinder. You will repeat the manipulations performed in the first part of
the exercise in order to observe the effect a change in load position has on the
operation of the series circuit.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Series circuit with load on the upstream cylinder

1. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 3-8. In this circuit, the Flow Control
Valve will act as a loading device on the upstream cylinder [2.54-cm (1-in)
bore].

3-21

Cylinders in Series

Figure 3-8. Series circuit with load on the upstream cylinder.

Note: If the rods of the 2.54-cm (1-in) and 3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore
cylinders are not fully retracted, do not connect the circuit in
Figure 3-8. Instead, retract the rod of each cylinder hydraulically
by using the cylinder actuation circuit shown in Figure 2-10. When
both rods are retracted, disconnect the circuit of Figure 2-10 and
connect the circuit shown in Figure 3-8.

2. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.
f. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

3-22

3. Turn on the Power Unit.

4. Open the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise)
so that no load is placed on the upstream cylinder.

5. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend both
cylinders. While keeping the valve lever shifted, turn the Relief Valve
adjustment knob clockwise until the circuit pressure at gauge A is 1720 kPa
(250 psi). Retract the cylinders by moving the valve lever outward from the
valve body.

Cylinders in Series

6. While observing the cylinders, move the lever of the directional valve toward
the valve body to extend their rod. Do the cylinders start and stop at the
same time? Does the downstream cylinder [3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore] extend
fully? Explain.

7. Retract the cylinders.

8. Now extend and then retract the cylinders again and observe the pressure
readings at gauges A and B as the cylinders are extending. Record these
pressures in the NO-LOAD row of Table 3-6.
PRESSURE

LOAD CONDITION
GAUGE A (UPSTREAM
CYLINDER)

GAUGE B (DOWNSTREAM CYLINDER)

NO-LOAD
MEDIUM LOAD
HEAVY LOAD
STALLED
Table 3-6. Circuit pressures with load on the upstream cylinder.

9. Put a medium load on the upstream cylinder. To do so, close the Flow
Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise), then open it 1 turn.

G 10. Extend and then retract the cylinders. Do they start and stop at the same
time?

G Yes

G No

G 11. Extend and then retract the cylinders and observe the pressure readings at
gauges A and B as the cylinders are extending. Record these pressures in
the MEDIUM LOAD row of Table 3-6.

G 12. Put a heavy load on the upstream cylinder. To do so, close the Flow Control
Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise), then open it turn.

3-23

Cylinders in Series
G 13. Extend and then retract the cylinders. Do they start and stop at the same
time?

G Yes

G No

G 14. From your observations, does a change in load affect the synchronization
of the two cylinders? Explain why.

G 15. Extend and then retract the cylinders and observe the pressure readings at
gauges A and B as the cylinders are extending. Record these pressures in
the HEAVY LOAD row of Table 3-6.

G 16. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise) so that
the upstream cylinder will stall completely.

G 17. Attempt to extend the cylinders, while observing the pressure readings at
gauges A and B. Record these pressures in the STALLED row of
Table 3-6.

G 18. Turn off the Power Unit. Do not modify the Relief Valve pressure setting.
G 19. According to Table 3-6, did the pressure required to extend the downstream
cylinder remain approximately constant when the various loads were placed
on the upstream cylinder? Why?

G 20. Why did the pressure at gauge B drop when the load stalled the cylinders?

G 21. If you were asked to modify the bore size of the usptream cylinder to allow
both cylinders to complete their full stroke (10.16 cm/4 in) at the same time,
what bore size would you select?

3-24

Cylinders in Series
Note: Keep the same rod size (1.59 cm/0.625 in) for the upstream
cylinder.

Series circuit with load on the downstream cylinder

G 22. Modify your circuit connections in order to place the loading device (Flow
Control Valve) on the downstream cylinder [3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore], as
Figure 3-9 shows.

Figure 3-9. Series circuit with load on the downstream cylinder.

G 23. Turn on the Power Unit.


G 24. Open the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise)
so that no load is placed on the downstream cylinder.

G 25. Extend the cylinders. Do they still start and stop at the same time? Explain
why.

3-25

Cylinders in Series

G 26. Retract the cylinders.


G 27. Extend and then retract the cylinders and observe the pressure readings at
gauges A and B as the cylinders are extending. Record these pressure in
the NO-LOAD row of Table 3-7.
PRESSURE
LOAD CONDITION

GAUGE A (UPSTREAM
CYLINDER)

GAUGE B (DOWNSTREAM CYLINDER)

NO-LOAD
MEDIUM LOAD
HEAVY LOAD
STALLED
Table 3-7. Circuit pressures with load on the downstream cylinder.

G 28. Put a medium load on the downstream cylinder. To do so, close the Flow
Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise), then open it 1 turn.

G 29. Extend and then retract the cylinders and observe the pressure readings at
gauges A and B as the cylinders are extending. Record these pressures in
the MEDIUM LOAD row of Table 3-7.

G 30. Put a heavy load on the downstream cylinder. To do so, close the Flow
Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise), then open it turn.

G 31. Extend and then retract the cylinders and observe the pressure readings at
gauges A and B as the cylinders are extending. Record these pressures in
the HEAVY LOAD row of Table 3-7.

G 32. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise) so that
the downstream cylinder will stall.

G 33. Attempt to extend the cylinders while observing the pressure readings at
gauges A and B. Record these pressures in the STALLED row of
Table 3-7.

G 34. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).

3-26

Cylinders in Series

G 35. According to Table 3-7, did the pressures at gauge A and B increase as the
load on the downstream cylinder was increased? Why?

G 36. According to Table 3-7, is the ratio of gauge A to gauge B pressure


approximately equal to the ratio of annular to full piston area (Aa/Af) of the
upstream cylinder for the MEDIUM, HEAVY, and STALLED load conditions?
If so, explain why.

G 37. Explain the reason why pressure intensification can occur in a series circuit.

G 38. Disconnect the line cord from the wall outlet, then disconnect all hoses.
Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

G 39. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 40. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and from the trainer. Properly
dispose of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.
CONCLUSION
This exercise showed some circuit principles which govern two cylinders connected
in series. You observed that neither cylinder could move unless the other was also
moving. You saw that once the upstream cylinder was stalled, no flow could take
place into the downstream cylinder and the downstream cylinder would stop
immediately. When you switched the loading device (Flow Control Valve) on the
cylinders, you noticed some changes:

3-27

Cylinders in Series
With the loading device placed on the upstream cylinder, the pressure at the cap
end of the downstream cylinder remained relatively constant as the load was
increased. This is because the only load on the downstream cylinder was the
resistance of its internal seals and the resistance of the oil flowing back to the
reservoir. This load does not depend on load variations in the rest of the circuit.
With the loading device placed on the downstream cylinder, however, the
pressure at the cap end of the downstream cylinder increased as the load
increased. The input pressure intensified by a factor equal to the ratio of full to
annular piston area (Af/Aa) of the upstream cylinder, due to the difference in
exposure area between each side of the cylinder piston.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What is meant by "cylinder synchronization"?

2. In a series circuit, can the upstream cylinder be extended after the downstream
cylinder has completed its movement? Why?

3. In a series circuit where the two cylinders are of the same size and stroke, will
both cylinders extend completely? Explain why.

4. In a series circuit where a heavy load is attached on the downstream cylinder,


by which amount will the input pressure intensify if the upstream cylinder is a
3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore x 1.59-cm (0.625-in) rod cylinder?

3-28

Cylinders in Series
5. Calculate the theoretical force output in the circuit of Figure 3-10.

Figure 3-10. Circuit for review question 5.

3-29

3-30

Exercise

3-3

Cylinders in Parallel

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To describe the operation of a parallel circuit;


C To describe the extension sequence of parallel cylinders having differing bore
sizes;
C To synchronize the extension of parallel cylinders using a flow control valve.
DISCUSSION
Cylinders in parallel
Figure 3-11 shows two cylinders connected in parallel. The rod and cap ends of one
cylinder are connected to the corresponding ends of the other cylinder. Since these
cylinders are of the same size, cylinder 1 will extend first because it requires the
lowest pressure to move its load. Once cylinder 1 is extended, the system
pressure will climb to the level required for cylinder 2 to extend. Once cylinder 2 is
extended, the system pressure will climb to the setting of the relief valve.

Figure 3-11. Cylinders connected in parallel.

Synchronization of parallel cylinders


In theory, two cylinders connected in parallel should operate in synchronization if
they are of identical size and stroke and if they are evenly loaded, since they both
receive the same flow rate from the same power unit. In practice, however,
manufacturing any two cylinders or articles to be exactly identical is impossible.
There are always small differences in dimensions, internal friction, surface texture,
internal leakage, etc.
3-31

Cylinders in Parallel
This does not mean that synchronization of parallel cylinders is impossible. One
popular method of synchronizing parallel cylinders, called mechanical yoke method,
is shown in Figure 3-12. In this method, a strong yoke connects the two cylinder rods
together. The weight of the two loads is distributed evenly between the two cylinders
so that the cylinders extend at the same speed, even if the loads are of different
weight.

Figure 3-12. Synchronization of parallel cylinders using a mechanical yoke.

If mechanical synchronization is not possible or practical, parallel cylinders can be


approximately synchronized using the flow control valve method. In this method, a
flow control valve is connected in series with the cylinder requiring the lowest
pressure to move in order to increase the resistance of this line (circuit path).
Figure 3-13 shows an example. Cylinders 1 and 2 are of the same size, however
cylinder 1 requires 1400 kPa at its cap end to lift the light load, while cylinder 2
requires 3500 kPa at its cap end to lift the heavier load. A flow control valve,
connected in the line of cylinder 1, is adjusted so that it creates an additional
pressure drop of 2100 kPa in this line when cylinder 1 extends. Since equal
pressures of 3500 kPa (500 psi) are required in each cylinder line, the oil from the
pump will divide equally between the two lines, causing the cylinders to move at the
same time and speed. The cylinders will operate in unison for a limited number of
cycles. Eventually, they will drift out of synchronization, and the flow control valve will
have to be re-adjusted to synchronize them again. Also, load variations will cause
the cylinders to go out of synchronization if the flow control valve is of noncompensated type, because this type of valve does not compensate for pressure
changes in the system.

3-32

Cylinders in Parallel

Figure 3-13. Synchronization of parallel cylinders using a flow control valve.

REFERENCE MATERIAL
For detailed information on cylinder synchronization, refer to the chapter entitled
Check Valves, Accumulators and Cylinders in the Parker-Hannifins manual
Industrial Hydraulic Technology.
Procedure summary
In the first part of the exercise, you will connect two cylinders in parallel with each
other, with a loading device on the larger cylinder. The loading device will be a flow
control valve. You will determine which cylinder moves first when a heavy load is
placed on the large cylinder.
In the second part of the exercise, you will connect the flow control valve to the
smaller cylinder. You will determine which cylinder moves first when a heavy load
is placed on the small cylinder. Then you will synchronize the two cylinders and vary
the extension sequence by modifying the flow control valve setting.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.

3-33

Cylinders in Parallel

PROCEDURE
Cylinders in parallel

1. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 3-14.

Figure 3-14. Cylinders in parallel with a heavy load on the large cylinder.

2. Examine the circuit in Figure 3-14. The cylinders are in parallel with each
other. The Flow Control Valve acts as a loading device on the large cylinder
[3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore] only, so the cylinders are unevenly loaded. The Flow
Control Valve is partially closed to simulate a heavy load on the large
cylinder.
When the directional valve is shifted to extend the cylinders, the oil from the
pump is directed to the cap side of both cylinders at the same time. The
large cylinder must counteract the high resistance offered by the Flow
Control Valve before it can extend. The small cylinder [2.54-cm (1-in) bore]
must counteract the resistance of the oil flowing back to the reservoir before
it can extend. The cylinder requiring the lowest pressure to move will extend
first.

3-34

Cylinders in Parallel
Predict which cylinder will extend first when the Flow Control Valve is
partially closed to simulate a heavy load on the large cylinder, and explain
why.

3. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.
f. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

4. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise), then
open it turn.

5. Turn on the Power Unit.

6. Turn the relief valve adjustment knob clockwise until the circuit pressure at
gauge A is 2100 kPa (300 psi).

7. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend the
two cylinders and observe them as they extend. Which cylinder extended
first? Why?

8. Retract the cylinders.

9. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).

3-35

Cylinders in Parallel
Cylinder synchronization using a Flow Control Valve

G 10. Modify your circuit connections in order to place the loading device (Flow
Control Valve) on the small cylinder [2.54-cm (1-in) bore], as Figure 3-15
shows.

Figure 3-15. Cylinders in parallel with a heavy load on the small cylinder.

G 11. Predict which cylinder will extend first when the Flow Control Valve is
partially closed to simulate a heavy load on the small cylinder.

G 12. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise), then
open it turn.

G 13. Turn on the Power Unit.

3-36

Cylinders in Parallel
G 14. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the circuit pressure
at gauge A is 2100 kPa (300 psi).

G 15. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend the
two cylinders and observe them as they extend. Which cylinder extended
first? Why?

G 16. Retract the cylinders.


G 17. Adjust the setting of the Flow Control Valve so that both cylinders complete
their full stroke at the same time during extension. Accurate adjustment may
require that the cylinders be extended and retracted several times.

G 18. Extend and retract the cylinders several times with the new Flow Control
Valve setting. Do the cylinders remain synchronized?

G Yes

G No

G 19. Let the system run for about 15 minutes. Do not modify the Flow Control
Valve setting.

G 20. Extend and retract the cylinders several times. Did the cylinders stay in
synchronization?

G Yes

G No

G 21. Does the Flow Control Valve have to be readjusted when the cylinders are
operated over an extended period of time? Explain why.

3-37

Cylinders in Parallel
G 22. Try to adjust the Flow Control Valve so that the small cylinder completes its
extension approximately 2 seconds after the large cylinder completes its
extension. Can the extension sequence of the cylinders be controlled in a
parallel circuit? Explain.

G 23. Make sure the cylinders are fully retracted, then turn off the Power Unit.
Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

G 24. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet, then disconnect all
hoses. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

G 25. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 26. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and from the trainer. Properly
dispose of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.
CONCLUSION
This exercise showed some circuit principles which govern two cylinders connected
in parallel. You observed that the individual loads governed cylinder movement, and
the cylinder requiring the lowest pressure to move its load always moved first. This
is because oil always flows through the path requiring the lowest pressure, and the
pressure in a cylinder depends on the load.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. In the circuit of Figure 3-16, which cylinder will move first if the flow control valve
is open completely? Why?

3-38

Cylinders in Parallel

Figure 3-16. Circuit for review question 1.

2. In the circuit of Figure 3-16, which cylinder will move first if the flow control valve
is adjusted so that it creates a pressure drop of 2400 kPa (350 psi)? Explain.

3. Calculate the theoretical pressure drop, )P, required across the flow control
valve in Figure 3-16 to synchronize the extension of the two cylinders.

4. Describe the extension sequence in the circuit of Figure 3-16 when the flow
control valve is open completely and the relief valve pressure setting is 2100 kPa
(200 psi).

3-39

3-40

Exercise

3-4

Regenerative Circuits

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To describe the operation of a regenerative circuit;


C To describe the effect of regeneration on cylinder speed;
C To describe the effect of regeneration on cylinder force.
DISCUSSION
Principle of regeneration
The primary purpose of regenerative circuits is to provide rapid extension speeds
with a minimum pump output flow. Regeneration is accomplished by sending the
oil which flows out of the rod end of a cylinder back into the cap end of this cylinder.
Figure 3-17 shows a regenerative circuit.

C When the directional valve is shifted to extend the cylinder (straight-through


position), the pumped oil is directed to both sides of the piston at the same time.
This results in two opposite forces simultaneously acting on each side of the
piston. Since, however, the cap end of the piston has a larger surface area
exposed to oil pressure than the rod end, a greater force is exerted on the full
piston area, causing the cylinder rod to extend. The oil forced out from the rod
end adds to that coming from the pump and enters the cap end of the cylinder.
This extra oil speeds up the cylinder by increasing its flow rate.
C When the directional valve is shifted to retract the cylinder (cross-connected
position), the pumped oil is blocked at port B of the directional valve, but is
allowed to flow directly to the rod end of the cylinder, causing the cylinder to
retract.

3-41

Regenerative Circuits

Figure 3-17. Regenerative circuit.

3-42

Regenerative Circuits
Regeneration can only occur in extension. The reason for this is that the force
acting to extend the rod is greater than the force acting to retract the rod for any
given amount of pressure, because the piston area at the rod end is less than that
at the cap end.
Cylinder speed during regeneration
When a cylinder extends in regeneration, the oil flowing out of its rod end helps the
pump oil to fill its cap end. This reduces the volume of oil required from the pump to
completely extend the cylinder. The required volume from the pump is equal to the
volume of oil inside the cylinder when it is extended minus the volume of oil inside
the cylinder when it is retracted. This is equal to the volume occupied of the cylinder
rod. The extension speed of a cylinder in regeneration, then, is determined by how
fast the pump can fill the volume of the cylinder rod. In equation form:
S.I. units:

English units:

So we can see that connecting a cylinder in regeneration increases the rod extension
speed. In fact, this speed is increased by a factor equal to the ratio of the full piston
area to the rod area, Af / Arod. For example, an Af / Arod ratio of 2 means that the full
piston area is twice that of the rod area. This also means that the extension speed
in regeneration will be twice as fast as the extension speed in normal mode.
The formula for calculating the amount of time required for a cylinder in regeneration
to complete its stroke is the formula for extension speed divided into the stroke
length. The formula is as follows:
S.I. units:

English units:

So we can see that connecting a cylinder in regeneration reduces the rod extension
time. In fact, the extension time is reduced by a factor equal to the ratio of the full
piston area to the rod area, Af / Arod. For example, an Af / Arod ratio of 2 means that
the extension time in regeneration will be only half the extension time in normal
mode.

3-43

Regenerative Circuits

Cylinder force during regeneration


Regenerative circuits have a disadvantage: they reduce the force generated by the
cylinder during extension. This is because the force generated in the direction of
extension is diminished by the opposite force generated in the direction of
retractionremember that both sides of the piston are interconnected and
experience the same pressure. Therefore, the net (effective) area on which the force
is exerted is the rod area. This means that the force generated by the cylinder during
extension is equal to the circuit pressure multiplied by the rod area. In equation form:
S.I. units:

English units:

So we see that connecting a cylinder in regeneration provides a faster extension


speed but reduces the generated force. In fact, the cylinder force is sacrificed for rod
speed.
Applications
When designing a regeneration circuit, the size of the cylinder rod must be carefully
selected as it determines both the cylinder speed and force. The higher the Af / Arod
ratio, the higher the extension speed, but the lower the force output. An Af / Arod ratio
of 2 is often used since it provides approximately equal forces and speeds during
extension and retraction. Varying the Af / Arod ratio too far from 2, however, will result
in reduced force capabilities; the net (effective) force generated may even not be
sufficient for the cylinder to extend.
Regeneration is often used to only extend the rod to the work load at high speed.
When the moment arrives for work to be done, the rod end of the cylinder is drained
back to the reservoir so that full force is applied to the load. 4-position directional
valves are used to control these two stages of the extension cycle. Figure 3-18
shows an example:

C In Figure 3-18 (a), the directional valve is in the center position, and no oil flows
to the cylinder.
C In Figure 3-18 (b), the valve is shifted to the regeneration position. The cylinder
rod extends rapidly to the work load.
C Once the rod reaches the load, the valve switches to the normal extension
position to increase the force to the load, as Figure 3-18 (c) shows.
C When the rod is fully extended, the valve switches to the retraction position, as
Figure 3-18 (d) shows. The cylinder rod retracts at normal speed.

3-44

Regenerative Circuits

Figure 3-18. Simple regeneration circuit using a four-position directional valve.

REFERENCE MATERIAL
For detailed information on regeneration, refer to the chapter entitled Check Valves,
Accumulators and Cylinders in the Parker-Hannifins manual Industrial Hydraulic
Technology.
Procedure summary
In the first part of the exercise, you will determine the effect of regeneration on the
extension time of a cylinder. To do so, you will measure the time required for a
cylinder to extend in both regenerative and normal modes of operation. You will then
compare the results obtained in each mode.
In the second part of the exercise, you will determine the effect of regeneration on
the force output of a cylinder. To do so, you will measure the force output of a
cylinder in both regenerative and normal modes of operation. You will then compare
the results obtained in each mode.

3-45

Regenerative Circuits

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Effect of regeneration on cylinder extension time

1. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 3-19. In this circuit, the Flow Control
Valve will be used to reduce the flow into the circuit so the cylinder speed
is easier to time. The valve would not be used in industrial regenerative
circuits of this design.
Note: Do not connect the Loading Device to the cylinder yet. The
Loading Device will be used later in the exercise.

2. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.
f. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

3-46

3. Open the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

4. Turn on the Power Unit.

5. With the directional valve lever in the center position, the pump flow is
blocked at the rod end of the cylinder, and gauge B indicates the Relief
Valve pressure setting. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise
until the circuit pressure at gauge B is 2100 kPa (300 psi).

6. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend the
cylinder and adjust the Flow Control Valve so that the Flowmeter reads
1.5 l/min [0.4 gal(US)/min] during cylinder extension, then retract the
cylinder. Accurate adjustment may require that the cylinder be extended and
retracted several times.

Regenerative Circuits

Figure 3-19. Cylinder in a regenerative circuit.

7. Extend the cylinder and note the extension time and the pressure readings
at gauges A and B as the cylinder extends. Record these in the
REGENERATIVE row of Table 3-8.

EXTENSION PRESSURES
CIRCUIT CONDITION

EXTENSION TIME
GAUGE A

GAUGE B

REGENERATIVE
NORMAL
Table 3-8. Cylinder data in regenerative and normal modes.

8. Retract the cylinder.

9. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).

G 10. Change your regenerative circuit into a normal (non-regenerative) circuit. To


do so, disconnect the rod end of the cylinder from the 4-port manifold
installed on port P of the directional valve, then connect the rod end to
port B of the directional valve, as Figure 3-20 shows.

3-47

Regenerative Circuits

Figure 3-20. Cylinder in a normal (non-regenerative) circuit.

Note: Do not connect the Loading Device to the cylinder yet. The
Loading Device will be used later in the exercise.

G 11. Turn on the Power Unit.


G 12. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend the
cylinder fully. While keeping the valve lever shifted, turn the Relief Valve
adjustment knob clockwise until the circuit pressure at gauge A is 2100 kPa
(300 psi). Retract the cylinder by moving the lever of the directional valve
outward from the valve body.

G 13. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend the
cylinder and adjust the Flow Control Valve so that the Flowmeter reads
1.5 l/min [0.4 gal(US)/min] during cylinder extension, then retract the
cylinder. Accurate adjustment may require that the cylinder be extended and
retracted several times.

G 14. Extend the cylinder and note the extension time and the pressure readings
at gauges A and B as the cylinder extends. Record these in the NORMAL
row of Table 3-8.

G 15. Retract the cylinder.

3-48

Regenerative Circuits
G 16. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).

G 17. According to Table 3-8, is the extension time observed in regenerative mode
shorter than that observed in normal mode? Why?

G 18. Calculate the theoretical extension time of the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore x 1.59-cm
(0.625-in) rod x 10.16-cm (4-in) stroke cylinder in regeneration when the
flow rate is 1.5 l/min [0.4 gal(US)/min]. Then, compare your result with the
actual extension time recorded in Table 3-8. Are these values approximately
equal?

G 19. Why did the cylinder extend when both sides of the piston were pressurized
in regenerative mode?

G 20. Explain the reason for the very low pressure required to extend the cylinder
in normal mode.

Effect of regeneration on cylinder force output

G 21. Change your circuit into a regenerative circuit. To do so, disconnect the rod
end of the cylinder from port B of the directional valve, then connect the rod
end to the 4-port manifold installed on port P of the directional valve, as
shown in Figure 3-19.

3-49

Regenerative Circuits

G 22. Disconnect the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore cylinder from the circuit. Remove the
cylinder from its adapter by unscrewing its retaining ring. Make sure the
cylinder tip (bullet) is removed from the cylinder rod end. Screw the cylinder
into the Loading Device. Then, reconnect the cylinder into the circuit as
shown in Figure 3-19.

G 23. Clip the NEWTON/LBF-graduated ruler to the Loading Device, and align the
0 mark with the colored line on the load piston.

G 24. Open the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).
G 25. Turn on the Power Unit.
G 26. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body and turn the
Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the circuit pressure at gauge A
is 4200 kPa (600 psi), then turn the knob counterclockwise to decrease the
circuit pressure until gauge A reads 3500 kPa (500 psi). Release the valve
lever.

G 27. Note and record the force reading on the Loading Device in the
REGENERATIVE row of Table 3-9.
CIRCUIT CONDITION

CYLINDER FORCE OUTPUT

REGENERATIVE
NORMAL
Table 3-9. Effect of regeneration on cylinder force.

G 28. Retract the cylinder, then turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve
completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

G 29. Change your regenerative circuit into a normal circuit. To do so, disconnect
the rod end of the cylinder from the 4-port manifold installed on port P of the
directional valve, then connect the rod end to port B of the directional valve,
as shown in Figure 3-20.

G 30. Turn on the Power Unit.

3-50

Regenerative Circuits

G 31. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body and turn the
Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the circuit pressure at gauge A
is 4200 kPa (600 psi), then turn the knob counterclockwise to decrease the
circuit pressure until gauge A reads 3500 kPa (500 psi). Release the valve
lever.

G 32. Note and record the force reading on the Loading Device in the NORMAL
row of Table 3-9.

G 33. Retract the cylinder, then turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve
completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

G 34. According to Table 3-9, is the force observed in regeneration mode reduced
from that observed in normal mode? Explain why.

G 35. Calculate the theoretical force output of the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore x 1.59-cm
(0.625-in) rod x 10.16-cm (4-in) stroke cylinder in regeneration. Then,
compare your result with the actual force output recorded in Table 3-9. Are
these values approximately equal?

G 36. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet, then disconnect all
hoses. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

G 37. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 38. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and from the trainer. Properly
dispose of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.

3-51

Regenerative Circuits

CONCLUSION
In this exercise, you learned that a regenerative circuit increases the extension
speed of a cylinder. You caused a cylinder to extend more rapidly by applying equal
pressures to both sides of the piston. The extension time was reduced by a factor
equal to the ratio of the full piston area to the rod area, Af / Arod. You also learned that
regenerative circuits decrease the force generated during extension because force
is sacrificed for cylinder speed.
Regenerative circuits offer a solution to a serious problem in hydraulics: slow
extension under no load. With regenerative extension, the cylinder rod can extend
rapidly until the low force generated by the cylinder is no longer enough for the
application. At this point, a directional valve can be automatically shifted to allow
normal extension with increased force. Four-position directional valve are often used
to control these two stages of the extension cycle.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What is a regenerative circuit?

2. Would a cylinder generate more force in a normal circuit or in a regenerative


circuit?

3. Would a cylinder extend more rapidly in a normal circuit or a regenerative


circuit?

4. What happens to the extension speed and force generated in a regenerative


circuit when the piston rod diameter is decreased?

5. By which amount is the cylinder force output reduced in a regenerative circuit


giving double the normal extension speed?

3-52

Unit

Functional Circuits

UNIT OBJECTIVE
When you have completed this unit, you will be able to construct and operate
functional hydraulic circuits using accumulators, hydraulic motors, pressure reducing
valves, and remotely controlled relief valves.
DISCUSSION OF FUNDAMENTALS
This unit introduces the design and operation of hydraulic application circuits using
accumulators, hydraulic motors, pressure reducing valves, and remotely controlled
relief valves.
In many hydraulic systems, there is a need for an alternate power source.
Accumulator circuits, discussed in Exercise 4-1, assist the hydraulic pump by storing
hydraulic fluid at the system pressure. Accumulator circuits are used in hundreds of
different applications as auxiliary and emergency power sources and for leakage
compensation and shock suppression.
Numerous hydraulic applications, including gear boxes, belts, winches, and
production machinery, require fluid energy to be converted into mechanical rotary
energy. Hydraulic motors, discussed in Exercise 4-2, can do this conversion directly
without any intermediate machinery. Hydraulic motors are instantly reversible, and
they do not burn under excessively heavy loads as electric motors do.
In hydraulic circuits having more than one branch, it may be necessary to have a
high pressure in one branch, and a low pressure in another. Pressure reducing
valves, discussed in Exercise 4-3, are used to reduce pressure in the low pressure
branch.
Remote operation of a hydraulic circuit is often convenient and sometimes essential
for safety. Remote control of a relief valve, discussed in Exercise 4-4, allows the
operator to select between several levels of system pressure from a remote control
location.

4-1

4-2

Exercise

4-1

Accumulators

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To describe the general types of accumulators;


C To learn how accumulators can be used in auxiliary power, emergency power,
leakage compensation, and shock suppression;
C To understand the safety requirements for accumulator circuits.
DISCUSSION
Hydraulic accumulators
A hydraulic accumulator stores oil under pressure. This potential energy may then
be converted into working energy to assist the pump.
Figure 4-1 shows the three types of hydraulic accumulators with their corresponding
symbol.

Figure 4-1. General types of accumulators.

A. Weight-loaded accumulator: consists of a weight acting on a piston. The


incoming oil forces the piston to lift the weight, which charges the accumulator.
4-3

Accumulators
When the accumulator is allowed to discharge, the weight pushes the oil out of
the accumulator at constant pressure throughout the piston stroke. The
advantage of this type of accumulator is that it discharges at a constant pressure.
The disadvantage is that it is large and bulky in size.
B. Spring-loaded accumulator: consists of a spring acting on a piston. The
incoming oil forces the piston to compress the spring, which charges the
accumulator. When the accumulator is allowed to discharge, the spring
decompresses and pushes the oil out of the accumulator. The advantage of this
type of accumulator is that it is less bulky than the weighted unit. The
disadvantage is that it does not discharge at a constant pressure because the
force level of the spring decreases as it decompresses.
C. Gas-loaded accumulator: consists of a volume of gas exposed to system
pressure. The gas chamber is separated from the oil by a piston, a diaphragm,
or a bladder. The accumulator is precharged to a predetermined pressure while
the accumulator is completely empty of oil. Oil can enter the accumulator when
the oil pressure is higher than the precharge pressure. Oil filling the accumulator
compresses the gas and raises the pressure in the gas chamber. Higher
pressures compress the bladder more than lower pressures, allowing a larger
volume of oil to enter the accumulator. When the accumulator is allowed to
discharge, the gas decompresses and pushes the oil out of the accumulator. The
main advantage of this type of accumulator is that the pressure at which the oil
is stored can be changed simply by modifying the precharge pressurewith a
weight-loaded accumulator, this would require you to change the load on the
piston, which is more tricky. The disadvantage is that it does not discharge at a
constant pressure. This type is the most popular in high pressure applications.
Accumulator applications
The most common uses of accumulators are:

C
C
C
C

Auxiliary power;
Emergency power;
Leakage compensation;
Shock suppression.

Auxiliary power
Several applications require an auxiliary power source to supplement the pump flow.
Instead of using a large pump to generate a high power during a fraction of the cycle,
a smaller pump is used to spread power evenly over the cycle. Figure 4-2 shows an
example. The cylinder in this circuit is operated infrequently. During periods when no
oil is required for cylinder operation, the pump stores oil in the accumulator. A check
valve connected between the power unit and the accumulator prevents the
accumulator from discharging through the power unit pressure line port when the
pump pressure becomes lower than the accumulator pressure.

4-4

Accumulators

Figure 4-2. Accumulator used as an auxiliary power source.

When the moment arrives for the cylinder to extend, a solenoid-operated directional
valve is shifted down. Oil under pressure is discharged from the accumulator, joining
that coming from the pump, which extends the cylinder faster than with pump oil
alone.
Emergency power
Some applications require an alternate power source to return the system to a safe
status in case electrical power is lost. On a hydraulic press, for example, it may be
necessary to automatically retract a cylinder in the event electrical power is lost in
order to release the press. The accumulator provides the high pressure oil required
for this function.
Leakage compensation
Several applications require a cylinder to maintain position and pressure during long
standby periods. However, leakage losses and temperature variations cause the
pressure to slowly drop over time. Accumulators can compensate for the decrease
in pressure, so the pump does not need to run continuously.
Shock suppression
Sudden stoppage or reversal of high velocity oil causes high pressure surges in a
hydraulic circuit. These pressure increases, or shocks, are caused by the inertia of
oil when it stops quickly. The accumulator cushions the oil by compressing the gas
in gas-loaded units or by compressing the spring in spring-loaded units. For
example, an accumulator may be used to absorb some of the shock produced when
the pump flow is suddenly stopped or changes direction as a directional valve is
shifted.
4-5

Accumulators

Safety considerations
The primary safety rule to follow when using an accumulator circuit is always have
the accumulator completely discharged before removing it from the circuit. Never
attempt to service or disassemble an accumulator without special training and all
proper tools.
The reason for this is that pressurized accumulators can take off like a rocket if a
hose or component in the accumulator line is disconnected. In Figure 4-2, for
example, the accumulator is placed in a blocked circuit to allow oil storage for later
use. When the pump is turned off, the check valve prevents the accumulator from
discharging through the pump so that oil under pressure remains trapped in the
blocked accumulator circuit. Since there is no way to discharge the accumulator, this
stored energy can throw parts with enough force to cause injury or spray oil as
fittings are loosened.

Figure 4-3. Bleed-down circuit using a needle valve.

All industrial accumulator circuits have a positive discharge allowing you to


depressurize, or bleed-down the circuit after the power unit is turned off. This is
usually a needle valve connected directly into the pressure line near the
accumulator, as Figure 4-3 shows. Closing the needle valve blocks the flow through
4-6

Accumulators
the valve and allows the accumulator to charge when the power unit is turned on.
When the power unit is turned off, the accumulator can be discharged safely by
opening the needle valve.
REFERENCE MATERIAL
For additional information on accumulators, refer to the chapter entitled Check
Valves, Accumulators and Cylinders in the Parker-Hannifins manual Industrial
Hydraulic Technology.
Procedure summary
In the first part of the exercise, you will measure the storage capacity of a springloaded accumulator at several different pressures. To do so, you will fill the
accumulator with oil to a specified pressure and then discharge and measure the oil
into a flask to determine the volume of stored oil.
In the second part of the exercise, you will use a spring-loaded accumulator as an
emergency device to actuate a cylinder when the pump is turned off.
In the third part of the exercise, you will use the spring-loaded accumulator as an
auxiliary power source to increase the cycling speed of a cylinder.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Measuring the storage capacity of a spring-loaded accumulator

1. Remove the 3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore cylinder from its adapter by unscrewing
its retaining ring. Make sure the cylinder tip (bullet) is removed from the
cylinder rod end. Screw the cylinder into the spring Loading Device.
Note: If the rod of the 3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore cylinder is not fully
retracted, do not try to screw it into the spring load device. Instead
retract the rod of the cylinder hydraulically, using the cylinder
actuation circuit shown in Figure 2-10. Disconnect the circuit. Now
screw the cylinder into the spring load device.

2. Connect the circuit shown in Figures 4-4 and 4-5. This circuit uses a springloaded accumulator to store hydraulic pressure. The directional valve serves
as an on-off control to control the discharge of oil into the plastic flask. The
check valve inside the Flow Control Valve prevents the accumulator from
discharging through the Power Unit pressure line port when the Power Unit
is turned off.

4-7

Accumulators
Note: Make sure the plastic flask is empty before connecting it to
the directional valve.

Figure 4-4. Schematic diagram of circuit used to accumulate energy.

4-8

Accumulators

Figure 4-5. Connection diagram of circuit used to accumulate energy.

3. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.
f. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).
g. Make sure the Loading Device is securely mounted to the work
surface.

4. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise).

5. Turn on the Power Unit.

4-9

Accumulators

6. With the oil flow blocked at the directional valve, the oil from the pump is
now pushing on the accumulator piston, which compresses the accumulator
spring and charges the accumulator. Slowly turn the Relief Valve adjustment
knob clockwise until the system pressure at gauge A equals 1400 kPa
(200 psi).
Note: When using industrial gas-loaded accumulators, it is very
important to open the relief valve completely before turning on the
power unit, and then to increase the relief valve pressure setting
gradually to protect against accumulator overpressure.

7. Turn off the Power Unit. The pressure reading at gauge A should drop, while
the pressure reading at gauge B should remain near 1400 kPa (200 psi)
even though the Power Unit is turned off. Record the pressure readings at
gauges A and B in Table 4-1.
Note: The pressure reading at gauge B may drift down after the
Power Unit is turned off due to internal leakage in the directional
valve. Take your reading immediately after the Power Unit is
turned off.

SYSTEM PRESSURE

GAUGE A

GAUGE B

DISCHARGE
VOLUME

1400 kPa (200 psi)


2800 kPa (400 psi)
Table 4-1. Storage capacity versus system pressure.

8. Firmly hold the plastic flask upright with one hand, and move the lever of the
directional valve toward the valve body to discharge the oil into the flask.
Keep the lever in this position until Pressure Gauge B reads approximately
0 kPa (0 psi).

9. Unscrew and remove the plastic flask cap, then empty the collected oil into
a graduated beaker. Measure and record the approximate volume of
collected oil in Table 4-1 under "DISCHARGE. Then, replace the plastic
flask cap.
Note: The trainer beaker is graduated in milliliters. Milliliter is a
metric unit of measurement for volume (liquid capacity). 1 milliliter
equals 0.001 liter.
If you are working with English units, multiply the measured
volume in milliliters by 0.000264 to obtain the equivalent volume
in US gallons.

4-10

Accumulators

G 10. Repeat steps 5 to 9 for the other system pressure given in Table 4-1.
Record your data in Table 4-1. It is not necessary to empty the graduated
beaker before measuring the new volume of collected oil. Instead keep track
of the accumulated oil volume at 1400 kPa (200 psi) and subtract to find the
increase in volume.

G 11. Open the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise)
to discharge the accumulator. Make sure gauge B reads approximately
0 kPa (0 psi) before disconnecting any components from the accumulator
line.
CAUTION!
Before disconnecting any hose or component from the
accumulator line, the accumulator must be discharged
completely. Otherwise, oil under pressure will be trapped in
the accumulator circuit, making hose and component
disconnection difficult or impossible.

G 12. Pour the collected oil into a container (capped plastic jugs, topped bottles,
milk cartons, etc.) for transport to a disposal site. Oil recycling centers will
normally accept the oil, which can be refined and used again. Do not empty
the oil back into the pump reservoir, since it could have been contaminated
by dirt particles. Dirty oil can be very harmful to the hydraulic system
because it causes flow paths to become clogged, valves to stick, and pump
to overheat.

G 13. According to Table 4-1, does the volume of oil stored in the accumulator
increase when the Relief Valve setting is increased? Explain.

G 14. When the Power Unit was turned off in step 7 of the procedure, why did the
pressure drop at gauge A and remain high at gauge B?

G 15. How did the spring-loaded accumulator absorb some of the shock produced
when the pump flow was suddenly stopped at port P of the directional valve
after power up?

4-11

Accumulators

Using an accumulator as an emergency source of power

G 16. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 4-6.

Figure 4-6. Accumulator used as an emergency source of power.

Note: If the rod of the cylinders are not fully retracted, do not
connect the circuit of Figure 4-6. Instead retract the rod of each
cylinder hydraulically, using the cylinder actuation circuit of
Figure 2-10. Once the cylinder rods are fully retracted, connect
the circuit of Figure 4-6.

G 17. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise), then
close it 1 turn.

G 18. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise).

4-12

Accumulators
G 19. Turn on the Power Unit and watch the two Pressure Gauges. Why do the
Pressure Gauge readings increase a little after the Power Unit is turned on?

G 20. Turn off the Power Unit. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the
valve body to extend the rod of the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore cylinder. Why does
the cylinder rod move even though the pump is not running?

G 21. Turn on the Power Unit. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from
the valve body to retract the rod completely, then release the valve lever.

G 22. Adjust the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the system pressure
at gauge A is 1400 kPa (200 psi).

G 23. Turn off the Power Unit.


G 24. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend the
rod. Does the rod extend over its full stroke?

G Yes

G No

G 25. Turn on the Power Unit. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from
the valve body to retract the rod completely, then release the valve lever.

G 26. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the system pressure
at gauge A is 3500 kPa (500 psi).

G 27. Turn off the Power Unit.


G 28. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend the
rod. Does the rod extend over its full stroke?

G Yes

G No

G 29. Does a slight pressure level remain at the piston of the accumulator cylinder
(gauge B) when the cylinder rod is fully extended?

G Yes

G No

4-13

Accumulators
G 30. Discharge the accumulator. To do so, open the Flow Control Valve
completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise). The accumulator is
completely discharged when gauge B reads approximately 0 kPa (0 psi).

G 31. Given that the volume of a cylinder is equal to the full piston area, Af,

multiplied by the length of its stroke, L, calculate the theoretical volume of


oil, V, required to fully extend the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore x 1.59-cm
(0.625-in) rod x 10.16-cm (4-in) stroke cylinder.

G 32. Based on the volume calculated in step 31, what is the pressure required at
the piston of the accumulator cylinder to store enough oil to allow complete
extension of the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore cylinder when the Power Unit is turned
off ?
HINT: The volume of oil stored in the accumulator is equal to the full piston
area, Af, of the accumulator cylinder [2.54-cm (1.5-in) bore] multiplied by the
distance, D, the spring is compressed. Assume the spring rate, K, to
be 728 N/cm (416 lb/in).

G 33. Based on the calculations you made in steps 31 and 32, explain why the rod
of the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore cylinder did not extend over its full stroke when
the system pressure was set to 200 psi (13.8 bar).

G 34. In step 29 of the experiment, why did a slight pressure level remain at the
piston of the accumulator cylinder after extension of the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore
cylinder rod?

G 35. Keep your circuit connected since you will use it to perform the next part of
the exercise.

4-14

Accumulators
Using an accumulator as an auxiliary source of power

G 36. Switch the two hoses connected to the ports of the Flow Control Valve with
each other in order to obtain the circuit shown in Figure 4-7. In this circuit,
the Flow Control Valve is used to restrict the oil flow into the circuit to
simulate a small capacity pump.

Figure 4-7. Accumulator used as an auxiliary source of power.

G 37. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise), then
open it turn.

G 38. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).
G 39. Remove the accumulator from the circuit. To do so, disconnect both ends
of the hose connecting the cap end of the 3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore cylinder to
the 4-port manifold installed on port P of the directional valve.

G 40. Turn on the Power Unit.

4-15

Accumulators
G 41. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the system pressure
at gauge A is 2100 kPa (300 psi). Move the lever of the directional valve
outward from the valve body to retract the 2.54-cm (1-in) bore cylinder rod
completely.

G 42. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend the
2.54-cm (1-in) bore cylinder rod, and measure the extension time. Record
this value in the NOT IN CIRCUIT row of Table 4-2.
ACCUMULATOR

EXTENSION TIME

RETRACTION TIME

NOT IN CIRCUIT
IN CIRCUIT
Table 4-2. Cylinder cycling times with and without the accumulator.

G 43. Retract the cylinder rod and measure the retraction time. Record this value
in the NOT IN CIRCUIT row of Table 4-2.

G 44. Turn off the Power Unit.


G 45. Place the accumulator in the circuit by connecting the cap end of the
3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore cylinder to the 4-port manifold on the directional valve.

G 46. Turn on the Power Unit. The accumulator spring should slowly compress as
the restricted oil flow fills the accumulator. During this time, the pressure
reading at gauge B should slowly increase.

G 47. When the pressure reading at gauge B has stopped increasing, extend the
cylinder rod and measure the extension time. Record this value in the IN
CIRCUIT row of Table 4-2.

G 48. Wait until the accumulator has fully recharged, then retract the cylinder rod
and measure the retraction time. Record this value in Table 4-2.

G 49. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise). Notice that the accumulator will automatically discharge
after the Power Unit is turned off because the check valve inside the Flow
Control Valve now allows the oil to move freely to the reservoir through the
Power Unit pressure line port.

4-16

Accumulators

G 50. According to Table 4-2, is the cylinder cycling speed higher when the
accumulator is connected to the circuit? Why?

G 51. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet, then disconnect all
hoses. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

G 52. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 53. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and from the trainer. Properly
dispose of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.
CONCLUSION
In this exercise, you learned that pressurized oil can be stored by means of spring
compression, gas pressure, and weights.
The volume you measured in the first part of the exercise was the amount of oil
available to drive an actuator if the Power Unit were turned off. The higher the
system pressure, the greater the volume of stored oil in the accumulator. The check
valve you put in the circuit kept the accumulator from forcing oil back through the
Power Unit pressure line port when the Power Unit is turned off.
The second test circuit showed you how an accumulator can provide emergency
power. You used pressurized oil stored in the accumulator to operate a cylinder with
the Power Unit turned off. You saw that the cylinder extends more or less, depending
on the amount of stored oil. Accumulators used in industrial circuits, however, are
usually large enough to allow cycling a cylinder several times after the power unit is
turned off.
You observed that the system pressure did not rise quickly when you turned on the
Power Unit. The accumulator seemed to cushion sudden pressure changes. This
can be an advantage by eliminating shock to a system due to pressure surges.
You learned that another reason for using accumulators is to compensate for a pump
which is too small. You imitated a small capacity pump by controlling the flow into the
circuit. In this application, you could see how the energy stored in the accumulator
helped your low-volume pump by acting as an auxiliary source of power. The
energy is not free the system pump still has to work to charge the accumulator.
Another reason for using accumulators is to apply pressure to hold a load in place.
In this application, the accumulator compensates for the leakage through the cylinder
and the directional valve and still keeps pressure to hold the load, thus taking a great
burden off the power unit. Constant start-stop operation is hard on the equipment.
The pump operates long enough to charge the accumulator and stops for a while
rather than continuously turning on and off to hold the load.
4-17

Accumulators
Finally, you learned that an important component in an accumulator circuit is a
positive means to discharge (bleed down) the accumulator after the power unit is
turned off. In some cases, a directional control valve can be used. In other cases, a
separated bleed-down line incorporating a solenoid-operated 2-way valve or needle
valve is needed.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. In the circuit of Figure 4-4, why is a check valve (making part of the flow control
valve) used between the accumulator and the power unit pressure line port?

2. Why should the accumulator and accumulator line be emptied before


disconnecting any hose or component from the accumulator circuit?

3. How can an accumulator be used to reduce the cycle time of a cylinder?

4. What happens when a spring-loaded accumulator is used to suppress shocks


in a circuit?

5. How does a gas-loaded accumulator work?

4-18

Exercise

4-2

Hydraulic Motor Circuits

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To describe the design and operation of a hydraulic motor;


C To calculate the torque and speed of a hydraulic motor;
C To determine the effect a change in flow rate or pressure has on motor operation.
DISCUSSION
Hydraulic motors convert hydraulic energy into mechanical rotary energy. This
energy is used to turn a resisting object by means of a shaft. Hydraulic motors have
several advantages over electric motors. They can be uni- or bi-directional. They are
instantly reversible and they can absorb severe shock loading without damage to the
motor. They are smaller than electric motors and respond faster. Hydraulic motors
can be overloaded and stalled without damage because excess pressure is diverted
over the relief valve.
As Figure 4-8 shows, a hydraulic motor consists of the following elements:

C An inlet port supplying pressurized oil.


C A housing containing a rotating mechanism, as drive gears, exposed to system
pressure. The rotating mechanism is connected to the motor shaft. As
pressurized oil enters the motor inlet, pressure on the rotating mechanism causes
the motor shaft to rotate.
C An outlet port through which oil exits the motor.

4-19

Hydraulic Motor Circuits

Figure 4-8. Hydraulic motor.

Types of hydraulic motors


There are three basic types of hydraulic motors, named after the type of rotating
mechanism used inside the motor. These are gear, vane, and piston motors, as
Figure 4-9 shows.

C The gear motor is the type of motor supplied with your Hydraulics Trainer. It
consists of two intermeshing gears enclosed in the motor housing. One gear is
attached to the motor shaft. When pressurized oil is pumped into the inlet port,
the pressure acts upon the surface area of the gear teeth and the gears are
forced to rotate. Gear motors are usually less expensive than the other types of
motors. They are commonly used in agriculture and mining applications.

4-20

Hydraulic Motor Circuits

Figure 4-9. Types of hydraulic motors.

C The vane motor consists of a slotted rotor connected to a shaft. The slots contain
vanes which are free to slide in and out. When pressurized oil is pumped into the
inlet port, the pressure acts on the vanes and the rotor is forced to rotate. Vane
motors are often used on industrial equipments.
C The piston motor consists of several pistons fitted into a rotating barrel. The barrel
is connected to a shaft. When pressurized oil is pumped into the inlet port, the
pressure acts on the pistons and the cylinder barrel is forced to rotate. Piston
motors are used in applications requiring precise rotation speeds.
Motor displacement
Displacement of a hydraulic motor is the volume of oil required for the motor shaft
to turn one complete revolution. It is expressed in cubic centimeters per revolution
(cm3/r) in S.I. units, or in cubic inches per revolution (in3/r) in English units.

4-21

Hydraulic Motor Circuits


Motor speed and volumetric efficiency
The speed at which a hydraulic motor turns is determined by how fast it is filled with
oil. This speed, then, is directly proportional to the oil flow rate through the motor,
and inversely proportional to the motor displacement. The formula for calculating the
theoretical speed of a motor is:
S.I. units:

English units:

Due to internal leakage, the actual motor speed will be less than the theoretical
speed given by the above formula. The actual speed depends on the volumetric
efficiency of the motor. Volumetric efficiency is the ratio of the actual motor speed
to the theoretical speed, expressed as a percentage:

Since motor leakage is lower at higher speeds, volumetric efficiency tends to


increase as the speed of the motor is increased. In industry, calculation of the
volumetric efficiency at several different speeds is useful to determine if the motor
should be replaced.
Motor torque
Torque is the turning effort or rotary force generated at the motor shaft. For
example, the force applied to the end of a wrench to tighten a bolt is called torque.
In hydraulic systems, torque is often expressed in Newtons-meters (N@m) in S.I.
units, or in pounds-inches (lb@in) in English units. A rotary force of 20 N (4.5 lb)
applied to a shaft 5 cm (2 in) from the center of the shaft would be expressed as a
torque of 1 N@m (9 lb@in).
The amount of torque generated at the shaft of a hydraulic motor is directly
proportional to the motor displacement and system pressure at the motor inlet. The
formula for calculating the theoretical torque output of a motor is:
S.I. units:

English units:

4-22

Hydraulic Motor Circuits


The resistance of the load connected to the motor shaft determines the amount of
system pressure developed at the motor inlet, and, therefore, the amount of torque
generated at the motor shaft. No torque will be generated if there is no load on the
shaft.
Motor output power
The amount of power generated by a hydraulic motor is equal to the torque
developed at the motor shaft multiplied by the speed of the shaft. In equation form:
S.I. units:

English units:

The actual amount of power generated by a hydraulic motor will be less than the
theoretical value given by the above formula because of the losses, mechanical
friction and flow friction suffered inside the motor.
Hydraulic transmissions
A hydraulic motor can be teamed up with a variable-displacement pump to form a
hydraulic transmission. Hydraulic transmissions are circuits that match the torque
and speed of a hydraulic pump to the torque and speed requirements of a hydraulic
motor driving a load.
Hydraulic transmissions are extensively used in mobile, marine, and aircraft
applications. They can be either closed loop or open loop, as Figure 4-10
shows.

4-23

Hydraulic Motor Circuits

Figure 4-10. Hydraulic closed- and open-loop transmission circuits.

In a closed-loop transmission, the pump outlet is connected to the motor inlet, and
the motor outlet is connected to the pump inlet, as Figure 4-10 (a) shows. A small
pump, called replenishing pump, compensates for leakage by keeping the loop full
4-24

Hydraulic Motor Circuits


of oil. The motor turns in one direction only. Instead of being returned to the
reservoir, the oil discharged from the motor is re-circulated back to the pump inlet at
low pressure. The advantage of this type of transmission is that it is highly
controllable and compact in size. Closed-loop transmissions are also called
hydrostatic transmissions.
In an open-loop transmission, the pump outlet is connected to the motor inlet, and
the motor outlet is connected to the reservoir, as Figure 4-10 (b) shows. The motor
can turn in either direction. The direction of rotation is controlled through the use of
a directional control valve. This type of transmission is less expensive to
manufacture than closed loop transmissions, but it is less efficient and less easy to
control.
Hydraulic cylinders compared to hydraulic motors
Hydraulic cylinders are linear actuators, whereas hydraulic motors are rotary
actuators. As with hydraulic cylinders, however, the speed of a hydraulic motor is a
function of flow rate, while its output force, or torque, is a function of pressure.
Therefore, increasing the flow rate through a motor increases the rotation speed
without affecting the torque output capability. Conversely, increasing the system
pressure available to a motor increases the torque output capability without affecting
the rotation speed.
Conversion factors
Table 4-3 shows the conversion factors used to convert measurements of
displacement and torque from S.I. units to English units, and vice versa.
Displacement
Cubic centimeters
per revolution (cm3/r)

x 0.061 =

Cubic inches per


revolution (in3/r)

x 16.387

Cubic centimeters per


revolution (cm3/r)

Pounds-inches
(lb@in; lbf@in)

x 0.113

Newton-meters (N@m)

Torque
Newton-meters (N@m)

x 8.85 =

Table 4-3. Conversion factors.

REFERENCE MATERIAL
For additional information on hydraulic motors, refer to the chapter entitled Hydraulic
Motors in the Parker-Hannifins manual Industrial Hydraulic Technology.

4-25

Hydraulic Motor Circuits


Procedure summary
In the first part of the exercise, you will determine the effect a change in flow rate has
on the speed of a hydraulic motor. To do so, you will measure the speed of the motor
at several different flow rates, using a tachometer. You will then compare the
obtained speeds with the theoretical values, demonstrating that the motor volumetric
efficiency increases slightly due to a decrease in internal leakage as the speed
increases.
In the second part of the exercise, you will determine the effect a change in the
motor load has on the torque output of the motor. To do so, you will vary the load on
the motor, which will vary the system pressure at the motor inlet. For each load
condition, you will evaluate the torque generated at the motor shaft by stopping the
motor flywheel with your hand. The resistance of the motor to be stopped will
indicate whether the generated torque is high or low.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Speed and flow relationship in a hydraulic motor

1. Connect the circuit shown in Figures 4-11 and 4-12. In this part of the
exercise, you will determine the effect a change in flow rate has on the
speed of a hydraulic motor. The Flow Control Valve will be used to vary the
flow rate through the motor.
IMPORTANT!
The trainer hydraulic motor comes with a
lightweight flywheel and a heavyweight flywheel.
For this exercise, install the heavyweight flywheel
on the shaft of the motor, if not already installed.
Make absolutely certain the flywheel is firmly
secured to the motor shaft. To do so, verify that the
set screw in the flywheel hub is completely screwed
into its hole. The head of the set screw must be
flush with the flywheel hub.

4-26

Hydraulic Motor Circuits

Figure 4-11. Schematic diagram of the circuit used to test motor operation.

2. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.
f. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

3. Make sure the hydraulic motor is securely fixed to the work surface. Clear
away hoses, tools, and other objects from the motor.

4. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise), then
open it 1 turn.

5. Turn on the Power Unit.

6. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the system pressure
at gauge A is 2800 kPa (400 psi).

4-27

Hydraulic Motor Circuits

Figure 4-12. Connection diagram of the circuit used to test motor operation.

4-28

7. Slowly move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to route
oil out of port A, which will make the motor turn. Looking at the motor shaft
from the front of the motor, in which direction does the motor turn?

8. What happens to the motor operation when the directional valve is released
in its center position? Why?

Hydraulic Motor Circuits


G

9. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body and hold it so
that the motor runs. Slowly turn the Flow Control Valve adjustment knob
clockwise until the valve is completely closed. As you do this, observe the
motor shaft. What happens to the motor operation?

G 10. While keeping the lever of the directional valve in the inward position, slowly
increase the Flow Control Valve opening by turning its adjustment knob
counterclockwise. According to the pitch of the sound made by the motor,
what happens to the speed of the motor when the oil flow rate through the
motor increases?

G 11. As the motor is turning, adjust the Flow Control Valve so that the Flowmeter
reads 2.0 l/min [0.53 gal(US)/min].

G 12. As the motor is turning, place a tachometer on the motor shaft and measure
the motor speed. Record this speed in Table 4-4 under "ACTUAL".
FLOW RATE

ACTUAL SPEED

THEORETICAL
SPEED

VOLUMETRIC
EFFICIENCY

2.0 l/min
[0.53 gal(US)/min]
2.5 l/min
[0.66 gal(US)/min]
3.0 l/min
[0.79 gal(US)/min]
Table 4-4. Motor speed and efficiency versus flow rate.

G 13. Repeat steps 11 and 12 for the other flow rates in Table 4-4.
G 14. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise). Do not disconnect your circuit since you will use it to
perform the next part of the exercise.

G 15. According to the speeds registered in the "ACTUAL" column of Table 4-4,
how does the flow rate affect the speed of a motor?

4-29

Hydraulic Motor Circuits


G 16. Given that the theoretical displacement of your motor is 1.77 cm3/r

(0.108 in3/r), calculate the theoretical motor speed for each of the flow rates
listed in Table 4-4. Record your results in the THEORETICAL column of
Table 4-4.

G 17. Based on the actual and theoretical speeds registered in Table 4-4,
calculate the volumetric efficiency of the motor for each of the flow rates
listed in Table 4-4. Record your results in Table 4-4 under VOLUMETRIC
EFFICIENCY.

G 18. Does volumetric efficiency increase as the speed of the motor increases?
Why?

G 19. What flow rate would be required to make the motor turn at 2000 r/min?

Pressure and torque relationship in a hydraulic motor


Note: Wear protective gloves when conducting this part of the
exercise.

G 20. Make sure your circuit is connected as shown in Figure 4-11. In this part of
the exercise, you will demonstrate that the pressure at the motor inlet will
increase if the mechanical load applied to the motor increases.

G 21. Examine the motor flywheel to make sure it is smooth and free of burrs or
sharp edges.

G 22. Make sure the Relief Valve is open completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).

G 23. Open the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).
G 24. Turn on the Power Unit.
G 25. Increase the Relief Valve pressure setting until the circuit pressure at
gauge A is 2800 kPa (400 psi).
4-30

Hydraulic Motor Circuits

G 26. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to make the
motor turn. Since there is no load on the motor, no torque is being
generated at the motor shaft. While keeping the valve lever in the inward
position, note and record the pressure readings at gauges A and B in the
NO LOAD row of Table 4-5.
LOAD CONDITION

MOTOR INLET
PRESSURE (GAUGE A)

MOTOR OUTLET
PRESSURE (GAUGE B)

NO LOAD
STALLED
Table 4-5. Motor pressure and torque versus load condition.

G 27. Put on protective gloves. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the
valve body to make the motor turn. As the motor is turning, hold the motor
flywheel with your hand to increase the mechanical load on the motor. While
doing this, observe the motor inlet pressure at gauge A. What happens to
this pressure as the mechanical load on the motor is increased?

G 28. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to make the
motor turn. Hold the motor flywheel with your hand to keep the motor from
turning. Note and record in Table 4-5 the motor inlet and outlet pressures
at gauges A and B when the motor is stalled.

G 29. Where does the oil from the pump go when the motor is stalled?

G 30. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).

G 31. Calculate the amount of theoretical torque being generated at the motor
shaft when the motor stalls, based on the motor inlet pressure registered in
the STALLED row of Table 4-5.

4-31

Hydraulic Motor Circuits


G 32. What is the mechanical power output of the motor in question 31?

G 33. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet, then disconnect all
hoses. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

G 34. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 35. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and the trainer. Properly dispose
of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.
CONCLUSION
In the first part of the exercise, you operated a hydraulic motor at several different
speeds and demonstrated that motor speed is directly proportional to the flow rate.
You saw how speed can be varied greatly in a hydraulic motor which leads to one
of the many advantages of using a hydraulic motor as a mechanical drive. You have
also noticed that when running this type of motor at a low speed, there is much
internal leakage, and therefore, the speed is not as great as it should be. As the flow
rate increases, the speed increases and the volumetric efficiency gets better.
In the second part of the exercise, you operated the hydraulic motor under different
load conditions and demonstrated that motor torque is directly proportional to system
pressure at the motor inlet. As the load on the motor is increased, the system
pressure at the motor inlet increases, and, therefore, the output torque increases.
As with hydraulic cylinders, the speed of a hydraulic motor is a function of flow rate,
while its output force, or torque, is a function of pressure. Therefore, increasing the
system flow rate increases the motor speed without affecting the motor torque.
Increasing the system pressure increases the motor torque without affecting the
motor speed.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What is the function of a hydraulic motor in a hydraulic circuit?

4-32

Hydraulic Motor Circuits


2. Name the three most common types of hydraulic motors.

3. What is a hydraulic transmission?

4. What happens to the speed and torque output capability of a hydraulic motor
when the displacement of the motor is doubled?

5. State two methods of increasing the speed of a hydraulic motor.

6. A hydraulic motor is required to drive a load at a speed of 2000 r/min with a


torque of 4.52 NAm (40 lbAin). Calculate the minimum motor power output
required to drive the load.

4-33

4-34

Exercise

4-3

Pressure Reducing Valves

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To describe the design and operation of a pressure reducing valve;


C To test the operation of a clamp and bend circuit using a pressure reducing valve.
DISCUSSION
Pressure limitation in a branch circuit
The pressure control valve used in many exercises so far is the relief valve. The
pressure setting of this valve limits the maximum circuit pressure, and when you
change the setting, you affect pressure in all branches of the circuit.
In some hydraulic circuits, however, it is necessary to operate two cylinders in
separate branches at different pressures. A typical example is a clamp and bend
circuit requiring that the clamp cylinder apply a lesser force than the bend cylinder
to prevent distortion or damage to the workpieces. A pressure reducing valve might
be used to limit the pressure in the branch of the clamp cylinder.
Pressure reducing valves
The pressure reducing valve is another member of the pressure control valve family.
This type of valve limits, or regulates, the pressure in a circuit branch to a level less
than the system (relief valve) pressure by closing partially to restrict the oil flow into
the branch. It compensates for pressure changes in the system by adjusting the
pressure drop across its inlet and outlet ports to maintain the pressure in the branch
at the desired level.
Figure 4-13 shows the Pressure Reducing Valve supplied with your Hydraulics
Trainer. The valve body has three ports: an inlet pressure (P) port, a regulated
pressure (R) port, and a tank (T) port. Unlike the Relief Valve, the Pressure
Reducing Valve is normally open and it senses the pressure downstream, as
indicated by the valve symbol in Figure 4-13.

4-35

Pressure Reducing Valves

Figure 4-13. The trainer Pressure Reducing Valve.

4-36

Pressure Reducing Valves


An internal spool controls the oil flow through the valve by acting on a large spring.
The pressure level where the spool begins to close to restrict the oil flow through the
valve is called cracking pressure. The pressure level where the spool is completely
closed and no oil flows through the valve is called operating pressure. The
operating pressure can be adjusted by using the adjustment knob on the valve body.
Turning the knob counterclockwise decreases the valve operating pressure, which
reduces the level of allowable downstream pressure. Once the operating pressure
is adjusted, tightening a locking nut on the adjustment screw will prevent vibrations
and shocks from modifying the adjustment.
As long as the pressure demanded by the load connected downstream from the
valve is lower than the valve cracking pressure, the spool will remain wide open
(lowest position) and oil will flow freely through the valve. If the pressure demand
becomes higher than the valve cracking pressure, the spool will move up to some
intermediate position to stop the rise in pressure. The higher the pressure demand,
the closer the spool will move toward its completely closed position.
If the oil flow becomes blocked downstream from the valve, as for cylinder stall or
cylinder at full stroke, the valve will close completely and allow the excess oil at the
regulated pressure port to dump back to the reservoir through its tank port, thereby
maintaining the downstream pressure at its operating pressure setting.
If the pressure downstream drops off, the valve will reopen and allow the pressure
to build up to the operating pressure again.
Pressure reducing valves will not allow the oil to flow very well in the reverse
direction, because they will try to close, resulting in a restricted flow rate. When
reverse flow is required, as in a circuit containing an extending and retracting
cylinder, a pressure reducing valve with a built-in check valve may be used, or an
external check valve may be connected across the valve inlet pressure (P) and
regulated pressure (R) ports. The Pressure Reducing Valve supplied with your
Hydraulics Trainer has an internal built-in check-valve.
In order for a pressure reducing valve to operate properly, the tank port must
imperatively be connected to the reservoir. If this connection is missing or blocked,
the spool will not be able to move to a throttling position to adjust the pressure drop
across its inlet and outlet ports, which will cause the pressure downstream from the
valve to climb to the maximum system (relief valve) pressure. The valve will remain
fully open, preventing any control of the downstream pressure.
Clamp and work application
The most common application of pressure reducing valves is for clamp and work
circuits. The clamp operation, which consists in holding a workpiece in a fixture, is
performed by a small bore cylinder requiring less than full system pressure to limit
the force applied to the workpiece. The work operation, which consists in doing a
particular task on the clamped workpiece, such as bending, pressing, drilling, cutting,
or grinding, is performed by a cylinder of larger bore requiring the full system
pressure.

4-37

Pressure Reducing Valves

Figure 4-14. Clamp and bend circuit.

Figure 4-14 shows a clamp and bend circuit used to form metal workpieces. The
circuit is made up of two cylinder branches connected in parallel. The clamping
branch consists of a small bore cylinder requiring a maximum pressure of 1200 kPa
(175 psi) to clamp the workpieces with limited force. A pressure reducing valve
connected upstream limits the pressure to this cylinder to 1200 kPa (175 psi). The
bending branch consists of a large bore cylinder requiring the maximum system
pressure [3500 kPa (500 psi)] to bend the workpieces with full force. A flow control
valve connected downstream limits the speed of this cylinder. This valve is set so
that it creates an additional resistance of 1400 kPa (200 psi) downstream from the
bend cylinder. Limiting the cylinder speed minimizes the impact produced when the
cylinder rod hits the workpiece and ensures that the workpiece is clamped with
sufficient force at the moment when the bend cylinder starts to bend the workpiece.

4-38

Pressure Reducing Valves


When the directional valve is shifted as shown in Figure 4-15, the pumped oil is
directed to the cap side of both cylinders at the same time. The clamp cylinder
begins to extend first because it requires a very low pressure to counteract the
resistance of the oil flowing back to the reservoir, while the bend cylinder requires
a 1400-kPa (200-psi) pressure to counteract the resistance of the flow control valve.
Since the clamp cylinder extends under no load, it requires a pressure [550 kPa
(80 psi)] lower than the 1200-kPa (175-psi) pressure setting of the pressure reducing
valve, so the valve stays fully open.

Figure 4-15. Clamp cylinder extends.

When the clamp cylinder stalls against the workpiece (see Figure 4-16), the oil flow
becomes blocked, causing the system pressure to rise quickly. When the pressure
downstream from the pressure reducing valve reaches 1200 kPa (175 psi), the
pressure reducing valve closes completely to limit the clamping force. The system
pressure then rises to 1400 kPa (200 psi), causing the bend cylinder to start
extending. When this cylinder contacts the workpiece, the system pressure rises to
the 3500-kPa (500-psi) setting of the relief valve to bend the workpiece with full
force.
4-39

Pressure Reducing Valves

Figure 4-16. Workpiece bent with full force while clamped with limited force.

When the workpiece is bent, the directional valve is shifted to retract the cylinders
(see Figure 4-17). The oil from the cap end of the clamp cylinder returns to the
reservoir through the bypass check valve, while the oil from the cap end of the bend
cylinder returns freely to the reservoir.

4-40

Pressure Reducing Valves

Figure 4-17. Bend and clamp cylinder retract.

REFERENCE MATERIAL
For additional information on pressure reducing valves, refer to the chapter entitled
Pressure Control Valves in the Parker-Hannifins manual Industrial Hydraulic
Technology.
Procedure summary
In the first part of the exercise, you will test the operation of a pressure reducing
valve. A flow control valve will be used to vary the load (pressure demand)
downstream from the pressure reducing valve.

4-41

Pressure Reducing Valves


In the second part of the exercise, you will connect and test the operation of the
clamp and bend circuit described in the DISCUSSION section of the exercise.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Operation of a Pressure Reducing Valve

1. Connect the circuit shown in Figures 4-18 and 4-19. In this circuit, the Flow
Control Valve will be used to simulate a varying load downstream from the
Pressure Reducing Valve.

Figure 4-18. Schematic diagram of the circuit used to test the operation of a pressure reducing
valve.

4-42

Pressure Reducing Valves

Figure 4-19. Connection diagram of the circuit used to test the operation of a pressure reducing
valve.

2. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.
f. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

3. Close the Flow Control Valve completely by turning its adjustment knob fully
clockwise. This will block the oil flow downstream from the Pressure
Reducing Valve.

4. Open the Pressure Reducing Valve completely. To do so, first loosen the
locking nut on the adjustment screw by turning this nut fully
counterclockwise. Then, turn the valve adjustment knob fully clockwise. The
valve is now wide open and the operating pressure is set at the highest
possible pressure.

4-43

Pressure Reducing Valves

5. Turn on the Power Unit.

6. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the circuit pressure
at gauge A is 2100 kPa (300 psi).

7. According to the pressure reading at gauge B, is the pressure downstream


from the Pressure Reducing Valve approximately equal to the circuit (Relief
Valve) pressure at gauge A? Why?

8. Decrease the reducing valve operating pressure by turning its adjustment


knob counterclockwise and observe the pressure reading at gauge B. What
happens to the pressure downstream from the reducing valve (gauge B) as
the valve operating pressure is decreased?
Note: The reducing valve adjustment knob can be turned over
approximately six turns. You may have to turn the valve knob four
or five turns counterclockwise before the downstream pressure at
gauge B starts to change.

9. Close the reducing valve completely by turning its adjustment knob fully
counterclockwise.

G 10. Observe the pressure reading at gauge B. This is the minimum pressure
level allowable downstream from the reducing valve. Record this pressure
below.
Minimum downstream pressure:

kPa or

psi

G 11. Set the operating pressure of the reducing valve to 1400 kPa (200 psi). To
do so, turn the valve adjustment knob clockwise until the pressure level
downstream from the valve (gauge B) is 1400 kPa (200 psi).

4-44

Pressure Reducing Valves


G 12. Increase the circuit pressure by slowly turning the Relief Valve adjustment
knob clockwise until gauge A reads 3500 kPa (500 psi). While doing this,
observe the pressure level downstream from the reducing valve (gauge B).
Does increasing the circuit pressure increases the pressure downstream
from the valve? Explain.

G 13. Decrease the load (pressure demand) downstream from the reducing valve
by opening the Flow Control Valve 1 turn counterclockwise. Oil is now
flowing downstream from the reducing valve, as indicated by the Flowmeter.
Is the pressure level downstream from the reducing valve (gauge B) still
1400 kPa (200 psi)?

G Yes

G No

G 14. Further decrease the load (pressure demand) downstream from the
reducing valve by turning the Flow Control Valve adjustment knob fully
counterclockwise. While doing this, observe the Flowmeter reading and the
pressure reading at gauge B. What happens to the oil flow rate and to the
pressure level downstream from the reducing valve (gauge B) as the
pressure demand is decreased?

G 15. Increase the load (pressure demand) downstream from the reducing valve.
To do so, reduce the Flow Control Valve opening by slowly turning its
adjustment knob clockwise. While doing this, observe the Flowmeter
reading and the pressure level at gauge B. What happens to the oil flow rate
and to the pressure level downstream from the reducing valve (gauge B) as
the pressure demand is increased? Explain why.

G 16. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise) to block
the oil flow downstream from the reducing valve. The circuit pressure now
at gauge A is the Relief Valve pressure setting [3500 kPa (500 psi)], while
the downstream pressure at gauge B is the reducing valve operating
pressure [1400 kPa (200 psi)].

4-45

Pressure Reducing Valves

G 17. Turn off the power. Do not modify the setting of the Relief Valve and
reducing valve.

G 18. Now test the effect on the reducing valve operation from removing its tank
connection. Disconnect both ends of the hose connecting the Pressure
Reducing Valve tank (T) port to the return manifold. Then, turn on the Power
Unit.

G 19. According to the pressure reading at gauge B, is the pressure level


downstream from the reducing valve still limited to the 1400-kPa (200-psi)
setting of this valve?

G Yes

G No

G 20. Try to decrease the level of the pressure downstream from the reducing
valve (gauge B) by closing this valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise). Did the downstream pressure decrease? Why?
Note: The reducing valve adjustment knob may be hard to turn in
this situation.

G 21. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).
Clamp and bend application

G 22. Connect the clamp and bend circuit shown in Figure 4-20. In this circuit, the
2.54-cm (1-in) bore cylinder will simulate a clamp cylinder, while the 3.81-cm
(1.5-in) bore cylinder will simulate a bend cylinder. The circuit (relief valve)
pressure will be set to 3500 kPa (500 psi).
The reducing valve will limit the pressure to the clamp cylinder to 1200 kPa
(175 psi) when this cylinder becomes fully extended.
The Flow Control Valve will be adjusted so that the circuit pressure at
gauge A must build up to 1400 kPa (200 psi) before the bend cylinder can
extend.

4-46

Pressure Reducing Valves

Figure 4-20. Circuit for testing the operation of a clamp and bend circuit.

G 23. Open the reducing valve completely by turning its adjustment knob fully
clockwise.

G 24. Open the Flow Control Valve completely by turning its adjustment knob fully
counterclockwise.

G 25. Turn on the Power Unit.

4-47

Pressure Reducing Valves


Preliminary settings

G 26. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to extend the
rods of the clamp and bend cylinders. With the piston rods extended, all the
oil from the pump is now being forced through the relief valve and gauge A
indicates the minimum pressure setting of this valve.
While keeping the directional valve lever in the inward position, turn the
relief valve adjustment knob clockwise until the circuit pressure at gauge A
is 3500 kPa (500 psi).
Then, limit the pressure at the piston of the clamp cylinder to 1200 kPa
(175 psi). While keeping directional valve lever in the inward position, turn
the reducing valve adjustment knob counterclockwise until the pressure at
gauge B is 1200 kPa (175 psi).

G 27. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body to
retract both cylinder rods completely.

G 28. Turn the Flow Control Valve adjustment knob 3 turns clockwise.
G 29. Extend the cylinder rods and readjust the Flow Control Valve so that
gauge A reads 1400 kPa (200 psi) as the bend cylinder [3.81-cm (1.5-in)
bore] extends. Accurate adjustment may require that the cylinders be
extended and retracted several times.

G 30. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body to
retract both cylinder rods completely.
Testing circuit operation

G 31. Now test the operation of the clamp and bend circuit. Move the lever of the
directional valve toward the valve body to extend the cylinders. Which
cylinder begins to extend first? Why?

G 32. Retract both cylinders completely.

4-48

Pressure Reducing Valves

G 33. Extend the cylinders while observing the pressure readings at gauges A and
B. Does the gauge B pressure climb to the 3500-kPa (500-psi) pressure
setting of the Relief Valve when the clamp cylinder [2.54-cm (1-in) bore]
becomes fully extended? Why?

G 34. Is the force available from the clamp cylinder limited by the reducing valve?
G Yes

G No

G 35. Retract both cylinders completely.


G 36. Extend the cylinders while observing the pressure reading at gauge A. What
is the gauge A pressure when the bend cylinder [3.81-cm (1.5 in) bore] is
extending? When this cylinder becomes fully extended?

G 37. Is the force available from the bend cylinder limited by the reducing valve?
G Yes

G No

G 38. Make sure both cylinders are completely retracted, then turn off the Power
Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

G 39. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet, then disconnect all
hoses. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

G 40. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 41. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and from the trainer. Properly
dispose of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.

4-49

Pressure Reducing Valves


CONCLUSION
In the first part of the exercise, you tested the operation of a reducing valve. You saw
that this type of valve compensates for pressure changes in the system by adjusting
the pressure drop across its inlet and outlet ports to maintain the pressure
downstream at the desired level. As you changed the relief valve and flow control
settings, you saw that the reducing valve was able to hold a fixed pressure as long
as the pressure demand downstream was higher than its operating pressure.
In the second part of the exercise, you tested a clamp and bend circuit using a
reducing valve. The pressure at the bend cylinder was able to rise up to the system
(relief valve) pressure, while the pressure at the clamp cylinder was limited to a level
less than the system pressure. This showed you that the pressure in some part of
the circuit can be controlled so it is not affected by the load on the cylinder. Without
such a control, excessive clamping force would cause damage.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Why are pressure reducing valves used?

2. Is the pressure reducing valve normally open or normally closed?

3. How is the pressure reducing valve different from the relief valve?

4-50

Pressure Reducing Valves


4. Why must the pressure reducing valve be externally drained (connected to
tank)?

4-51

4-52

Exercise

4-4

Remotely Controlled Pressure Relief Valves

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To explain how a pressure relief valve can be controlled remotely;


C To control the tonnage of a press cylinder remotely.
DISCUSSION
Remote control of a relief valve
Remote control of a relief valve consists in overriding the pressure setting of a relief
valve from a remote control location. Remote control is particularly convenient when
several levels of system pressure are required and the relief valve is located at a
distant point from the operator control panel.
Remote control is achieved by connecting the vent (V) port of the relief valve to the
inlet of another pressure control valve, usually a second relief valve of smaller size.
As an example, Figure 4-21 shows remote control of a main relief valve with a
secondary relief valve. The secondary relief valve is installed in the vent line of the
main relief valve. The highest desired system pressure is adjusted on the main relief
valve itself, lower pressures being obtained with the secondary relief valve. Circuit
operation is as follows:

C When the pressure setting of the secondary relief valve is higher than the
pressure setting of the main relief valve, the secondary relief valve stays fully
closed and all the pumped oil discharges to the reservoir through the main relief
valve at whatever pressure this valve is set for.
C When the pressure setting of the secondary relief valve is decreased below the
pressure setting of the main relief valve, a small amount of oil passes out the vent
port of the main relief valve and discharges to the reservoir through the secondary
relief valve. This prevents the pressure in the spring chamber of the main relief
valve from building up, causing the main poppet inside this valve to open. As a
result, most of the pumped oil discharges to the reservoir through the main relief
valve at whatever pressure the secondary relief valve is set for.
As you can see, decreasing the pressure setting of the secondary relief valve has the
same effect on the circuit pressure as decreasing the pressure setting on the knob
of the main relief valve. However, it is important to understand that the secondary
relief valve can reduce the pressure setting of the main relief valve but can never
raise it.

4-53

Remotely Controlled Pressure Relief Valves

Figure 4-21. Overriding the pressure level set on the knob of a main relief valve from a remote
location.

The advantage to using a remotely controlled main relief valve comes from the fact
that only a small amount of oil is required for opening the secondary relief valve and
venting the main relief valve, the remainder of the oil being discharged to the
reservoir through the main relief valve. This allows large-size relief valves to be
adjusted remotely using very small relief valves and small-diameter tubing lines.
Applications
Remotely controlled relief valves can be used in applications where the process may
require one or more cylinders to operate at pressures lower than the main system
pressure. An example is a hydraulic press. Since different materials will require an
adjustment of the maximum force, or tonnage, available from the hydraulic press, a
small relief valve can be mounted on the operator panel and connected to the vent
port of the main relief valve through a small-diameter tubing line. The maximum
required tonnage is to be set on the main relief valve, lower tonnages being obtained
with the secondary relief valve.
Procedure summary
In the first part of the exercise, you will demonstrate the operation of a remotely
controlled relief valve.
In the second part of the exercise, you will control the tonnage of a press cylinder
remotely.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.

4-54

Remotely Controlled Pressure Relief Valves


PROCEDURE
Remote control of a relief valve

1. Connect the circuit shown in Figures 4-22 and 4-23. Since your Hydraulics
Trainer comes with only one Relief Valve, you will use a Flow Control Valve
as the secondary relief valve to vary the pressure level at the vent port of
the Relief Valve.

Figure 4-22. Schematic diagram of the circuit used to test the operation of a remotely controlled
relief valve.

2. Close the Flow Control Valve completely by turning its adjustment knob fully
clockwise. This will block the oil flow downstream of the relief valve vent
port, simulating a secondary relief valve in the fully-closed condition.

3. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.
f. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

4-55

Remotely Controlled Pressure Relief Valves

Figure 4-23. Connection diagram of the circuit used to test the operation of a remotely controlled
relief valve.

4-56

4. Turn on the Power Unit.

5. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the circuit pressure
at gauge A is 2800 kPa (400 psi).

6. Very slowly open the Flow Control Valve (turn knob counterclockwise)
turn to decrease the pressure level at the vent port of the Relief Valve
(gauge B). While doing this, observe what happens to the circuit pressure
at gauge A. Record your observations below.

Remotely Controlled Pressure Relief Valves


G

7. Slowly close the Flow Control Valve (turn knob fully clockwise) to increase
the pressure level at the vent port of the Relief Valve (gauge B). While doing
this, observe what happens to the circuit pressure at gauge A. Record your
observations below.

8. According to the pressure reading at gauge A, can the Flow Control Valve
be used to raise the pressure setting (2800 kPa/400 psi) of the Relief Valve?

G Yes
G

G No

9. Open the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).
According to the pressure reading at gauge A, can the venting action reduce
the circuit pressure to zero? Why?

G 10. According to the Flowmeter reading, does most of the pumped oil discharge
to the reservoir through the Relief Valve or through the Flow Control Valve?
Explain.

G 11. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).
Remote control of the tonnage of a hydraulic press

G 12. Get the 3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore cylinder and Loading Device from your
storage location. Remove the cylinder from its adapter by unscrewing its
retaining ring. Make sure the cylinder tip (bullet) is removed from the
cylinder rod end. Screw the cylinder into the Loading Device.
Note: If the rod of the 3.81-cm (1.5-in) bore cylinder is not fully
retracted, do not try to screw it into the Loading Device. Instead
retract the cylinder rod hydraulically, using the cylinder actuation
circuit shown in Figure 2-10. Once the cylinder rod is retracted,
screw the cylinder into the Loading Device.

G 13. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 4-24. In this circuit, the 3.81-cm (1.5-in)
bore cylinder simulates a press cylinder. The maximum force (tonnage)
available from the press cylinder is remotely controlled through the use of
a Flow Control Valve connected in the vent line of a Relief Valve.
4-57

Remotely Controlled Pressure Relief Valves

Figure 4-24. Remote control of the maximum force (tonnage) available from a press cylinder.

G 14. Clip the NEWTON/LBF-graduated ruler to the Loading Device, aligning the
0 mark with the colored line on the load piston.

G 15. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise).
G 16. Turn on the Power Unit.
G 17. The circuit pressure should now be controlled by the Relief Valve because
the Flow Control Valve is fully closed. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob
clockwise until the circuit pressure at gauge A is 2800 kPa (400 psi).

G 18. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to compress
the spring. Note and record the tonnage of the press cylinder as indicated
on the ruler of the Loading Device. This is the maximum rated tonnage as
set on the Relief Valve.
Maximum rated tonnage:

or

lb

G 19. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body to
retract the cylinder rod.

4-58

Remotely Controlled Pressure Relief Valves


G 20. Open the Flow Control Valve (turn knob counterclockwise) until the circuit
pressure at gauge A is 1400 kPa (200 psi).

G 21. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to compress
the spring. Note and record the new tonnage of the press cylinder as
indicated on the ruler of the Loading Device.
New tonnage:

N or

lb

G 22. From the observations you made, can the tonnage of a press cylinder be
remotely reduced using a remotely controlled Relief Valve?

G Yes

G No

G 23. Move the lever of the directional valve outward from the valve body to
retract the cylinder rod.

G 24. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).

G 25. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet, then disconnect all
hoses. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

G 26. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 27. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and the trainer. Properly dispose
of any towels and rags used to clean up oil.
CONCLUSION
In the first part of the exercise, you demonstrated the operation of a remotely
controlled Relief Valve. As you decreased the pressure downstream of the relief
valve vent port, you noticed that the circuit pressure decreased as if the pressure
setting of the Relief Valve were decreased on the valve adjustment knob. As you
increased the pressure downstream of the relief valve vent port, you noticed that the
circuit pressure could not be raised beyond the 2800-kPa (400-psi) pressure setting
of the Relief Valve.
In the second part of the exercise, you used a remotely controlled Relief Valve to
adjust the maximum force, or tonnage, available from a press cylinder. With the Flow
Control Valve fully closed, the force you measured on the Loading Device was the
maximum rated tonnage as set on the remotely controlled Relief Valve. With the
Flow Control Valve partially open, the force you measured was the reduced tonnage
level as set on the Flow Control Valve.

4-59

Remotely Controlled Pressure Relief Valves


Remote control is a fact of life today. Almost anywhere you look, complicated
hydraulic systems can be controlled through a single central site for efficiency and
safety. Small valves located on a control panel operate massive valves and let the
operator control large hydraulic equipment from points of safety and comfort.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What is meant by remote controlling a relief valve?

2. How can a relief valve be remotely controlled?

3. Name an advantage to using a remotely controlled relief valve.

4. Can the pressure setting of a remotely controlled relief valve be raised by


modifying the adjustment of a secondary relief valve?

5. On a hydraulic press, which valve (main/secondary relief valve) should be used


to adjust the highest desired tonnage?

4-60

Unit

Troubleshooting

UNIT OBJECTIVE
When you have completed this unit, you will be able to test the main components of
a hydraulic system based on the manufacturer specifications and on the first
principles of hydraulics. You will also be able to explain how temperature affects the
operating characteristics of a hydraulic system.
DISCUSSION OF FUNDAMENTALS
Troubleshooting is the activity or process of diagnosing and locating the cause of
malfunction in a hydraulic system. Troubleshooting hydraulic equipment is basically
the same as troubleshooting any mechanical or electrical device. Individual initiative
and imagination, coupled with effective and efficient techniques, are important
elements in successful troubleshooting. Good troubleshooting techniques depend
on a sound knowledge of the system or device and the way it normally operates, as
well as a procedure that limits the number of verification steps.
Troubleshooting can be structured according to four levels of activity designed to
identify, locate, and correct a problem. Each level brings us closer to the problem
source. The levels of activity, listed in order, are:
1.
2.
3.
4.

System function;
Location of the defective part of system;
Component checking;
Substitution or replacement.

In this unit, you will concentrate on the third level of activity, with special emphasis
placed on the verification of the pump, directional valve, and flowmeter.
To successfully perform any troubleshooting activity, it is necessary to understand
the equipment and its operation. The first step to do when testing a hydraulic system
is to locate system specifications. Pump delivery, relief valve setting, and cylinder
cycle times must be known if thorough testing is to be done. This kind of information,
along with hydraulic schematics and functional block diagrams, can be useful and
time saving. Estimate specifications only if manufacturers specifications cannot be
found.
In all cases, troubleshooting should be approached using two fundamental rules as
a guide. First, observe the symptoms of the problem, and second, relate the problem
to a specific part of the system. This will usually lead you to the device which is
defective.

5-1

5-2

Exercise

5-1

Hydraulic Pumps

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To describe the basic operation of a hydraulic pump;


C To be able to use manufacturer pump specifications to test a pump in a hydraulic
system;
C To explain how oil temperature affects flow rate and volumetric efficiency.
DISCUSSION
Pump design and operation
The overall construction of a hydraulic pump is very similar to a hydraulic motor.
Pump operation is basically the reverse of a motor. While hydraulic motors convert
hydraulic energy into mechanical energy, hydraulic pumps convert mechanical
energy into hydraulic energy.
Most hydraulic pumps, including the pump in your Power Unit, are positivedisplacement pumps. These pumps deliver a fixed volume of oil for each revolution
regardless of pressure in the system.
As Figure 5-1 shows, a hydraulic pump typically consists of the following elements:

C An inlet port supplying oil from the reservoir.


C An outlet port connected to the pressure line port.
C A housing containing a rotating mechanism connected to a drive shaft. The shaft
is usually turned by an electric motor.

5-3

Hydraulic Pumps

Figure 5-1. Hydraulic pump.

Hydraulic pumps all operate on the same principle:

C A vacuum is created at the pump inlet by increasing the volume within the
pump. The pressure difference between the vacuum condition in the pump and
atmospheric pressure in the reservoir causes the oil from the reservoir to flow to
the pump inlet through the suction line.
C Oil is then expelled out of the pump by decreasing the volume within the pump.
Types of positive-displacement pumps
As with hydraulic motors, there are three basic types of hydraulic pumps, named
after the type of rotating mechanism used inside the pump. These are gear, vane,
and piston pumps.

5-4

Hydraulic Pumps
Gear pumps
The gear pump, shown in Figure 5-2, is the type of pump used in your Power Unit.
It consists of two intermeshing gears that rotate within the pump housing. One gear,
called the drive gear, is turned by the electric motor, and the other gear, called the
idler gear, is turned by the drive gear. As the gear teeth separate on the inlet side,
volume is increased and a vacuum is formed, causing oil to be drawn into the
housing. As the gears turn, oil is trapped between the teeth and the housing, and
carried to the outlet port, where the meshing teeth decrease the volume and force
the oil into the system. Gear pumps are usually less expensive than the other types
of pump. They are popular in mobile equipment.

Figure 5-2. Gear pump.

Vane pumps
The vane pump consists of a slotted rotor connected to a drive shaft. These slots
contain vanes which are thrust outward by centrifugal force when the rotor turns. The
edges of the vanes seal against the housing walls, transporting oil in much the same
manner as the gears in the gear pump. Vane pumps are used extensively on
industrial manufacturing equipment.
Piston pumps
The piston pump consists of several pistons fitted into a rotating cylinder barrel. As
the cylinder barrel is rotated, the pistons move in and out in the barrel, creating
increasing and decreasing volumes within the pump. Piston pumps are commonly
used in high pressure applications.
5-5

Hydraulic Pumps

Pump slippage
Slippage may be defined as the internal leakage of oil in a pump. Some slippage is
necessary into all pumps to lubricate the various internal parts of the pump. In a gear
pump, for example, slippage results from the required clearances between the gear
teeth and between the sides of gears and the housing.
Excessive slippage, however, reduces the efficiency of the pump. Slippage increases
when the pump clearances increase from wear. More oil will flow through a large
opening than through a small clearance.
Hydraulic pump ratings
The hydraulic pump is the most important component in any hydraulic system. The
pump operating characteristics influence the performance, efficiency, and operating
cost of the entire system.
The first thing to do when testing a hydraulic pump is to get manufacturers
specifications. Important specifications to know are displacement, nominal flow
rate, volumetric efficiency, and overall efficiency.

C Displacement is the volume of oil discharged by the pump in a single revolution.


It is expressed in cubic centimeters per revolution (cm3/r) in S.I. units, or in cubic
inches per revolution (in3/r) in English units.
C Nominal flow rate is the theoretical amount of oil supplied by the pump at a
given rotation speed. It is equal to the pump displacement multiplied by the
rotation speed. In equation form:
S.I. units:

English units:

The nominal flow rate is usually specified for a pump pressure around 0 kPa
(0 psi). Due to internal leakage, however, the actual amount of oil supplied by the
pump will decrease as the pump pressure increases.
For this reason, manufacturers often specify a slip value for their pump. The slip
value indicates the amount of oil that does not reach the pump output for a given
increase in pump pressure. If, for example, a pump has a nominal flow rate of
10 l/min and a slip value of 0.1 l/min per 1000 kPa, this means that when the
pressure demanded at the pump output is 5000 kPa, 0.5 l/min will be lost due to
internal leakage, and the pump flow rate will be reduced to 9.5 l/min.

5-6

Hydraulic Pumps
The nominal flow rate is also specified for an operating temperature around 49C
(120F). At higher temperatures, the actual flow rate may be less than the
specified value because pump leakage increases as the oil temperature
increases.

C Volumetric efficiency is the ratio of actual to nominal flow rate, expressed as a


percentage:

Pump manufacturers often provide a graph showing pump volumetric efficiency


versus pump pressure. Figure 5-3 shows the volumetric efficiency curve specified
for the hydraulic pump in your Power Unit. As the pump pressure increases,
volumetric efficiency decreases because the increasing amount of internal
leakage causes the output flow to decrease.

Figure 5-3. Pump volumetric efficiency versus pressure.

When the pump pressure is limited by a relief valve, the discharge flow begins to
decrease as soon as the valve cracking pressure is reached, which affects the
volumetric efficiency curve. If, for example, the valve pressure setting is 6200 kPa
(900 psi), volumetric efficiency will start to decrease at a faster rate in the region
of 5500 kPa (800 psi), and it will decrease more and more as the pump pressure
approaches 6200 kPa (900 psi), as Figure 5-3 shows.
5-7

Hydraulic Pumps
The condition of a pump can be evaluated by measuring its volumetric efficiency
at several different pressures and comparing the obtained curve with that
provided by the manufacturer.

C Pump overall efficiency is the ratio of the pump output power to the pump input
power, expressed as a percentage. It is equal to pump volumetric efficiency
multiplied by pump mechanical efficiency, as shown below:

Notice that the output and input power values for this equation must be stated in
the same kind of units.
Pump manufacturers often provide a graph showing pump overall efficiency
versus pressure. Figure 5-4 shows an example. Overall efficiency is low below
1700 kPa (250 psi) because industrial pumps are usually designed to operate
above this pressure.
The overall efficiency graph can be used to calculate the amount of mechanical
power required at the shaft of a hydraulic pump to obtain a certain amount of
power at the pump output, based on the following formula:
S.I. units:

English units:

5-8

Hydraulic Pumps

Figure 5-4. Overall efficiency versus pressure.

Cavitation
Cavitation is the formation and collapse of gaseous cavities in the hydraulic oil.
Gaseous cavities are in the form of air dissolved in the oil. These cavities cause
damage to the metal parts of the pump and also shortens the service life of the oil.
Air can enter a pump through loose pipe joints and fittings. Air can also enter the
pump if the oil level in the reservoir is allowed to go below its minimum level, or if the
pump is run at an excessive speed so that insufficient oil is drawn from the reservoir.
Cavitation of a pump is characterized by a decrease in the pump flow rate, and
system pressure becomes erratic. This is often accompanied by severe vibration in
the hydraulic system and by a rattling sound coming from the pump. Cavitation also
produces excessive heat that dries out the pump bearings resulting in complete
failure of the pump.
What can be done to prevent cavitation? The best safeguard is to use oil that is
specifically designed for use in hydraulic systems. In addition, all pipe joints and
fittings must be tight to prevent air from entering the system, and the oil level must
be kept above the minimum.

5-9

Hydraulic Pumps
Conversion factors
Table 5-1 shows the conversion factors used to convert measurements of
displacement from S.I. units to English units, and vice versa.
Displacement
Cubic centimeters
per revolution (cm3/r)

x 0.061 =

Cubic inches per


revolution (in3/r)

x 16.387 =

Cubic centimeters
per revolution (cm3/r)

Table 5-1. Conversion factors.

REFERENCE MATERIAL
For detailed information on hydraulic pumps, refer to the chapter entitled Hydraulic
Pumps in the Parker-Hannifins manual Industrial Hydraulic Technology.
Procedure summary
In the first part of the exercise, you will measure the pump maximum flow rate when
the system pressure is nearly zero. You will compare the measured flow rate with the
nominal flow rate specified by the pump manufacturer.
In the second part of the exercise, you will measure the pump flow rate at several
different pressures. You will use the registered data to plot the pump volumetric
efficiency against pressure on a chart.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Measuring the pump maximum flow rate

5-10

1. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 5-5.

Hydraulic Pumps

Figure 5-5. Measuring volumetric efficiency versus pump pressure.

2. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.

3. Open the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

4. Turn on the Power Unit.

5. With the Flow Control Valve fully open, the system pressure at gauge A is
nearly zero. At this very low pressure, the effects of internal leakage are
negligible, so the Flowmeter indicates the pump maximum flow rate. Record
below the Flowmeter reading.
Maximum flow rate:

l/min or

gal(US)/min

Note: The trainer Flowmeter is graduated in liters per minute


only. If you are working with English units, multiply the measured
flow rate in liters per minute by 0.264 for determining the
equivalent flow rate in US gallons per minute.

5-11

Hydraulic Pumps
G

6. Record below the approximate temperature of the oil as indicated by the


temperature/oil level indicator on the Power Unit.
Oil temperature:

C or

7. Turn off the Power Unit. Do not disconnect your circuit since you will use it
in the next part of the exercise.

8. The nominal flow rate of your pump, as specified by the manufacturer, is


3.1 l/min [0.82 gal(US)/min].
Compare this nominal flow rate to the actual flow rate recorded in step 5. Are
these values within 15% of each other?

G Yes

G No

Note: A flow rate of less than 85% of the rated pump flow rate
could indicate pump failure due to worn. As the pump wears, the
clearances become greater and slippage increases. A pump that
has been in service for extended periods will typically operate at
lower than rated flow rate. A flow rate lower than the rated flow
could also indicate a failure of the Power Unit relief valve or an
improper pressure setting of this valve.
On the other hand, a flow rate higher than the rated pump flow
rate can be measured when the temperature of the oil is below
38C (100F). This is because the trainer Flowmeter is designed
to accurately read the flow rate at 38C (100F). Below this
temperature, the oil is thicker, which places extra pressure on the
internal parts of the Flowmeter and causes the Flowmeter reading
to be slightly higher than the actual flow rate.

9. Calculate the theoretical pump displacement, based on a nominal flow rate


of 3.1 l/min [0.82 gal(US)/min] and on a motor speed of 1725 r/min.

Measuring volumetric efficiency versus pressure

G 10. Turn on the Power Unit.


G 11. Turn the Flow Control Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the system
pressure at gauge A is 1400 kPa (200 psi). Since the relief valve inside the
Power Unit is set to 6200 kPa (900 psi), the relief valve is closed and the
Flowmeter now reads the full pump flow at 1400 kPa (200 psi). Record the
Flowmeter reading in Table 5-2 under ACTUAL FLOW RATE.

5-12

Hydraulic Pumps
PRESSURE

ACTUAL FLOW RATE

VOLUMETRIC EFFICIENCY

1400 kPa (200 psi)


2800 kPa (400 psi)
4100 kPa (600 psi)
5500 kPa (800 psi)
Table 5-2. Flow rate and volumetric efficiency versus pressure.

G 12. Repeat step 11 for the other pressures listed in Table 5-2. Read the
Flowmeter as accurately as possible.

G 13. Turn off the Power Unit.


G 14. According to Table 5-2, does the pump flow rate decrease as the system
pressure increases? Why?

G 15. Based on the actual flow values registered in Table 5-2, calculate the pump
volumetric efficiency at each of the pressures listed in this table. Record
your calculations in Table 5-2 under VOLUMETRIC EFFICIENCY. Use the
flow value registered in step 5 as the nominal flow rate.

5-13

Hydraulic Pumps

Figure 5-6. Pump volumetric efficiency versus pressure curve.

G 16. In Figure 5-6, plot the pump volumetric efficiency versus pressure curve
based on the data registered in Table 5-2.

G 17. From the curve plotted in Figure 5-6, what effect does system pressure have
on the pump volumetric efficiency? Why?

G 18. Evaluate the condition of your pump. To do so, compare the curve plotted
in Figure 5-6 with the 0-4100 kPa (0-600 psi) portion of the manufacturer
curve in Figure 5-3. Is your pump in satisfactory condition?

G Yes

G No

G 19. According to Figure 5-6, what is the volumetric efficiency of your pump at
4100 kPa (600 psi)?

5-14

Hydraulic Pumps
G 20. What is the pump overall efficiency at 4100 kPa (600 psi), if the mechanical
efficiency is 90%?

G 21. Calculate the pump output power at 4100 kPa (600 psi), based on the actual
flow rate registered in Table 5-2.

G 22. Calculate the electrical power required on the shaft of your pump to operate
the system at 4100 kPa (600 psi), based on the overall efficiency calculated
in step 20, and on the pump output power calculated in step 21.

G 23. Based on your answers in steps 21 and 22, is the mechanical power
required at the shaft of the pump to operate the system at a given pressure
greater than the actual power generated at the pump output? Why?

G 24. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet, then disconnect all
hoses. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

G 25. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 26. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and the trainer. Properly dispose
of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.

5-15

Hydraulic Pumps
CONCLUSION
This exercise has exposed you to pumps and how they are used in a hydraulic
system. You learned some terms related to pumps, such as displacement, nominal
flow rate, volumetric efficiency, and overall efficiency.
You determined the relationship between pump flow rate and pressure by measuring
the pump flow rate at several different pressures. This test showed that you could get
a high flow rate or a high pressure but not both at the same time.
You also learned about volumetric efficiency, which is the ratio of the actual pump
flow rate to the theoretical, or nominal, flow rate. As a result you are aware that a
certain amount of oil leaks through clearances inside the pump and does not make
it into the circuit. The condition of a pump can be evaluated by measuring the pump
flow rate versus pressure and comparing the obtained curve with that provided by
the manufacturer.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What happens inside the pump that causes oil to enter the pump and then leave
the pump?

2. What are the three design classifications of positive-displacement pumps?

3. Why does the pump flow rate decrease as the system pressure increases?

4. Does the pump flow rate decrease as the oil temperature increases? Why?

5-16

Hydraulic Pumps
5. Define the term volumetric efficiency. What relationship exists between pump
slippage and volumetric efficiency?

5-17

5-18

Exercise

5-2

Directional Valve Testing

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To show normal leakage of a directional valve;


C To evaluate the condition of a directional valve according to the amount of
leakage flow.
DISCUSSION
Directional valve internal leakage
Most directional valves consist of a spool moving within the body of the valve to
cover and uncover ports or pairs of ports. The spool is carefully machined to provide
a tight seal between the spool lands and the valve body.
However, microscopic clearances are intentionally left between the spool lands and
the valve body through which a small amount of oil is continuously flowing and
lubricating, as Figure 5-7 shows. Oil leaking through the valve clearances is not lost.
It returns to the reservoir through the return lines.

Figure 5-7. Directional valve internal leakage.

Leakage will usually increase gradually over a long period of time as the valve spool
gets wear. It is rare that a valve spool becomes so worn that it will bypass all the
pump oil to the reservoir. Excessive leakage, however, tends to reduce cylinder
speed and becomes a problem when a load is required to be stopped in some
position for a long period of time. Excessive leakage is also a source of wasted
energy.
5-19

Directional Valve Testing


Figure 5-8 shows the effect of excessive leakage on cylinder speed. When the valve
is shifted to extend the cylinder, some oil from the P port leaks across the spool land
edges into the T port, so there is less oil available to extend the cylinder. The
extension speed is reduced.

Figure 5-8. Excessive leakage reduces the extension speed.

Figure 5-9 shows the effect of leakage on a load required to be suspended in some
mid-point position when the power unit is off and the valve is in the center position.
Pressurized oil leaks from the B cylinder line across the spool land edges into the P
and T ports, causing the load to drift down rapidly.

5-20

Directional Valve Testing

Figure 5-9. Leakage causes the load to drift down.

Figure 5-10 shows the effect of leakage on a load required to be stopped in some
mid-point position when the power unit is on and the valve is in the center position.
Pressurized oil leaks from the P port across the spool land edges into the A and
B cylinder lines, acting on both ends of the cylinder. Since the cap end of the piston
has a larger surface area exposed to pressure than the rod end, a greater force is
exerted on the full piston area, which tends to extend the rod. If the cylinder has a
light load attached to its rod, it will tend to drift out.

Figure 5-10. Leakage causes the cylinder rod to drift out.

5-21

Directional Valve Testing

Testing 4-way directional valves


Industrial 4-way directional valves are usually tested by measuring the amount of
leakage from the P port into the T port according to the following procedure:
1. Turn off the power unit and disconnect the plumbing at ports A, B, and T of the
directional valve, as Figure 5-11 shows.
2. Block ports A and B of the directional valve with caps. This will deadhead the
pump flow into the directional valve.
3. Turn on the power unit.
4. Shift the valve spool back and forth. Oil coming out of port T is spool leakage.
Turn off the power unit.

Figure 5-11. Testing a 4-way directional valve for leakage.

When a directional valve is delivering oil at the maximum rated pressure, up to


10% loss of flow rate from the P port into the T port is usually tolerated, if the valve
is used only intermittently. However, industrial valves may require repair or
replacement if there is a 1% loss of flow rate between ports P and T.
REFERENCE MATERIAL
For detailed information on directional control valves, refer to the chapter entitled
Directional Control Valves in the Parker-Hannifins manual Industrial Hydraulic
Technology.

5-22

Directional Valve Testing


Procedure summary
In this exercise, you will measure the leakage of a directional valve from the P port
into the T, A, and B ports. The directional valve will be held in the center position with
pressure applied to the P port. The plastic flask will be connected to the T, A, and
B ports in turn. The amount of collected oil, as well as the velocity of oil in the plastic
hose, will be measured using the graduated beaker.
Since the amount of leakage is very small, the amount of leakage per minute, or
leakage rate, will be calculated by multiplying the velocity of the oil in the plastic hose
by the cross-sectional area of this hose.
The leakage rate will then be compared to the oil flow rate supplied by the pump to
determine if the tested valve is in satisfactory condition.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Testing a 4-way directional valve for leakage

1. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 5-12.

Figure 5-12. Measuring leakage from the P port into the A, B, and T ports.

5-23

Directional Valve Testing

Note: Do not connect the plastic flask to the directional valve yet.
This will be done later in the exercise.

2. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.
f. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

3. Turn on the Power Unit.

4. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the system pressure
at gauge A is 4100 kPa (600 psi).

5. Record below the Flowmeter reading:


Pump flow rate:

l/min or

gal(US)/min

Note: The trainer Flowmeter is graduated in liters per minute. If


you are working with English units, multiply the measured flow
rate in liters per minute by 0.264 for determining the equivalent
flow rate in US gallons per minute.

6. Turn off the Power Unit.

7. Make sure the graduated flask and its plastic hose are empty. Connect the
plastic flask to port T of the directional valve.

8. Turn on the Power Unit and let it run until some oil appears at the valve end
of the clear plastic hose.
CAUTION!
Do not shift the directional valve lever during this exercise.
Shifting the lever will result in dumping oil into the plastic
flask.

9. Turn off the Power Unit.

G 10. Mark the oil level in the clear plastic hose with a piece of sticky tape.
5-24

Directional Valve Testing

G 11. Turn on the Power Unit and let it run for exactly 1 minute, then turn it off.
G 12. Measure the distance the oil level has risen beyond the tape mark to
determine the speed at which oil leaked from port T, in cm/min (in/min).
Record this speed in Table 5-3 under SPEED.
PORT

SPEED

LEAKAGE RATE

LOSS OF FLOW (%)

T
A
B
Table 5-3. Leakage from the P port into the T, A, and B ports.

G 13. Disconnect the plastic flask from port T of the directional valve, then connect
it to port A.

G 14. Turn on the Power Unit and let it run for approximately 30 seconds to
eliminate air bubbles in the oil inside the plastic hose.

G 15. Turn off the Power Unit.


G 16. Place a second piece of tape on the plastic hose to indicate the oil level (top
of the oil column).

G 17. Turn on the Power Unit and let it run for exactly 1 minute, then turn it off.
G 18. Measure the distance the oil level has risen beyond the tape mark to
determine the speed at which oil leaked from port A, in cm/min (or in/min).
Record this speed in Table 5-3.

G 19. Disconnect the plastic flask from port A of the directional valve, then connect
it to port B.

G 20. Turn on the Power Unit and let it run for approximately 30 seconds to
eliminate air bubbles in the oil inside the plastic hose.

G 21. Turn off the Power Unit.

5-25

Directional Valve Testing


G 22. Place a third piece on the plastic hose to indicate the oil level (top of the oil
column).

G 23. Turn on the Power Unit and let it run for exactly 1 minute, then turn it off.
G 24. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).
G 25. Measure the distance the oil level has risen beyond the tape mark to
determine the speed at which oil leaked from port B, in cm/min (in/min).
Record this speed in Table 5-3.

G 26. Measure and record the inside diameter of the clear plastic hose.
Hose diameter:

cm or

in

G 27. Using this diameter and the formula given below, calculate the leakage rate
at ports T, A, and B in l/min [or gal(US)/min]. Record your calculated values
in Table 5-3 under LEAKAGE RATE.
Metric units:

English units:

G 28. Using the formula below, calculate the percentage of flow loss caused by
leakage from ports T, A, and B, based on the pump flow rate registered in
step 5. Record your calculated values in Table 5-3 under LOSS OF FLOW.

G 29. Was the valve tested in this exercise in satisfactory condition, if the tolerated
percentage of flow loss from port T is 5%?

G Yes

G No

G 30. Empty the collected oil into a container (capped plastic jugs, topped bottles,
milk cartons, etc.) for transport to a disposal site. Oil recycling centers will
normally accept the oil which can be refined and used again. Do not empty
the oil back into the pump reservoir, since it could have been contaminated
by dirt particles. Dirty oil can be very harmful to the hydraulic system
5-26

Directional Valve Testing


because it causes flow paths to become clogged, valves to stick, and pump
to overheat.

G 31. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet, then disconnect all
hoses. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

G 32. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 33. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and the trainer. Properly dispose
of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.
CONCLUSION
In this exercise, you observed that a small amount of oil leaks from the P port to the
other ports of a directional control valve when the valve is closed (centered). As a
result, you have an idea of how much oil actually might pass through a valve which
is closed. If you have records showing results from previous exercises, you may be
able to determine the increase in leakage due to wear.
Clearances are intentionally left between the spool lands and the valve body for
lubrication purposes. The size of the clearances is a compromise between sealing
and lubrication. With loose clearances, the valve will leak more so the system will
waste energy. On the other hand, clearances that are too tight mean that the valve
will be insufficiently lubricated and that moving parts will quickly wear out.
Cheaper valves have looser clearances, so they leak more. As a result the system
wastes energy. You can either spend money on better components or spend money
pumping flow through leaks. The same holds for periodic maintenance. You can
spend money to fix valves or spend it pumping oil through worn parts.
Try to imagine how you might use the cost of power and maintenance to set a
leakage limitation (like the 1% of full flow figure in the DISCUSSION reading) beyond
which the system inefficiency would cost more than fixing the leak...
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Why are small clearances intentionally left between the spool lands and the body
of a directional valve?

5-27

Directional Valve Testing


2. In the circuit of Figure 5-13, predict what will happen to the suspended load and
to the reading of the pressure gauge if the directional valve remains centered for
several hours. Explain.

Figure 5-13. Circuit for review question 2.

3. In the circuit of Figure 5-14, how much flow must be supplied by the pump to
extend the cylinder rod in 2 seconds, if the percentage of flow loss from the
P port into the T port is 10%?
Assume the leakage through the cylinder seals to be negligible.

5-28

Directional Valve Testing

Figure 5-14. Circuit for review question 3.

5-29

5-30

Exercise

5-3

Flowmeter Accuracy

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To verify the accuracy of a flowmeter;


C To determine the effect of temperature on flowmeter accuracy.
DISCUSSION
Flowmeter construction and operation
Figure 5-15 shows the Flowmeter supplied with your Hydraulics Trainer. This
Flowmeter consists of a graduated transparent tube and an indicating ring. The ring
slides along the tube, indicating the amount of flow.
Inside the Flowmeter body is a spring-loaded piston sliding over a tapered metering
cone. As the flow increases, the piston slides down the metering cone until the force
on the piston is equal to the force of the spring.
The movement of the piston is proportional to the oil flow rate. The force on a ring
magnet on the piston controls the position of the indicating ring.
The Flowmeter will work in any position because the piston is spring-loaded. Gravity
has little or no effect on operation. However, the Flowmeter will operate in one
direction only. An internal check valve will bypass the oil flow through the Flowmeter,
should the Flowmeter be connected in a line where flow direction is reversed.
There are other flowmeters in which the flow of the oil is opposed by gravity acting
on a ball or a rotor. These flowmeters must be in the upright position to operate
properly.

5-31

Flowmeter Accuracy

Figure 5-15. Pictorial and cutaway views of the trainer Flowmeter.

Oil viscosity and specific gravity


Two very important characteristics of any hydraulic oil are viscosity and specific
gravity. These characteristics affect the accuracy of flow measurement.

C Viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a fluid to flow. Water is a low viscosity


fluid because it is thin and flows easily. Molasses is a high viscosity fluid
because it is thick and shows more resistance to flow.
In hydraulics, the most common system used to rate the viscosity of oil is the
Saybolt Universal Seconds (SSU or SUS) system. An oil is rated 1 SSU when
60 milliliters (0.0158 US gallon) of this oil at 38C (100F) takes 1 second to flow
through a standard orifice of 0.1765-cm (0.0695-in) diameter. For example, if it
takes 150 seconds for 60 milliliters of another type of oil at 38C (100F) to flow
through the standard orifice, this oil will be rated at 150 SSU.
Oil viscosity is affected by temperature, as Figure 5-16 shows. As temperature
increases, viscosity decreases and the oil gets thinner. For this reason, viscosity
is usually associated with a temperature. Industrial hydraulic systems normally
use oils that are rated between 150 and 250 SSU @ 38C (100F).

5-32

Flowmeter Accuracy

Figure 5-16. Oil viscosity versus temperature.

C Specific gravity is the quotient of the weight of a volume of fluid divided by to the
weight of an equal volume of water. The specific gravity of pure water is 1.00.
Figure 5-17 shows an example. If a given volume of water weighs 100 kg (221 lb)
and an equal volume of oil weighs 84 kg (185 lb), the specific gravity of this oil is
0.84. This means that the weight of oil is 84% that of the water.

5-33

Flowmeter Accuracy

Figure 5-17. Determining the specific gravity of a certain type of oil.

Specific gravity is affected by temperature. As temperature increases, oil expands


and a given volume weighs less, so specific gravity decreases.
Flowmeter accuracy
Flowmeters are designed to accurately read the flow rate based on using a hydraulic
oil which has a certain viscosity and specific gravity. The Flowmeter supplied with
your Hydraulics Trainer, for example, is calibrated for hydraulic oil with a viscosity of
150 SSU and a specific gravity of 0.876. The oils commonly used in industrial
hydraulic systems usually correspond to these ratings at a temperature around 38C
(100F).
Accuracy becomes increasingly difficult to achieve as oil temperature cools below
38C (100F), because the thicker oil places extra pressure on the internal parts of
the flowmeter, giving a reading slightly higher than the actual flow rate.
The accuracy of a flowmeter can be verified by measuring the actual volume of oil
passing through it and comparing that volume to the indicated volume. This test can
be made at different temperatures to determine if the flowmeter is relatively immune
to temperature changes.
REFERENCE MATERIAL
For detailed information on oil viscosity and specific gravity, refer to the chapter
entitled Petroleum Base Hydraulic Fluid in the Parker-Hannifins manual Industrial
Hydraulic Technology.

5-34

Flowmeter Accuracy

Procedure summary
In this exercise, you will determine the accuracy of a flowmeter by measuring the
actual volume of oil passed through it and comparing this volume to the indicated
volume. This test will be made at two different temperatures to determine if the
flowmeter is sensitive to temperature changes.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Measuring flowmeter accuracy with cold and warm oil

1. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 5-18. Make sure the plastic flask is
empty before connecting it to port B of the directional valve.

2. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.
f. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

3. Open the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

4. Note the oil temperature indicated by the temperature/oil level indicator on


the Power Unit. Record this temperature in Table 5-4 under COLD OIL.

5-35

Flowmeter Accuracy

Figure 5-18. Measuring the Flowmeter accuracy.

5. Turn on the Power Unit.

6. Turn the Relief Valve adjustment knob clockwise until the system pressure
at gauge A is 3500 kPa (500 psi).

7. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to connect port
P to port A and adjust the Flow Control Valve until the Flowmeter reads
2.0 l/min [0.53 gal(US)/min]. Release the valve lever.
CAUTION!
Make sure not to move the directional valve lever outward
from the valve body, or oil will be dumped into the plastic
flask.

5-36

8. Firmly hold the plastic flask upright with one hand. Move the lever of the
directional valve outward from the valve body and keep it shifted during
exactly 10 seconds to dump the pump flow into the plastic flask, then
release the lever.

9. Turn off the Power Unit. Do not modify the relief valve pressure setting.

Flowmeter Accuracy
G 10. Disconnect the plastic flask from port B of the directional valve, then empty
the collected oil into the graduated beaker. Measure and record the volume
of collected oil below.
Volume of collected oil :

ml

G 11. If you are working with S.I. units, multiply the volume registered in step 10
by 0.001 to obtain the equivalent volume in liters. Record your calculated
value in Table 5-4 under VOLUME.
If you are working with English units, multiply the volume registered in
step 10 by 0.000264 to obtain the equivalent volume in US gallons. Record
your calculated value in Table 5-4 under VOLUME.

TEMPERATURE

FLOWMETER
READING

COLD OIL
( _____C or _____ F)

2.0 l/min
(0.53 gal(US)/min)

WARM OIL
( _____C or _____F)

2.0 l/min
(0.53 gal(US)/min)

VOLUME
DELIVERED IN
10 s

ACTUAL FLOW
RATE

FLOWMETER
ERROR %

Table 5-4. Flowmeter accuracy versus oil temperature.

G 12. Empty the collected oil into a container (capped plastic jugs, topped bottles,
milk cartons, etc.) for transport to a recycling center. Do not empty the oil
back into the pump reservoir since it could have been contaminated by dirt
particles. Dirty oil can be very harmful to the hydraulic system because it
causes flow paths to become clogged, valves to stick, and pump to
overheat.

G 13. Turn on the Power Unit and let it run for about 30 minutes. Then note the oil
temperature indicated by the temperature/oil level indicator on the Power
Unit. Record this temperature in Table 5-4 under WARM OIL.

G 14. Turn off the Power Unit. Reconnect the plastic flask to port B of the
directional valve, then turn on the Power Unit.

G 15. Move the lever of the directional valve toward the valve body to connect port
P to port A and adjust the Flow Control Valve until the Flowmeter reads
0.53 gal(US)/min (2.0 l/min). Release the valve lever.

G 16. Firmly hold the plastic flask upright with one hand. Move the lever of the
directional valve outward from the valve body and keep it shifted during
exactly 10 seconds to dump the pump flow into the plastic flask, then
release the lever.
5-37

Flowmeter Accuracy

G 17. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).

G 18. Disconnect the plastic flask from port B of the directional valve, then empty
the collected oil into the graduated beaker. Measure and record the volume
of collected oil below.
Volume of collected oil :

ml

G 19. If you are working with S.I. units, multiply the volume registered in step 18
by 0.001 to obtain the equivalent volume in liters. Record your calculated
value in Table 5-4 under VOLUME.
If you are working with English units, multiply the volume registered in
step 18 by 0.000264 to obtain the equivalent volume in US gallons. Record
your calculated value in Table 5-4 under VOLUME.

G 20. Based on the volumes registered in Table 5-4, calculate the actual flow rate
delivered by the pump at both oil temperatures using the formula given
below. Record your calculated values in Table 5-4 under ACTUAL.
Actual flow rate = Volume delivered in 10 s x 6

G 21. Calculate the error in the Flowmeter reading at both oil temperatures, using
the formula given below. Record your calculated values in Table 5-4 under
FLOWMETER ERROR %.

G 22. According to your calculations in Table 5-4, does temperature affect


Flowmeter accuracy?

G Yes

G No

G 23. Is the Flowmeter error higher at the lower temperature? Explain why.

G 24. Empty the collected oil into a container (capped plastic jugs, topped bottles,
milk cartons, etc.) for transport to a recycling center.

5-38

Flowmeter Accuracy

G 25. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet, then disconnect all
hoses. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.

G 26. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 27. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and the trainer. Properly dispose
of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.
CONCLUSION
In this exercise, you found that the trainer Flowmeter is temperature sensitive and
that it reads more accurately at higher temperatures in the normal operating range.
This is because temperature affects the viscosity and the specific gravity of fluids.
Flowmeters are designed to accurately read the flow rate based on using a hydraulic
oil which has a certain viscosity and specific gravity. Industrial flowmeters usually
have an accuracy within 5% of full scale under almost any field conditions
encountered.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. In the trainer Flowmeter, to what is piston movement proportional?

2. In what position will the trainer Flowmeter work?

3. Will flowmeters work with the flow in either direction?

4. How does temperature affect oil viscosity?

5. How does temperature affect oil specific gravity?

5-39

5-40

Exercise

5-4

Effects of Temperature on System Operation

EXERCISE OBJECTIVE

C To explain the effect of temperature changes on the viscosity of oil;


C To demonstrate the effect of temperature changes on pressure drop and circuit
flow rate.
DISCUSSION
Oil viscosity and viscosity index
Viscosity reflects the resistance of an oil to flow. A low viscosity oil tends to be thin
and flows easily while a high viscosity oil is thick and shows more resistance to flow.
A low viscosity oil allows the oil to be pumped through the lines more easily. Good
lubrication, however, requires a reasonable degree of viscosity.
Viscosity index (VI) determines how an oil resists viscosity changes due to
temperature. The viscosity of an oil with a high viscosity index will change little as the
temperature of the oil changes. A low viscosity index will allow greater change during
similar temperature changes. This property is important in a system subjected to a
wide range of temperatures, as a uniform oil viscosity is desirable in any system.
Typical viscosity indexes for petroleum oils range from 90 to 105; for polyglycols from
160 to 200. Figure 5-19 shows the relationship between temperature and viscosity
in 50 VI and 90 VI oils. With both types of oil, the oil viscosity decreases as the oil
temperature increases. However, the 90 VI oil has a lower slope and therefore has
a higher viscosity index than the 50 VI oil, which means that its viscosity varies less
with temperature changes.
The pour point is the lowest temperature at which an oil will flow. At or below pour
point, an oil will not flow into the pump intake port, possibly causing damage to the
pump through cavitation. As a general rule, an oil should have a pour point lower
than the lowest operating temperature of the system.

5-41

Effects of Temperature on System Operation

Figure 5-19. Relationship between temperature and viscosity in 50 VI and 90 VI oils.

Effect of temperature on pressure drop


Pressure drop ()P) occurs in a circuit when the oil flow is restricted. The amount of
pressure drop across a component depends on the component size and shape, and
on the circuit flow rate and oil viscosity.
Pressure drop is affected by temperature changes. The higher the temperature, the
lower the pressure drop across a component. This is because the oil viscosity
decreases as the temperature increases. Reduced viscosity allows the oil to be
pumped through a component more easily, because there is less friction, or
resistance to flow.
Oil temperature is a very important point to consider while testing a hydraulic circuit.
A test run at a temperature below the normal system operating temperature would
be inaccurate because of high resistance to flow resulting in higher than normal
pressure readings.

5-42

Effects of Temperature on System Operation


Effect of temperature on flow setting
In a system where circuit flow rate is rather critical, as when precise cylinder speed
is necessary, the system should be allowed to warm up before the circuit flow rate
is adjusted. If a non-compensated flow control valve were adjusted to provide
10 l/min [2.64 gal(US)/min] while at room temperature, the circuit flow rate might be
only 9.5 l/min [2.5 gal(US)/min] or less once the oil heated because of the increased
internal leakage of the pump. Therefore, oil temperature is an important point to
consider when adjusting the circuit flow rate.
REFERENCE MATERIAL
For detailed information on the effect of temperature on oil viscosity and system
operation, refer to the chapter entitled Petroleum Base Hydraulic Fluid in the ParkerHannifins manual Industrial Hydraulic Technology.
Procedure summary
In this exercise, you will determine the effect a change in temperature has on the
pressure drop across a flow control valve and on the circuit flow rate. To do so, you
will measure the pressure drop and circuit flow rate when the oil is cold. You will heat
the oil by allowing the Power Unit to run for 20 minutes, then you will measure the
new pressure drop and circuit flow rate. You will heat the oil another 20 minutes and
again measure the pressure drop and circuit flow rate. Finally, you will compare the
results obtained at the different operating temperatures.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Refer to the Equipment Utilization Chart, in Appendix A of this manual, to obtain the
list of equipment required to perform this exercise.
PROCEDURE
Effect of temperature changes on pressure drop and flow rate

1. Connect the circuit shown in Figure 5-20.

5-43

Effects of Temperature on System Operation

Figure 5-20. Effect of temperature changes on pressure drop and flow rate.

2. Before starting the Power Unit, perform the following start-up procedure:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Make sure the hoses are firmly connected.


Check the level of the oil in the reservoir. Add oil if required.
Put on safety glasses.
Make sure the power switch on the Power Unit is set to the OFF
position.
e. Plug the Power Unit line cord into an ac outlet.
f. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully counterclockwise).

3. Close the Flow Control Valve completely (turn knob fully clockwise).

4. Note and record the oil temperature indicated by the temperature/oil level
indicator on the Power Unit.
Oil temperature:

5-44

C or

5. Turn on the Power Unit.

6. With the oil flow blocked at the Flow Control Valve, all the oil from the pump
is now being forced through the Relief Valve and gauge A indicates the
minimum pressure setting of this valve. Adjust the Relief Valve so that
gauge A reads 4100 kPa (600 psi).

Effects of Temperature on System Operation


G

7. Partially open the Flow Control Valve by turning its adjustment knob
counterclockwise until the pressure reading at gauge A is 3500 kPa
(500 psi).

8. The frictional resistance of the Flow Control Valve causes a pressure


difference between gauges A and B. Record below the pressure readings
of gauges A and B. Then, calculate the pressure drop, )P.
Gauge A:

kPa or

psi

Gauge B:

kPa or

psi

)P =

Gauge A - Gauge B =

kPa or

psi

9. Record below the Flowmeter reading.


Flow rate:

l/min or

gal(US)/min

Note: The trainer Flowmeter is graduated in liters per minute


only. If you are working with English units, multiply the measured
flow rate in liters per minute by 0.264 for determining the
equivalent flow rate in US gallons per minute.

G 10. Let the Power Unit run for about 20 minutes, then check the temperature/oil
level indicator again. What is the temperature of the oil now?
Oil temperature:

C or

G 11. Is the temperature recorded in step 10 different from the temperature


recorded in step 4? If so, what caused the temperature change?

G 12. Record below the new pressure readings of gauges A and B. Then,
calculate the pressure drop, )P.
Gauge A:

kPa or

psi

Gauge B:

kPa or

psi

)P = Gauge A - Gauge B =

kPa or

psi

G 13. Record below the new Flowmeter reading.


Flow rate:

l/min or

gal(US)/min

5-45

Effects of Temperature on System Operation

G 14. Again let the Power Unit run for 20 minutes, then check the temperature/oil
level indicator again. What is the temperature of the oil now?
C or

Oil temperature:

G 15. Record below the new pressure readings of gauges A and B. Then,
calculate the pressure drop, )P.
Gauge A:

kPa or

psi

Gauge B:

kPa or

psi

)P = Gauge A - Gauge B =

kPa or

psi

G 16. Record below the new Flowmeter reading.


Flow rate:

l/min or

gal(US)/min

G 17. Turn off the Power Unit. Open the Relief Valve completely (turn knob fully
counterclockwise).

G 18. Compare the pressure drops ()P) recorded in steps 12 and 15 with the
pressure drop recorded in step 8. As the temperature increased, what
happened to the pressure drop? Why?

G 19. Compare the flow rates recorded in steps 13 and 16 with the flow rate
recorded in step 9. As the temperature increased, what happened to the
flow rate? Why?

G 20. How would the results of this exercise be affected by the use of an oil with
a higher viscosity index?

G 21. Disconnect the Power Unit line cord from the wall outlet, then disconnect all
hoses. Wipe off any hydraulic oil residue.
5-46

Effects of Temperature on System Operation

G 22. Remove all components from the work surface and wipe off any hydraulic
oil residue. Return all components to their storage location.

G 23. Clean up any hydraulic oil from the floor and the trainer. Properly dispose
of any paper towels and rags used to clean up oil.
CONCLUSION
In this exercise, you demonstrated the effect of temperature changes on pressure
drop and circuit flow rate. As the temperature increased, the pressure drop
decreased due to reduced oil viscosity. The flow rate also decreased because of the
increased internal leakage of the pump.
The operating temperature of industrial hydraulic systems change over the course
of the day, ranging from 27C (80F) in the morning to 60C (140F) in the afternoon.
If the system pressure and flow rate settings must be precise throughout the
workday, an oil with a high viscosity index must be used.
REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Why does pressure decrease as the oil temperature increases?

2. Why does flow rate decrease as the oil temperature increases?

3. What is meant by "viscosity index"?

5-47

5-48

Appendix

Equipment Utilization Chart


The following Lab-Volt equipment is required to perform the exercises in this manual.

EQUIPMENT
MODEL

DESCRIPTION

EXERCISE
1-1

1-2

2-1

2-2

2-3

2-4

3-1

3-2

3-3

3-4

6310

Power Unit

6320

Directional Valve, Lever-Operated

6321

Flow Control Valve

6322

Relief Valve

6323

Pressure Reducing Valve

6340

Double-Acting Cylinder, 2.5-cm Bore

6341

Double-Acting Cylinder, 3.8-cm Bore

6342

Bidirectional Motor and Flywheels

6350

Pressure Gauge

6351

Flowmeter

6380

Loading Device

6390

Manifold, 5 Ports, Fixed

6391

Manifold, 4 Ports, Mobile

6392

Hose Set

1
2

(continued on next page)

A-1

Equipment Utilization Chart

EQUIPMENT
MODEL

DESCRIPTION

EXERCISE
4-1

4-2

4-3

4-4

5-1

5-2

5-3

5-4

6310

Power Unit

6320

Directional Valve, Lever-Operated

6321

Flow Control Valve

6322

Relief Valve

6323

Pressure Reducing Valve

6340

Double-Acting Cylinder, 2.5-cm Bore

6341

Double-Acting Cylinder, 3.8-cm Bore

6342

Bidirectional Motor and Flywheels

6350

Pressure Gauge

6351

Flowmeter

6380

Loading Device

6390

Manifold, 5 Ports, Fixed

6391

Manifold, 4 Ports, Mobile

6392

Hose Set

1
2

1
2

2
2

1*

* If additional hoses are required to connect the circuits in this exercise, hoses may be taken from
a second Hydraulics Trainer by having the students from two workstations working together at a
single workstation.
ADDITIONAL COMPONENTS
Stopwatch, tachometer 0-2000 r/min, chemical-resistant gloves.

A-2

Appendix

Care of the Hydraulics Trainer


General rules of good maintenance
a. Keep all components and work area in a clean, dirt-free condition.
b. Spilled or drained hydraulic oil should NOT be re-used. If re-use is imperative,
the oil must be stored in a clean container. It should be carefully strained of
filtered as it is returned to the Power Unit reservoir.
c.

Use only a clean, lint-free cloth to wipe or dry component parts or to clean dust
and dirt from the outside of the system.

d. Clean quick disconnects carefully before each re-assembly.


e. Flush out old oil and replace with clean oil at least once per year.
Oil and filter change
Regular oil changes are the most important preventive maintenance procedures that
can be done. As hydraulic oil ages, it becomes diluted and contaminated, which
leads to premature pump wear. A new filter should also be installed every time the
oil is changed.
Oil change
To change oil, perform the following steps:
1. If the Power Unit is running, turn it off. Allow the system oil to drain back into the
reservoir for 5 minutes.
2. A drain pan large enough (about 20 liters /5 US gallons) to hold all of the oil in
the Power Unit reservoir is required to drain the Power Unit. Place such a pan
under the reservoir drain, as shown in Figure B-1. Remove the drain cap with a
wrench and allow the reservoir to drain completely.

B-1

Care of the Hydraulics Trainer

Figure B-1. Changing the Power Unit oil.

3. Replace the drain cap and remove the drain pan after the reservoir is completely
emptied. Use teflon tape or pipe joint compound to seal the drain cap threads.
4. Open the reservoir breather/filler cap, as shown in Figure B-1. Fill the reservoir
up to the black line on the thermometer/oil level indicator. Use one of the fluids
listed on the Power Unit information decal on the front of the reservoir.
5. Replace the reservoir breather/filler cap.
6. Empty the drained oil into a container (capped plastic jugs, topped bottles, milk
cartons, etc.) for transport to a disposal site. Oil recycling centers will normally
accept the oil, which can be refined and used again.
Filter change
To change the filter, perform the following steps:
1. Turn off the Power Unit if it is running. Allow oil to drain out of the filter and into
the reservoir for 5 minutes.
2. When the filter has drained or if the Power Unit is cold, completely unscrew the
filter, as Figure B-2 shows. Be careful; its full of oil. Empty the oil inside the filter
into the drain pan.
3. Compare the old filter with the new one to make sure they are the same type
and micron rating (10-microns or less). Lubricate the gasket of the new filter with
a few drops of oil and screw the new filter onto the Power Unit assembly. The
filter should be hand-tightened only.
B-2

Care of the Hydraulics Trainer

Figure B-2. Changing the oil filter.

4. Empty the drained oil into a container (capped plastic jugs, topped bottles, milk
cartons, etc.) for transport to a disposal site. Oil recycling centers will normally
accept the oil, which can be refined and used again.

B-3

B-4

Appendix

Conversion Factors
Use the following conversion factors to convert S.I. or metric measurements to
English measurements and vice versa.

Length
(distance)
Centimeters
(cm)

x 0.394

= Inches (in)

x 2.54

= Centimeters
(cm)

Meters (m)

x 3.281

= Feet (ft)

x 0.305

= Meters (m)

Cubic
centimeters
(cc; cm3)

x 0.061

= Cubic inches
(in3)

x 16.387

= Cubic
centimeters
(cc; cm3)

Liters (l)

x 0.264

= US gallons
(US gal)

x 3.785

= Liters (l)

x 2.205

= Pounds (lb)

x 0.454

= Kilograms
(kg)

x 0.225

= Poundsforce (lb; lbf)

x 4.448

= Newtons (N)

Bars (bar)

x 14.5

= Poundsforce per
square inch
(psi; lb/in2)

x 0.069

= Bars (bar)

Kilopascals
(kPa)

x 0.145

= Poundsforce per
square inch
(psi; lb/in2)

x 6.895

= Kilopascals
(kPa)

Volume
(capacity)

Mass
(weight)
Kilograms (kg)

Force
Newtons (N)

Pressure

C-1

Conversion Factors
Area
Square
centimeters
(cm2)

x 0.155

= Square
inches (in2)

x 6.45

= Square
centimeters
(cm2)

x 0.264

= Gallons (US)
per minute
[gal(US)/min]

x 3.79

= Liters per
minute (l/min)

x 0.394

= Inches per
minute
(in/min)

x 2.54

= Centimeters
per minute
(cm/min)

x 0.738

= Foot-pounds
(ft@lb)

x 1.355

= Joules (J)

x 0.0013

= Horsepower
(hp)

x 745.7

= Watts (W)

Flow rate
Liters per
minute (l/min)

Velocity
Centimeters
per minute
(cm/min)

Work
Joules (J)

Power
Watts (W)

C-2

Appendix

Hydraulics and Pneumatics Graphic Symbols

Figure D-1.

D-1

Hydraulics and Pneumatics Graphic Symbols

Figure D-2.

D-2

Bibliography
Bohn, Ralph C. and MacDonald, Angus J., Power: Mechanics of Energy Control,
Second Edition, Bloomington, Illinois: McKnight Publishing Company, 1970.
ISBN 87345-256-9
Hedges, Charles S., Industrial Fluid Power, Volume 1, Third Edition, Dallas, Texas:
Womack Educational Publications, Department of Womack Machine Supply
Company, 1984.
ISBN 0-9605644-5-4
Hedges, Charles S., Industrial Fluid Power, Volume 2, Fourth Edition, Dallas, Texas:
Womack Educational Publications, Department of Womack Machine Supply
Company, 1988.
ISBN 0-943719-01-1
Corporate authors, Industrial Hydraulic Technology, Bulletin 0232-B1, Parker
Hannifin Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio, 1991.
ISBN 1-55769-025-6
Corporate authors, Mobile Hydraulics Manual, Second Edition, Vickers Incorporated,
Michigan, 1979.

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