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# Fluid Mechanics, Hydraulics & Pneumatics

## The Basic System

Objectives
• Introduce the basic principles of fluid power systems
• Describe the functions of the components involved in
basic fluid power systems.
• Describe the structure of basic fluid power systems.
• Explain the operation of basic fluid power systems.

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Fluid Mechanics, Hydraulics & Pneumatics

Introduction to
Principles of Hydraulics
Introduction
• Hydraulic systems are extremely important to the operation of heavy
equipment.
• Hydraulic principles are used when designing hydraulic implement
systems, steering systems, brake systems, power assisted steering,
power train systems and automatic transmissions.
• To understand how hydraulic systems operate, it is necessary to
understand the principles of hydraulics.
• Hydraulics is the study of liquids in motion and pressure in pipes and
cylinders.
• The science of hydraulics can be divided into two sciences:
– Hydrodynamics
– Hydrostatics
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Introduction
Hydrodynamics
• This describes the science of moving liquids.
• Applications of hydrodynamics:
– Water wheel or turbine; devices which
generate mechanical power by the fluid’s
motion.
– A pump is a device that uses mechanical
action to move fluids.

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Introduction
Hydrostatics
• This describes the science of liquids under pressure.
• Applications of hydrostatics:
– hydraulic jack or hydraulic press
– hydraulic cylinder actuation
• In hydrostatic devices, pushing on a liquid that is
trapped (confined) transfers power.
• If the liquid moves or flows in a system then
movement in that system will happen.
• Most hydraulic machines or equipment in use
today operate hydrostatically.

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Hydraulic Principles
There are several advantages for using a liquid:
– Liquids conform to the shape of the container.
– Liquids are practically incompressible.
– Liquids apply pressure in all directions.
• Hydraulic “work done” is a combination of pressure, and
flow, over time.
– Pressure without flow results in no action.
𝑃𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑟 = 𝑝 𝑥 𝑄
– Flow without pressure results in no action.
• Hydraulic pressure is a result of resistance to flow and force:
– Increase in flow, decrease in pressure
– Decrease in flow, increase in pressure.
• Hydraulic flow is movement.

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Functions of Fluid Power Systems
• Fluid power systems perform five functions during
operation:
– Energy conversion
– Fluid distribution
– Fluid control
– Work performance
– Fluid maintenance

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Functions of Fluid Power Systems

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Structure of Fluid Power Systems
• Fluid power systems are structured using component
groups that perform specific system functions:
– Power unit group
– Actuators group
– Conductors group
– Control valves group
– Fluid maintenance group

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A Typical Hydraulic System

1 – pump
2 – oil tank
3 – flow control valve
4 – pressure relief valve
5 – hydraulic cylinder
6 – directional control valve
7 – throttle valve
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Example of Hydraulic Systems

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• Simple method to create linear movements
• Creation of large forces and torques, high energy density
• Continuously variable movement of the actuator
• Low delay, small time constant because of low inertia
• Simple monitoring of load by measuring pressure
• Arbitrary positioning of prime mover and actuator
• Large power density (relatively small mass for a given power
compared to electrical and mechanical drives)
• Robust (insensitive against environmental influences
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Basic System Components
Power unit group
• Deals primarily with energy conversion

• Consists of:

– Prime mover

– Pump or compressor

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Basic System Components

Actuators group
• Performs the work of the system
• Consists of both cylinders and motors

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Basic System Components

Conductors group
• Conductors distribute fluid
throughout the system
• Consists of:
– Pipes
– Tubes
– Hoses

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Basic System Components
Control valves group
• Controls fluid pressure, flow direction, and flow rate

## – Flow control valves

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Basic System Components
Fluid maintenance group
• Maintains system fluid by removing dirt,
moisture, and excessive heat

## • Filters and other devices are used to perform

these functions

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Basic System Components

## • Comparisons can be made between hydraulic

and pneumatic systems

## • System terminology and designs may vary

between hydraulic and pneumatic systems

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Basic System Components
Power unit
• Electric motors and internal combustion engines
are most often the prime movers
• The pump or compressor produces the fluid flow
• Fluid flow is created by internal pressure
differences
• Fluid flow transmits energy throughout the system
• System reservoir or receiver stores system fluid
• Reservoir/receiver also contributes to system
temperature control and fluid cleaning
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Basic System Components
Actuators
• Cylinders are used in
both hydraulic and
pneumatic systems
• Cylinders produce
linear motion
• Motors are used in
both hydraulic and
pneumatic systems
• Motors produce rotary
motion
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Basic System Components
Actuators
• Motion is created when pressurized fluid moves
an internal part of the actuators from a high
pressure area toward a low pressure area

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Basic System Components

Conductors
• Pipes
• Tubes
• Hoses
• Transmit system fluid to system components

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Basic System Components
Control valves
• Directional control valves
– Vary the direction of movement of cylinders
and motors
– Change fluid flow paths to and from the
actuators
• Pressure control valves
– Control pressure in a fluid power system
– Restrict fluid flow into a part of the system
after a desired pressure is reached

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Basic System Components
Control valves
• Flow control valves
– Control fluid flow rate in a system
– The size of an orifice is adjusted to change
flow rate

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Basic System Components
Fluid maintenance devices
• Filters
• Separators
• Lubricators
• Used to remove contaminates and condition the
fluid
• Assure effective system performance and
acceptable service life

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Basic System Operation
Hydraulic system operation
• Movement of oil originates at the pump
• Low pressure at the pump inlet causes oil to
pass through a filter as it flows from the
reservoir into the pump
• High pressure at the pump outlet forces oil to
the directional control valve and on to the
actuator
• System work is performed by the actuator

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Basic System Operation
Hydraulic system operation
• Pressure control valves limit pressure in the
system
• Flow control valves control the speed of actuator
movement
• Oil is returned to the reservoir to be recirculated
through the system

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Basic System Operation
Pneumatic system operation
• Movement of air begins at the compressor
• As air moves into the system from the atmosphere, it is:
– Filtered
– Compressed
– Stored in the receiver under pressure

## • Pressurized air is distributed to system workstations

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Basic System Operation
Pneumatic system operation
• At the workstation:
– A pressure regulator sets working pressure
– A filter and lubricator provide final conditioning

## • Air then moves through a directional control valve and on to

an actuator
• System work is performed by the actuator

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Basic System Operation
Pneumatic system operation
• During system operation, flow control valves control the
speed of actuator movement
• Air is discharged back into the atmosphere after passing
through the system

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Basic Fluid Power Formulas

## Basic Fluid Power Formulas / Hydraulics / Pneumatics

Word Formula w/
Variable Simplified Formula
Units
(PSI) = Force (Pounds) /
Fluid Pressure - P P = F/A
Area ( Sq. In.)

## GPM= Flow (Gallons) / Unit

Fluid Flow Rate - Q Q = V/ T
Time (Minutes)

Horsepower = Pressure
Fluid Power in Horsepower - HP HP = PQ / 1714
(PSIG) × Flow (GPM)/ 1714

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Basic Fluid Power Formulas
Actuator Formulas
Variable Word Formula w/ Units Simplified Formula
( Sq. In.) = π × Radius (inch)2 A = π × R2
Cylinder Area - A
(Sq. In.) = π × Diameter (inch)2 / 4 A = π × D2 / 4
Cylinder Force - F (Pounds) = Pressure (psi) × Area (sq. in.) F = P×A
Cylinder Speed - v (Feet / sec.) = (231 × Flow Rate (gpm)) / (12 × 60 × Area) v = (0.3208 × gpm) / A

2 V = π × R2 × L / 231
Cylinder Volume Capacity - V Volume = π × Radius × Stroke (In.) / 231
(L = length of stroke)
Cylinder Flow Rate - Q Volume = 12 × 60 × Velocity (Ft./Sec.) × Net Area(In.)2 / 231 Q = 3.11688 × v × A
Torque (in. lbs.) = Pressure (psi) × disp. (in.3/ rev.) / 6.2822 T = P × d / 6.2822
Fluid Motor Torque - T Torque = HP × 63025 / RPM T = HP × 63025 / n
Torque = Flow Rate (GPM) × Pressure × 36.77 / RPM T = 36.77 × Q × P / n
Fluid Motor Speed - n Speed (RPM) = (231 × GPM) / Disp. (in.)3 n = (231 × GPM) / d
Fluid Motor Horsepower - HP HP = Torque (in. lbs.) × rpm / 63025 HP = T × n / 63025

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Basic Fluid Power Formulas
Pump Formulas
Variable Word Formula w/ Units Simplified Formula
Pump Output Flow - GPM GPM = (Speed (rpm) × disp. (cu. in.)) / 231 GPM = (n ×d) / 231
Pump Input Horsepower - HP HP = GPM × Pressure (psi) / 1714 × Efficiency HP = (Q ×P) / 1714 × E
Overall Efficiency = Output HP / Input HP EOverall = HPOut / HPIn X 100
Pump Efficiency - E
Overall Efficiency = Volumetric Eff. × Mechanical Eff. EOverall = EffVol. × EffMech.
Volumetric Efficiency = Actual Flow Rate Output (GPM) /
Pump Volumetric Efficiency - E EffVol. = QAct. / QTheo. X 100
Theoretical Flow Rate Output (GPM) × 100
Mechanical Efficiency = Theoretical Torque to Drive /
Pump Mechanical Efficiency - E EffMech = TTheo. / TAct. × 100
Actual Torque to Drive × 100
Displacement (In.3 / rev.) = Flow Rate (GPM) × 231 / Pump
Pump Displacement - CIPR CIPR = GPM × 231 / RPM
RPM
Torque = Horsepower × 63025 / RPM T = 63025 × HP / RPM
Pump Torque - T
Torque = Pressure (PSIG) × Pump Displacement (CIPR) / 2π T = P × CIPR / 6.28

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Basic Fluid Power Formulas

## General Fluid Power Guidelines:

Horsepower for driving a pump:
For every 1 hp of drive, the equivalent of 1 gpm @ 1500 psi can be produced.
Horsepower for idling a pump:
To idle a pump when it is unloaded will require about 5% of it's full rated power
Wattage for heating hydraulic oil:
Each watt will raise the temperature of 1 gallon of oil by 1° F. per hour.
Flow velocity in hydraulic lines:
Pump suction lines 2 to 4 feet per second, pressure lines up to 500 psi - 10 to 15
ft./sec., pressure lines 500 to 3000 psi - 15 to 20 ft./sec.; all oil lines in air-over-oil
systems; 4 ft./sec.

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Review Question
Fluid power systems are made up of _____ containing
parts designed to perform specific tasks.

component groups

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Review Question
The fluid control function of a fluid power system controls
system pressure and fluid flow _____ and _____.

rate; direction

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Review Question
The number and appearance of components in a fluid
power system is influenced by the type of _____,
application, and _____.

## fluid; power output

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Review Question
Fluids are distributed throughout a fluid power system by
components referred to as _____.

conductors

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Review Question
Fluid power system filters may be located in one or more of
three typical locations. List these three locations.

## Intake line; working lines; return lines.

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Review Question
In the pneumatic fluid power system, after the pressurized
system air has completed its work, it is exhausted to the
_____.

atmosphere

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Glossary
• Pump
– A hydraulic component turned by the prime mover that produces
fluid flow, which transmits energy through the system.
• Reynolds, Osborne
– A scientist of the late 1800s who did extensive development work
in the fluid mechanics area. Reynolds is credited with
identification of the principles of laminar and turbulent flow.
• Watt, James
– An inventor of the late 18th century who extensively contributed
to growth during the Industrial Revolution. Watt is typically
identified as the inventor of the first practical steam engine.

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Assignments / Self Study

## • Do problems 1.1, 1.14, 1.20, 1.31, 1.25, 1.36, 1.48,

1.58, 1.71, from Chapter 1 of text book

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References & Acknowledgements
1. Data, figures and theory has been used from various sources
including:
a) A Brief Introduction to Fluid Mechanics 5th ed. - D. Young, et al.,
(Wiley, 2011)
b) © Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc (Permission granted to reproduce
for educational use only)
c) National Fluid Power Association. (2008). What is fluid power.