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In this blog, we look at air coolers and how they are used to disperse excess heat from a hydraulic system to help retain system efficiency and reliability.
As you may well know, excess build-up of heat in a hydraulic system can cause a multitude of problems including fluid decomposition, damage to seals and other system components such as bearings.
Hydraulic air coolers are found in a wide range of applications covering various sectors including agricultural, industrial, manufacturing and mobile machinery. Air coolers are essential if your system has been designed to operate at an optimum hydraulic oil temperature, as they ensure that this temperature remains at its correct level.
The larger the system, the more likely it will need a cooler, unlike smaller systems which can harness the power of natural convection due to them typically running at lower operating temperatures. For example, if working with mobile equipment such as material handling, industrial process machinery or construction based applications where hot fluid can be a big issue, it is imperative the right type of air cooler is selected to control temperatures. This leads us on to our next area, which is the type of cooler that should be considered depending on the application it will be used for.
Selecting the right type of air cooler for your system
Identifying the correct specification of cooler for your system is a vital process that needs a lot of research to back up your final decision. We look at several key areas that will influence your selection:
Environmental factors – This can largely effect the amount of work a system has to do, with high environmental temperatures taking more out of a system, thus a bigger cooler being needed to correctly regulate temperatures. Likewise in colder climates, less cold air feed is needed for optimal performance
Temperature cycles – Machines often go through various temperature cycles during their running period, so this has to be taken into account when cooling measures are looked at so a best fit can be found. The timescales of temperature change must also be factored in so if for example, if a system tends to run at higher temperatures during a long cycle, a higher level of cooling is required to counter this.
Available space – With the complexity of some systems and any bespoke extras that have been added, the amount of space needed for fitment of an air cooler can vary greatly. This is something that should be looked at closely during the planning stage of a system design so as to ensure that there is enough space to accommodate a suitably sized cooler unit.
So, with all the factors taken into account above, you will hopefully have a clearer understanding of what to look at when choosing an air cooler, and at Hydraproducts, we can guide you through your bespoke design process and recommend best fitments for your system.
Feel free, click on the following link, to visit our new Hydraproducts Components Division page on our website where you can learn more about our Air Cooler range.
In this article we want to explain the ins and outs of hydraulic powerpacks. A vital piece of equipment that is used with so many machines we see every day.
In a nutshell, hydraulic powerpacks are self contained units that are used instead of a built in power supply for hydraulic machinery. Hydraulic power uses fluid to transmit power from one location to another in order to run a machine. It really is as simple as that.
So what do they look like?
In order to recognise and better understand hydraulic powerpacks, it is a good idea to get to know the key components. Hydraulic powerpacks come in many different shapes and sizes, some are very large and stationary whereas others are much smaller and more compact. In fact, some hydraulic powerpacks are so compact that they can easily be transported in a small van or even an estate car.
The only real way to identify hydraulic powerpacks is through its main components. No matter the size of the unit, all power packs will have the following; a hydraulic reservoir, regulators, a pump, motor, pressure supply lines and relief lines.
What do these components do?
It may be obvious to some but in this post we wanted to explain every component as simply as possible. So here goes.
First up is the hydraulic reservoir which quite simply holds the fluid. Reservoirs will come in different sizes.
Then we have the regulators. Regulators are vital as they control and maintain the amount of pressure that the hydraulic powerpack delivers.
Thirdly we have the pressure supply lines and relief lines. The supply line simply supplies fluid under pressure to the pump and the relief lines relieve pressure between the pump and the valves. The relief lines also control the direction of flow through the system.
Finally we have the pump and a motor. We will begin with the simpler component of the two, the motor. The motor is simply there to power the pump. Easy as that. Now the pump generally performs two actions. Firstly, it operates as a vacuum at the pump inlet and through atmospheric pressure forces fluid from the reservoir into the inlet line and then to the pump. It then delivers the fluid to the pump outlet and pumps it into the hydraulic system. We did warn you that the second part would be slightly more confusing.
So what is the function of hydraulic powerpacks?
Hydraulic powerpacks deliver power through a control valve which in turn runs the machine it is connected to. Hydraulic powerpacks come with a variety of valve connections. This means that you can power a variety of machines by using the appropriate valves.
Hydraulic powerpacks are relied upon by a range of different machines that use hydraulic power to do its work. If a machine is required to carry out heavy or systematic lifting then its likely it would need help from a hydraulic powerpack.
To make it easier for you to understand, we have included a list of trades that regularly rely on our powerpacks. On a building site you will see machines like bulldozers and excavators, which both need hydraulic powerpacks. But, it is not just on building sites that you will find these types of machines. Fishermen and mechanics both need hydraulic powerpacks too. If we did not have them then how would fishermen lift their nets or how would mechanics lift our cars?
When picking a hydraulic powerpack there are a variety of pumps and options to pick from and it is important to pick the right pack to meet your machines needs. It is also important to consider a pack that will help maximise productivity and minimise cost.
Many people will overlook the necessity of hydraulic powerpacks, but they really are vital to ensuring our society runs efficiently.
Do you need to maintain hydraulic powerpacks?
Yes you do and this is hugely important! Hydraulic powerpacks require regular maintenance to ensure they are working properly and safely and to help extend their life. Maintaining hydraulic powerpacks is relatively simple and includes checking the tubing, this can be for any noticeable problems such as dents or cracks. It is also vital to regularly change the hydraulic fluid and look at the reservoir to check for any corrosion or rust.
What hydraulic powerpacks do we provide?
Generally we provide four different types of hydraulic powerpacks. You can pick from a standard powerpack, a mini powerpack, a micro powerpack or a bespoke powerpack.
The standard hydraulic powerpack uses a standard range of modular components and is ideal for the most demanding industrial applications. The mini powerpack is ideal for applications requiring up to 5.5kW. The micro hydraulic powerpacks were originally produced for mobility applications, so are great for when space is limited. Finally, if none of these seem to fit your needs then we offer bespoke hydraulic powerpacks ensuring your application gets the hydraulic powerpack it requires.
Finally, who is the genius behind hydraulic powerpacks?
The man behind hydraulics was Laissez Pascal. A French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher who lived in the mid seventeenth century. Pascal made observations about fluid and pressure which led to Pascal’s law. Pascal's law states that when there is an increase in pressure at any point in a confined fluid, there is an equal increase at every other point in the container. Hydraulic powerpacks have been designed based on Pascal's law of physics, drawing their power from ratios of area and pressure.
So, interested in our Power Packs? Come on over to the main website and see what we can do for your Hydraulic Power Pack Needs .
Hydraulics has been around for a very long time. But are you aware of how far it has actually come? You wouldn’t be alone if you responded with no. It is a very technical subject that can be quite difficult to understand, but in this article we want to tell you the story of hydraulics! We want to share with you who discovered hydraulics, what it was originally used for and how hydraulic power got to where it is today.
So why don’t we start at the beginning! Where does the word hydraulic come from?
The word hydraulic originates from the Greek word ‘Hydros’ which means water. Why water? Well, this is because water was the first liquid to be used in the hydraulic system. Today, hydraulics includes the physical behaviour of all liquids, not just water.
The basic idea of an oil cooler in an hydraulic circuit to dissipate the energy losses that occur in the system is simple. The selection of an appropriate cooler, its sizing and position within the circuit are not so straightforward.
High temperatures affect the composition of an hydraulic oil, its properties and life. The chemical stability of an oil is measured mainly in terms of its resistance to oxidation. When oxidation occurs, oxygen combines with oil molecules to set off a chain of chemical reactions that create soluble and insoluble products of degradation. As a result the oil becomes darker in colour, its viscosity and acidity increases and gums and sludge’s are deposited in the hydraulic system. The tendency of the oil to oxidise is greatly increased by high temperatures, and by the effects of air, water and certain wear materials.
Although slight oxidation is not harmful, problems are encountered when the level becomes excessive. For example, the service life of the oil would be shortened, the system would be exposed to corrosive attack, the system components liable to sluggish operation, and the ability of the oil to separate from water and air reduced.
In industrial hydraulic applications it is usual for systems to operate with bulk oil temperatures of around 50 – 60 degrees C. In mobile duties rather higher temperatures may be encountered, of 70 degrees C and above. Temperature has a very major effect upon lubrication through the change that it produces in fluid viscosity. For an increase in temperature of 20 degrees C the viscosity of an oil may typically halve. Manufactures of hydraulic components specify a recommended viscosity range for the oils which may be used with their products. Fairly representative figures for the common hydraulic oils would involve a minimum viscosity of around 10cs and a maximum of several hundred cs. Normal working levels would typically be in the range of 20cs to 40cs.
Guidance about probable life of oils is very difficult to give, since it is affected both by the condition of the hydraulic system and the harshness of the working environment. Under good operating conditions an oil may last for tens of thousands of hours, whilst under bad conditions its life may be a matter of a few thousands of hours or less.
Although this blog is concerned with oil coolers, sometimes a neglected consideration concerns the operation of hydraulic systems from a cold start. In adverse conditions where low initial temperatures may be encountered it is usual to provide a heater in the oil reservoir.
Energy is dissipated as heat within an hydraulic system principally as a result of the pressure losses associated with the fluid flow. Losses occur through pipe friction, the effect of control elements such as pressure relief valves, pressure reducing valves, orifices and flow control valves, and through leakage and mechanical friction. The latter factors being particularly important in pumps and motors.
Correct positioning of an oil cooler within an hydraulic circuit requires identification of the major sources of heat generation and, within the bounds of physical constraints, the most advantageous location to dissipate the heat.
Types of Oil Cooler
The two principal types of oil cooler employ either water or air as the cooling medium. Where an adequate water supply is available the water type is commonly used. It has the advantages of compactness and of being less susceptible to changes in ambient air temperature. Water flows through the tubes and oil across the tubes, the latter guided in its flow path through the shell by baffle plates. The maximum oil pressure which the cooler can be subjected to is limited by the shell, a fairly typical figure would lie in the range 15 – 30 bar. The pressure drop associated with the oil flow through the cooler is usually small, of the order 1 bar.
Sometimes overlooked is the practical detail of fitting a strainer to the suction of the pump providing the water flow. Debris restricting the water flow through the cooler is one of the most common problems that arise in operation.
The air blast cooler in contrast is of lighter construction, and for the same heat dissipation is larger. Oil passes through the tubes of the cooler, which are usually finned to aid heat dissipation, and air blown over the tubes by a fan. The operation of the air cooler is sensitive to changes in the ambient air temperature and care must be taken in its selection to allow for this effect. The maximum allowable oil pressure is typically lower than the water type, a figure of 7 bar being representative. One of the most important applications of the air blast cooler is in the mobile industry.
For both types of cooler automatic temperature controls may be used where it is desirable to maintain the working temperature of the oil within prescribed limits. For a water cooler a commonly used technique is to employ a thermostatic valve to control the water flow, whilst for an air cooler temperature regulation can be achieved either through the intermittent use of the fan or through variation of its speed.
Here at Hydraproducts we have a wealth of experience in selecting the correct cooler for a system, for more information on this subject please call the sales team on 01452 523352.
The trailer industry relies heavily on hydraulic power for a range of applications be it car trailers, livestock or heavy machinery transportation. This is primarily because of the proven reliability and strength of hydraulic systems as well as their ease of operation and user friendliness.
As trailer applications use hydraulics in different ways, we have provided a breakdown of some common types of these below:
Having to operate in a range of environments, plant trailers are the first choice for transporting construction grade machinery such as diggers and other machinery.
The hydraulic tilt mechanism allows a low approach angle for loading and have advantages over other types of plant loaders as they can cater for plant vehicles with low ground clearance.
Typically available in a range of different styles including all-purpose trailers with a single axis which are suitable for agricultural and building machinery and for vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes, twin axle, auto tilt platform trailers are commonly used. Custom made tippers are available that cater for alternate platforms such as scissor lifts.
Regarding the operation of the trailer, the trailer deck typically extends backwards, initiating the lowering of the tailboard which locks on a horizontal plane. This enables the body to balance above the pivot point, which can then be angled allowing the machine to be moved on to the trailer. The pump valve can be closed off to allow the body to remain in a raised position in order to load other items; re-opening of the valve will then lower the body. The body is released when unloading so the tailboard will lower allowing the machine to be loaded up on to the ramp and the body will then tilt, using hydraulic damping, and the machine can be driven back off.
Coming in a variety of sizes and shapes, car transporters are typically enclosed units that protect their contents from the outside environment are and a popular solution for those wanting to transport vehicles around the country or cross continent. They provide a working platform for any owner and the low bed chassis they typically come with provides a stable and safe towing base.
They commonly feature a hydraulic-tilt bed operation, together with a loading ramp/door and popular materials used in their construction include steel and aluminium. Some specifications also include remote control electric winches and various loading and securing equipment as optional extras with the package to aid in getting the vehicle on-board.
Commercial tipper trailers
These units are primarily used to carry commercial and agricultural materials and are found in abundance in the construction industry where they are regularly seen tipping earth, bricks, mortar and other materials.
The trailers are built to have a high clearance for site access but also a low centre of gravity for optimal loading and towing performance. They have a solid and robust build due to the weights of materials they carry on an almost daily basis, and come with a single function high tilt mechanism which allows approximately 60° of tilt to ensure that any materials contained will disperse successfully.
A hydraulic power pack is typically installed in front of the hydraulic arm within a protective case and a pendant hand controller controls the tilt operation of the trailer.
Suppliers of these units comply with health and safety regulations by installing audible warning systems when the trailer bed it raised and lowered to enable operators to work safely and effectively.
Hydraproducts supplies a range of DC power packs complete with 12 or 24VDC Motors containing single and double acting valves primarily for use in tipper applications
As well as manufacturing the power packs themselves, Hydraproducts are also able to tailor their design for a bespoke fit to the majority of applications using state-of-the-art 3D modelling technology.
10 Applications for Hydraulic Power Units
Hydraulic power units are used in many industries. They provide the power behind a well run hydraulic system and can be found in the most surprising of places.
With a motor, a hydraulic pump and a reservoir, it’s surprising what can be achieved.
You can expect to find hydraulic systems used in the following:
· Meat processing machinery
· Mobile construction and road work equipment
· Test equipment in the aerospace industry
· Material handling in road engineering, construction and mining
· Agricultural equipment
· Military and government operations both nationally and abroad
· Oil field and oil clean up equipment
· Theatrical and television production equipment
· Medical equipment
· Industrial processing equipment
Wherever heavy and systematic lifting is required, hydraulic power can be used. Hydraulics are ideal for the repeated use of powerful and/or directional force.
Hydraulic units are at work in the most everyday of things. For example, you may drive past a construction site and if you see a bulldozer, digger or dumper you will see hydraulics at work.
Fishermen use hydraulics to lift their pots and nets from the sea. Even a car mechanic uses hydraulics to change a tyre and to lift the car in order to make repairs to it. The brakes of a car uses hydraulics in order to stop. They have now become such an integrated part of our society that we don’t even notice how much we rely on them to keep our world running smoothly!
Hydraulics have been used since ancient times in Egypt and China around the year 6000BC. They were further refined by the Greeks and have been used for many different solutions including aqua ducts and water towers.
To find out more about how you can use hydraulic power packs for in your industry contact our sales team.
Hydraproducts are one of the leading international suppliers of hydraulic power packs, with a long history of manufacturing expertise and the design and supply of bespoke products. Firstly, our in-house manufacturing capabilities for all types of hydraulic power packs means that we are able to specify, design, build and supply orders for many global customers, with no middle man and no extra distribution and supply costs. Our micro packs are world leading and in demand from across the globe, with customers as far away as New Zealand and Finland.
Secondly, we are also suppliers of Cetop valves for use in hydraulic power and thanks to our global distribution network, we can supply these parts quickly to our customers. Our experience in hydraulics allows our customers to feel safe and confident working with and ordering from us.
A third benefit is our membership of the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA), which demonstrates our commitment to hydraulic technology developments and means we have access to the latest research and design ideas, as well as keeping at the forefront of legislation that affects the use of fluid power, both at home and abroad.
Our modern facilities create a fourth plus point, allowing us to design, build and test systems or components with the latest equipment, ensuring our products are always up to scratch and will meet technical requirements. We can test electro-hydraulic equipment on site, which means we are able to maintain a leading position on electro-hydraulic technology developments and retain a good working knowledge of these systems, which are becoming more and more important for the fluid power industry as electrical systems start to replace fully hydraulic ones, in some applications.
Our fifth strength is that alongside our hydraulic power packs, we also manufacture and supply hand pumps that can be used to keep things moving in the event of a power failure, or for applications where independent handling and hoisting of materials needs to be finely controlled by a human hand. Our wide range of expertise shows our extensive capabilities and knowledge in the fluid power industry and serves to further reassure our customers that we are the right choice for hydraulic power packs and associated equipment.
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