Hydraulic Systems — Mechanism and Common Applications

Harold Lehon
3 min readFeb 25, 2022


The term “hydraulics” refers to the technology that powers everything from automobile brakes to garbage trucks to watercraft steering and garage jacks. The foundation of the hydraulic system is Pascal’s law, which states that pressure exerted anywhere on a contained liquid is transmitted undiminished in all directions into the container’s interior. Hydraulic systems can generate large forces with little effort by following these principles.

There are two major types of hydraulic systems: a closed hydraulic system and an open hydraulic system. Hydraulic fluid constantly flows between the pump and the actuator in a closed system. The closed-loop system can be supplemented with a small reservoir. In small hydraulic lines, it can work with fewer fluids. While in an open hydraulic system, hydraulic fluid enters the hydraulic system from the pump, goes through the devices, and then returns to the tank. The hydraulic circuit also has a relief valve to restore excess pressure to the tank.

Hydraulic systems consist of various components: reservoirs, pumps, valves, and actuators. The reservoir stores hydraulic fluid, and the hydraulic pump circulates the liquid and converts mechanical and mechanical motion into hydraulic fluid power. The fluid goes through the valves and into the cylinder, converted back into mechanical energy. The valves aid in directing the liquid flow and relieving pressure when necessary. A simple hydraulic system begins with the hydraulic pump sucking fluid from the tank and concludes with the actuator.

In construction, hydraulics systems lift, press, or split systems in construction equipment and other heavy gear. They also operate diggers, wood splitters, and cranes. These vehicles frequently include enormous scoops or other elements that require a lot of power to operate, making them more expensive and harder to power without hydraulics.

Elevators keep hydraulics workings hidden, so it’s not always apparent whether they’re employing hydraulics or the traditional method (drawn up and down by a cable tied to a motor). Simple hydraulic rams installed directly underneath or beside the lift shaft are common in smaller elevators. They’re less complicated and less expensive than regular elevators, but they can use a lot more power.

Another place where hydraulics might not be apparent is in motors. A hydraulic gear motor, for example, is a device in which fluid runs into a pipe and causes a pair of closely meshing gears to rotate before flowing out via another pipe.

There are various reasons why people choose a hydraulic over an electric motor. One of them is that it gets its power from a pump located some distance away; a hydraulic motor that is just as powerful can be smaller and more compact than an electric motor that is just as powerful. In situations where electricity isn’t feasible or safe, hydraulic systems serve as an alternative.

NASA uses hydraulics in its systems as auxiliary power units aboard space shuttles and other vehicles designed to orbit the Earth. As backup power generators, shuttles used three different, independent hydraulic systems.

Ships utilize hydraulic systems for a variety of purposes. For example, carrying big products and executing other cargo tasks, for example, is made easier and faster with cargo systems. In addition, many industrial ships have hydraulically powered machinery and tools, such as deck cranes.



Harold Lehon

Harold Lehon — Business Leader with over a Decade of Experience