Fluid power systems consist of multiple components that work together or in sequence to perform some action or work. People well versed in fluid power circuit and system design may purchase individual components and assemble them into a fluid power systems themselves. However, many fluid power systems are designed by distributors, consultants, and other fluid power professionals who may provide the system in whole or in part.
The major components of any fluid power system include:
- A pumping device - a hydraulic pump or air compressor to provide fluid power to the system
- Fluid conductors - tubing, hoses, fittings, manifolds and other components that distribute pressurized fluid throughout the system
- Valves - devices that control fluid flow, pressure, starting, stopping and direction
- Actuators - cylinders, motors, rotary actuators, grippers, vacuum cups and other components that perform the end function of the fluid power system.
- Support components - filters, heat exchangers, manifolds, hydraulic reservoirs, pneumatic mufflers, and other components that enable the fluid power system to operate more effectively.
Electronic sensors and switches are also incorporated into many of today’s fluid power systems to provide a means for electronic controls to monitor operation of components. Diagnostic instruments are also used for measuring pressure, temperature and flow in assessing the condition of the system and for troubleshooting.
For more information, click here to visit the National Fluid Power Association website.
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