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What is Fluid Power?


  • Introduction

Understanding what fluid power is and how it relates to modern industry is very important to keep your equipment running properly, profitably, and safely.

There are many similarities to Hydraulics and Pneumatics – but there are differences; however, the same laws of physics and formulas apply to most applications with two significant differences: The compressibility of the fluid and where that fluid can be exhausted.

The term “fluid power” applies to air, other gases, oil, water and other liquids. In this program, we show a side-by-side comparison and explain the similarities AND the differences between them so they may be appropriately applied.

  • Purpose of Training

Knowledge of fluid power characteristics will help the student appreciate the power of the fluid (air or oil) and how those fluids exert pressure – to support loads, and flow – to move loads. We also discuss what makes up a fluid power system, and explore and identify the conditions that cause fluids to flow and exert pressure. Attaining an understanding of Pascal’s Law and the relationship between fluid pressure and fluid flow will be but a few of the areas discussed.


  • Contents and Format
    • Pascal’s Law
    • Differences between Hydraulics & Pneumatics
    • The Compressibility of the fluid
    • What is Fluid Power?
    • Why is Fluid Power used?
    • Where is Fluid Power used?
    • How is Fluid Power is used?
    • What Fluid Power systems consist of
    • Terminology
    • Basic Formulas
    • Basic Pneumatic system
    • Control valves
    • Intermediate devices
    • Power devices
    • Troubleshooting
    • Basic Hydraulic system
    • Side by Side comparison
    • Circuits

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  • Expectations

A properly designed system requires three general areas of simple maintenance – such as a sufficient quantity of clean fluid (air or oil), a maintenance program for checking systems and changing filters in pneumatic systems, and reservoirs, filters and strainers in hydraulic systems, and a program for maintenance of connections and mounting hardware. These three areas support have the most significant effect on system performance – safety, profitability and longevity.

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