What Happens When I Hit The Brakes?

by Connor Pena

Before you can get your hydraulic cylinder repaired, it might be good to understand how a hydraulic system works.

In the simple terms, a hydraulic system applies tremendous amounts of pressure on a type of fluid (usually oil) that cannot be compressed. The fluid is held inside two or more hydraulic cylinders. Pressure put on each cylinder varies depending on what the operator is doing. Hydraulic systems are commonly found in machinery used for heavy lifting. These systems control the direction and pressure of the machinery. Hydraulic systems are the reason your car stops when you step on the brake. Stepping on the brake causes a device inside the hydraulic cylinder called a piston to apply pressure on the hydraulic fluid. The fluid is forcing the fluid into a smaller chambers. The fluid puts pressure on the pistons in these chambers which applies the brakes. It is likely that your car has more than one hydraulic system just in case one stops working.

Problems with hydraulic systems can occur if air gets into the hydraulic cylinder. When this happens, it becomes impossible to vary the pressure between hydraulic cylinders and the machine becomes much less efficient. Air in the fluid will also cause the fluid to get too hot and makes the machinery dangerous to operate. There are a number of different reasons why hydraulic fluid may have air inside of it. It is possible that the fluid is contaminated. If pressure on the system is decreased too quickly, it can also cause dissolved air to enter the system. There is also the possibility of entrained air, which means the fluid has small pockets of air dispersed throughout it. If there is air in the hydraulic system, it is crucial that it be removed. This process is called bleeding air. It involves allowing the pistons in the hydraulic cylinders to pump on their own a few times to ensure that the air gets pushed out. The oil must then be allowed to settle for a few hours. It is important the you are consistently checking the cylinders for air in order to prevent any permanent damage to the machinery.  

Making sure that the machinery you use is safe for people to use is effective. Problems with the hydraulic cylinders can cause major problems and be a hazard to those operating the machinery. Prevention is much easier than fixing a problem that results from a lack of attention to detail. If your hydraulic cylinders need repairs, visit Hydraulic Hose & Cylinder Inc.