Hydraulics and Pneumatics

Both hydraulics and pneumatics involve the application of fluid power although the latter uses an easily compressible gas such as air whilst the former uses a relatively incompressible liquid medium like oil. In terms of power supplied, pneumatics manages 80 to 100 pounds per square inch while hydraulics can reach into the thousands so it is much more powerful. Pneumatics is preferred because of its simplicity of design and its better control and reliability. It tends to need less maintenance since air does less damage to its components. Gas can be stored in the system so even if there is a power cut, it will continue to work for a time. It is also much safer as there are devices to release air in case of a build-up. By contrast, hydraulics moves greater loads and is highly responsive with no delay to the starting mechanism. In terms of cost, pneumatics is more costly in that some of the energy is lost through heat production. Air compression systems absorb force but in hydraulics it is transferred. Both energy sources are predominantly used in construction and industry. Hydraulics is also used for lifting equipment while compressed air is also used for brakes and dental equipment.

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  1. Hydraulic Equipment & Components
    - 56 Suppliers 15,230 Products

    There are six basic components which make up the hydraulic system; the reservoir, pump, motor, valves, actuator and the hose. Power is supplied by regulating the pressure of the fluid through the system. Hydraulic-powered equipment can be found places where high torque is needed such as factories, mines and construction sites.

  2. Pneumatic Equipment & Components
    - 39 Suppliers 37,375 Products

    The most important pneumatic components are the actuator, cylinder, valves, manifolds, fittings, piston and hose/tubing. Working on pressure changes caused by compressed air, this equipment applies more force for its weight than electric-powered equivalents and is predominantly found in industry and construction.