Many people have heard the term hydraulics in relation to their cars or some other type of vehicle or machinery, but most people have very little idea of how hydraulics actually work. Some people assume that a hydraulic system uses water, and that may have been true at one point.
However, there are other fluids that work much better because, in addition to transmitting energy, they also lubricate the system and self-clean themselves. If you want to know about the different types of hydraulic fluids used today, then read more.
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- Water-based fluids: These fluids are very fire-resistant. They do, however, have to be watched closely because they don’t provide as much lubrication as some other types of liquids. They may also evaporate at high temperatures.
- Petroleum-based fluids: These fluids are the most popular today. They can actually be customized to the system by adding different additives. For example, these fluids can be modified to include rust and oxidation inhibitors, and extreme pressure agents. They are fairly inexpensive, too.
- Synthetic fluids: Finally, there are man-made lubricants that are also very useful in high-temperature and high-pressure systems. They can also be fire resistant and help lubricate the system.
However, the job of hydraulic fluid goes beyond the simple transmission of power. Although transmitting hydraulic energy is the core purpose of hydraulic fluid, it is useful in four secondary functions—heat transfer, contamination removal, sealing, and lubrication.