A Basic Guide to Hydraulics

Hydraulics is about using liquids, usually oil or water, to make things move. And it’s not just for cars. You can find hydraulics in construction equipment, airplanes, and even in giant cranes.

Video Source

In your car, when you hit the brakes, a special liquid (that’s the hydraulic fluid) gets pushed through tubes. Then the caliper squeezes the brake pads against the brake rotor. That action slows down the wheels and brings your car to a halt.

But hydraulics aren’t just for stopping your ride. They’re also super handy for lifting heavy stuff. Think about garbage trucks picking up bins like they’re weightless. That’s hydraulics doing its thing. This guide explains how liquids can be used to multiply forces. Imagine you have two cylinders, one small and one big.

If you push down on the small cylinder with a little bit of force, you create a much greater force on the big cylinder. That’s because the push you give the small cylinder transfers to the liquid. Doing so pushes up the big cylinder with a lot more force. If you exert a force of 20 newtons on a small cylinder (with an area of 0.001 square meters), you create a pressure of 20,000 pascals.

When you apply the pressure to a larger cylinder with an area of 0.1 square meters, it creates a force of 2,000 newtons. That’s way more force than you started with, just by using some liquid. So, it’s the same idea behind a hydraulic jack, which can lift a car with just a small push.


Share Now:
Scroll to Top