Hydraulics versus Pneumatics
The Hydraulic System
Hydraulics is an applied science that uses both chemistry and engineering with fluids practical application in mechanical properties to move a load.
It is used in both small and large industries, vehicles, construction equipment, and buildings.
Hydraulic systems’ major uses are for large force control classified in different categories namely industrial, marine application, aerospace equipment, mobile hydraulics, and more.
Its use of incompressible fluid increases efficiency and its power output consistency remains unchallenged by the pneumatic system.
It has less leakage when compared to the pneumatic system that leads to low cost in maintenance and performs optimally on a hot condition environment.
With the capability and capacity to handle larger loads, they provide an advantage over the pneumatic system. In the long run, pneumatic circuits are more expensive at least in terms of operating cost.
To compress atmospheric air, tons of horsepower is required, making its motor components quite costly to operate. In contrast, hydraulic equipment’s high initial investment cost translates to lower cost operations, with high efficiency.
The Pneumatic System
The pneumatic system is based on the technology of air compressed in circles for fissionable or automation control of road drills, machines, power tools, and paint-spraying robots etc.
The pneumatic system has some similarities with the hydraulic system: they both use a liquid in force transfer.
We are surrounded by them in the modern world. For example, NASA uses it on vehicles satellite launch operations, dentists use them for drilling operations, and truckers apply them on brakes.
The pneumatic is practical and efficient compared to the hydraulic system that usually uses oil to act as a control fluid, which could lead to a big mess that is expensive to fix if leaked.
It’s easier to fix the pneumatic system if it leaks and it uses ordinary air that is freely available, making it more advantageous over hydraulic.
With its simplicity in design, you will incur low costs because circuits are air operated at low pressure while components are quite cheaper. System maintenance is quite easier in comparison to the hydraulic system. They are fast and great at automated production processes of assembling and manufacturing. Pneumatic actuators have a long life and still perform well.
In an industrial setup, these are the most commonly used with the objective of accomplishing certain tasks or jobs.
With the existence of pneumatic hydraulic hybrid models, the two types have separate and different functions. They are vital additions to a day-to-day mechanical/electrical operation.
The choice is based on the type of task to be accomplished. For instance, hydraulic systems are ideal when there’s a need for high-pressure maintenance with zero fluctuations while pneumatic systems are required when the system is used for the manufacturing food process, of which the pneumatic is recommended.
You can choose one depending on what stage of operation you are in.
For example, if still at the start point, the pneumatic could be ideal because it is less expensive and the hydraulic at a later stage when large force control is needed.
Both pneumatic and hydraulic systems use valves and require pumps. You may enquire more from your engineers in Essex, Kent, London, or Heathrow to get an idea of what could work for you, of course, depending on the task at hand.