With a variety of applications, hydraulic systems are used in all kinds of large and small industrial settings, as well as buildings, construction equipment, and vehicles. Paper mills, logging, manufacturing, robotics, and steel processing are leading users of hydraulic equipment. As an efficient and cost-effective way to create movement or repetition, hydraulic system-based equipment is hard to top. The purpose of a specific hydraulic system may vary, but all hydraulic systems work through the same basic concept.
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Hydraulics are used profusely in steel production because they offer the power density, precision and most importantly, imperviousness to heat required in this harsh environment. Perhaps more than any other industry in North America, the steel industry experiences the slacks of the economic tide, albeit at a more glacial pace. The complex global economy shifts the production of steel into and out of nations and the trades they support.
What changes more slowly is the method of manufacture, because creating steel from its fundamental elements still requires unique applications of fluid power. Steelmaking is an industry forever powered by hydraulics. So severe are the applications, no other method of actuation makes sense — the heat, the force and the danger are all extreme and only something capable with fluid under pressure.
So prolific are hydraulics in steel mills, that a plant can have hundreds of power units. A coke oven itself needs hundreds of cylinders to process coal, and the ambient heat in the process at the doors, cars and pushers is intense, to say the least. Dealing with high heat From the blast furnace to the processing plant, fluid power is uniquely applied to achieve the demanding tasks. The process of making new steel starts the conversion of coal to a more efficient fuel source; coke.
Immense heat under low oxygen conditions turns coal into coke, a cleaner fuel source that burns hot with little smoke. Coke ovens are large, multi-storey buildings where cylinders and motors must open and close oven doors, and then push and transfer material.
Coke oven doors in steel mills use hundreds of hydraulic cylinders to process the coal. They open and close doors and push material through the ovens. Image courtesy of Shutterstock. The coke pusher car, for example, must eject the fresh coke embers onto the hot car as it stations the coal for the next batch. The coke oven doors depend on their opening by a door extractor actuated by hydraulic cylinders. You can imagine the extreme ambient heat by such an application, so these actuators are not your run of the mill no pun intended cylinders.
Hydraulic systems for high heat conditions must not only be reliable in the face of tremendous heat but also not contribute to the inherent danger. Conventional hydraulic oil is flammable, so any leaks or failures from the cylinders or other components near the oven presents the possibility of ignition, given the presence of scorching coke.
A pinhole leak in a hydraulic hose can be turned into a flamethrower, so needless to say, mineral oil makes a poor bedfellow with the steel industry. To prevent the dangers of incendiary oil, steel mills use fire-resistant hydraulic fluids. Water glycol fluids commonly find their home in mills for their inherent safety and excellent properties as a hydraulic fluid.
Water glycol provides good lubrication and anti-wear properties, and is readily available by most hydraulic fluid manufacturers. Also relevant in steel mills are water in oil emulsions, which combine the properties of both constituents to create a stable fluid resistant to flame. Both fluids carry a caveat — traditional sealing technologies are inappropriate for water-based fluids.
Glycols also classified as HFC fluids require suitable sealing technology capable of both high heat and water resistance. Synthetic rubber-like Buna Nitrile works well with glycol, but not at high temperature. Conversely, FKM Viton has excellent heat resistance but poor compatibility with water. Specialty formulated seals such as PTFE or perfluoroelastomer work best here, capable of withstanding the effects of high heat and water exposure. The same goes for water in oil emulsion classified as HFB , which has similar seal compatibility.
Heavy-duty motions require the power of hydraulics After coke production comes mixing with iron ore in the blast furnace, itself a massive contraption with extreme motion control requirements satisfied with hydraulics. The coke burns hot, melting the ore and creating pig iron, which is poured from the tap hole and transported to the blast or arc furnace. In the furnace, the iron is exposed to jets of pure oxygen, starting the conversion to steel.
A brew of additives combines with the batch here, forming any of the hundreds of steel alloys available, before the molten steel is transported eventually to the continuous caster where giant, red-hot slabs of steel are formed.
The continuous caster can make rectangular slabs or large diameter bars, but the majority of North American steel output takes the form of slabs. The slabs are carried off to the hot strip mill, a magical place where hydraulics are as saturated in the plant as electronic components are on a circuit board. Just as with the iron making process, the conditions are intense, hot and dangerous.
Through many stages of preparation and myriad roughing and finishing stands, the slabs transform from a scale-covered nine-inches-thick to semi-finished sheet metal. Mill-type hydraulic cylinders are the workhorse of the steel industry. They are usually rated to 5, psi and feature a flanged construction.
Image courtesy of Cylinder Services. The hot strip mill houses an automated process quarterbacked by technicians in climate-controlled rooms, and the automation is heavy. Few industries have a cylinder named after them, but this is the exception. The mill type cylinder is the workhorse of the steel industry.
Many mill cylinders are rated for 5, psi, and use heavy-duty flanged construction at both the head and cap. This construction not only allows a sturdy method of attaching the barrel to the caps, but it also permits the cylinder to be repaired from either end often right at the machine. As you would imagine, a mill type cylinder requires a significant resistance to heat and the capacity to operate via water-based fluids. Bring in your PTFE seals, which are well suited to the job. Some use flanges welded to the barrel and subsequently screwed to the head and cap, while others use grooved barrels with retainer flanges and eschew welding altogether.
Because of the custom nature of the mill cylinder, features such as cooling channels, linear transducers, exotic materials or custom mounts provide unlimited configurability. Finishing relies on hydraulic precision After slabs are turned into coiled sheets, they must be processed into finished product for automotive, appliance or construction material manufacturers can use. The treatment process — which requires uncoiling, processing through many rolls and then recoiling — is as hydraulic intensive as you would assume.
Amtec hydraulic nut. Image courtesy of Higginson Equipment. A subframe for your car seat takes only small strips of steel to produce, so the automotive manufacturer has no use for steel nearly six-feet wide. To get the strips of steel most appropriate for finishing, the coils of full-width steel are sent to the slitting line to be sheared into various smaller widths. It is here you will find one of the more unique applications of fluid power; the hydraulic nut.
Slitter tooling consists of male and female knives accurately spaced with tight tolerances using computer software and a series of shims and spacers. These knife gaps are so precise and require consistent application of force to ensure quality slitting with little scrap.
The hydraulic nut is a single-acting annular cylinder capable of hundreds of tons of force. Amtec Hydraclamp, a world leader in hydraulic clamping, manufacturers grease-activated nuts over 20 in.
ID machine thread. The key to this extreme force is the 10,psi pressure exerted by the grease pump. So precise is the machining and sealing technology, these nuts can hold the tooling on the arbour for over a month before re-pressurization. After slitting, finished metal is recoiled and shipped out, and so ends the process of turning coal and iron into finished metal. Just an observation of unique fluid power applications is mind-boggling into and of itself.
If you ever get the chance to tour a steel mill, take advantage; the experience is humbling. Mary Gannon is editor of Fluid Power World. She has been a technical writer and editor for more than 13 years, having covered fluid power, motion control and interconnect technologies.
Image courtesy of istockphoto. You may also like: Association of Equipment Manufacturers: U. Hydraulic symbology understanding basic fluid power schematics How to use hydraulics in machine tools. Search Fluid Power World.
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Based out of Hudsonville, our mobile onsite repair is able to provide service throughout Michigan, as well as the northern parts of Indiana. Our mobile service is unique in the way that we are able to travel to your facility, diagnose the issues with your equipment, and repair them without you ever having to leave your building. Contact Us Today to find out more. We pride ourselves on our ability to return a cylinder to its original specifications or better. From small business, to the most demanding zero down-time manufacturing plants. Re-chroming is an important part of maintaining your cylinders, and not just for aesthetic purposes. After so many uses cylinders begin to wear down and when that happens the surfaces become marred.
Hydraulics Website. SunSource is one of North America's leading fluid power distribution companies, providing products, services and information in hydraulics, pneumatics, filtration, automation systems, and related industrial components, serving both the industrial and mobile equipment markets. Designed after professional grade equipment standards, Pro-Lift is kept under close quality control standards from factory to your home. The principal products are Hydraulic Hose assemblies made to customer requirements and all ancillary products. Plant one is the.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: A Chinese hydraulic manufacturer
Hydraulics are used profusely in steel production because they offer the power density, precision and most importantly, imperviousness to heat required in this harsh environment. Perhaps more than any other industry in North America, the steel industry experiences the slacks of the economic tide, albeit at a more glacial pace. The complex global economy shifts the production of steel into and out of nations and the trades they support. What changes more slowly is the method of manufacture, because creating steel from its fundamental elements still requires unique applications of fluid power. Steelmaking is an industry forever powered by hydraulics. So severe are the applications, no other method of actuation makes sense — the heat, the force and the danger are all extreme and only something capable with fluid under pressure. So prolific are hydraulics in steel mills, that a plant can have hundreds of power units.
Hydraulic and pneumatic systems share many benefits for the machines in which they are installed. These include:. Hydraulic and pneumatic systems are both widely used in stationary industrial and off-highway mobile equipment. Hydraulic systems are widely used when heavy force or torque is involved , such as lifting loads weighing several tons, crushing or pressing strong materials like rock and solid metal, and digging, lifting, and moving large amounts of earth.
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Industrial hydraulic motors, sometimes called hydraulic fluid motors, are motors that use the concept of hydraulics in order to generate a force that can be used to power numerous applications. The study of hydraulics says that, because most fluids are incompressible, if a fluid is placed inside a closed system and then force is applied to it, at some point, this force will move through it to another point. Read More…. It is our goal that we are able to maintain our position as one of the leading producers and manufacturers of hydraulic motors and that we may provide our products to an ever growing customer base worldwide! Request A Quote. Dometrics specializes in hydraulic machinery. We supply parts such as hydraulic motors, gears, cylinders, couplings and more. Fluidyne Fluid Power is a leading industrial power distributor and manufacturing facility specializing in hydraulic motors, components and custom-designed fluid power systems.
Hydraulic systems, components and self-contained servo drives
Voith offers innovative hydraulic systems and components as well as self-contained servo drives for a wide variety of applications. Among others, hydraulic solutions from Voith are used in mechanical engineering, the automotive sector and in the energy sector. As an international partner with high system competence, we develop modern fluid technology - customized and tailor-made to your requirements. Thanks to high energy efficiency, overload safety and virtually wear-free operation, self-contained drives from Voith are suitable for practically all linear movements that require high dynamics and precision. Voith plug-and-play solutions ensure peace of mind, with all components originating from a single source.
Key aspects of industrial hydraulics maintenance
In a fluid power system, the source energy enters at one central point, just like an electrical system. The energy is distributed through control mechanisms and conductors to the final motion devices, just like in many electrical systems.
Hydraulics and steel production go hand-in-hand
Hydraulic systems are invaluable across countless industries. The physics behind hydraulics is that you apply force at a specific point, which is then transmitted as energy to another point through an incompressible fluid, which is usually a type of oil or an equitable synthetic. Here are some industries using hydraulics — some that fit common sense, some that you may never have thought of!
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Our company, Vivoil Oleodinamica Vivolo srl , was founded in , when Mr. Domenico Vivolo, after 25 years of experience in Turolla, one of the most important companies in the industry, decided to open his own company for the assembly and sale of hydraulic components. Our business is growing, so much that in we began carrying out some manufacturing processes internally; this gives us the flexibility needed to customize our products to the maximum, and to ensure fast deliveries , in Italy and abroad.