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Difference Between Hydraulics and Pneumatics

hydraulicsHydraulics vs Pneumatics

There are almost no significant differences between hydraulics and and for non-engineers but if you examine further, there are lots of technical uniqueness in each system.

By definition alone, hydraulics is very different from pneumatics because it is used in controlling, transmitting and harnessing power using pressured fluids. The latter is dealing more on studying the impact of pressurized gases and how it influences mechanical movement. Hydraulics is frequently used in the concepts of dams, rivers, turbines and even erosion whereas pneumatics is applied in various fields of dentistry, mining and general construction among others.

The material or substance used differs between the two. In hydraulics, the substance used is an incompressible fluid medium wherein the most common example is oil. Pneumatics, on the contrary, makes use of a very compressible gas like air itself or an appropriate pure gas.

Another difference between the two when applied is the strength of the pressures used in their applications. Hydraulic systems use a greater amount of pressure compared to pneumatic applications. In pneumatics, only 80-100 psi (pounds per square inch) of pressure is used for its industrial applications. Hydraulic-based applications frequently use pressures that range from 1,000-5,000 psi. Nevertheless, other more advanced hydraulic systems even use pressures of up to 10,000 psi. Because of this high power demand, hydraulic systems chiefly use bigger components while pneumatic systems use smaller ones in most applications.

With regard to the control of applications, pneumatic systems are deemed to be simpler and easier to handle than hydraulic systems. Most operators say that using pneumatics is just like the light switch that makes you choose between two simple choices of ‘on’ or ‘off.’ This is true because most pneumatics is designed with simple cylinders and standard components only. An exception in the simplicity of either a hydraulic or pneumatic device would come if the entire system is automated.

1. By definition, hydraulics is used in controlling or harnessing power with the use of pressurized fluids whereas pneumatics studies how pressurized gases influences mechanical motion or movement.
2. Hydraulics uses an incompressible fluid medium like oil whereas pneumatics uses a compressible gas like air.
3. Hydraulic applications demand greater pressures during operations that reach thousands of pounds per square inch whereas pneumatic applications only require 100 psi pressures more or less.
4. Most hydraulic applications generally use bigger components that pneumatic applications.
5. Hydraulic systems are generally more difficult to operate compared to pneumatic applications.

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  1. this is a very useful reference for people who want to know some of the key facts about the hydraulics and pneumatics system.

  2. Hello sir,
    I am Ashutosh Working as a mechaical maintenance engg. with Bhushan steel ltd.

    I want to know more about Hydraulics & Pneumatic System……

    So I kindly Request You to Send me more about that subject….
    I will be Greatful to you…

    Thanks & Regards
    Ashutosh Mohanty
    Mobile : + 91 8895129123

  3. thanx 4 da info. reali helped

  4. thank you for your help. you’e genius.
    we should date sometime

  5. Hi…
    I want some more about hydraulic and pnemautic pressures

  6. hi ,

    compare and comment on the use of hydraulics power to that of pneumatic power and when would you use which one and why / why not

  7. Hi dear 🙂
    1st thank you for every small details about that important topic 🙂
    2nd I need to post more applications and more materials about that topics

    — thank you —

    — Ahmed —

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