6 Things You Didn’t Know Used Hydraulic Systems

 In AHE News

Hydraulic systems are all around us, even when we don’t know it. Here are six everyday items that use hydraulics.

Car Brakes

The brakes on your car are possibly the most important aspect of the design. Cars are incredibly dangerous without the ability to stop. The way these brakes function has changed over time, but the user sees the same essential process—the car begins to slow down as the brake pedal is compressed. But what actually happens when the brake pedal is pushed?

Most modern brakes have a device that squeezes a drum or disc connected to the wheel, thus slowing the wheel. However, something has to transfer the energy from your foot on the pedal to the wheel

A long time ago, cars used cables for braking systems. When you pressed the pedal, the cable would be pulled, transferring the energy to the drum or disc attached to the wheels.

Unfortunately, these cables occasionally snapped, and they were eventually replaced with hydraulic brakes. Pressing the pedal changed the pressure of the fluid inside a pipe, which activated the brakes. Hydraulic brakes are sturdier and better at equally distributing force. This makes them a more reliable (and safer) means of slowing a car.

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The brakes on an airplane are very similar to those of a car. Hydraulic fluid carries force from the brake pedal to the wheels where friction slows the motion.

However, brakes aren’t the only use for hydraulics on airplanes. The wing flaps and flight controls also make use of hydraulic systems. These systems only become more complex for larger airplanes.

Amusement Park Rides

Most devices at amusement parks use either pneumatic or hydraulic systems. If something is moving, it’s likely using hydraulics or pneumatics. Lap bars, shock absorbers on bumper cars, and the various stages of airplane and swing rides all make use of both hydraulic and pneumatic systems.


While some elevators use ropes to lift the compartment, others use hydraulics. As the article linked above explains, “A hydraulic powered elevator system is operated using a pump that moves non-compressible liquid (such as oil) from a fluid reservoir into a cylinder through an open valve. The fluid builds up inside the cylinder, pushing up a piston located inside and causing the elevator to raise to the corresponding floor.”

Hydraulic elevators are not only cheaper to install than other varieties, they are also more effective. They are much stronger and can handle larger loads. Hydraulics have afforded more capabilities and higher levels of safety to elevator systems.

They do have some disadvantages, however. They are less energy efficient, and they require digging a deep shaft below the building in order to work.

Door closers

Door closers keep a door from slamming shut. They attach to the frame and the door, and gently slow the door until it clicks firmly closed.

DenGarden.com explains how they work: “A door closer is a mechanical device designed to close a door slowly but firmly enough to latch. It accomplishes this by using spring tension modulated by hydraulic fluid. As the user opens the door, hydraulic fluid passes from one reservoir to another. As the spring pushes the door closed again, the hydraulic fluid passes back to the previous reservoir through a series of valves that control the speed.”

Shock Absorbers

Running over potholes and bumps in the road makes for an unpleasant ride. Shock absorbers keep the car from jostling everything and everybody inside. Hydraulic pistons dissipate the motion of the bounce into heat energy. This diminishing of movement keeps the car level as it navigates uneven roads and conditions. The result is a smoother and more enjoyable ride for everyone in the car.

Hydraulics are all around us. These mechanisms provide smoother and more stable means of securing important mechanical processes. They are adaptable, reliable, and useful in many different industries. Everything from construction equipment to office chairs uses a form of hydraulics. This is because these systems are simultaneously simple and effective.

If you want to buy hydraulics come to us. Our expert staff can custom design the perfect hydraulic system for your needs.

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