Hydraulic systems are useful as a robust and versatile means of carrying out heavy-duty labour. They tap the power of pressurised fluids to perform simple mechanical work such as lifting, hauling and bulldozing. Fluids trapped under pressure can move and amplify forces, giving operators a valuable means of enhancing productivity.
Hydraulic systems aren't without drawbacks, however. Historically, these systems have struggled with energy efficiency, environmental impacts, and safety concerns. Here, we'll examine the key advantages and disadvantages of industrial hydraulic systems as mining supplies.
Power and Versatility
Hydraulic systems are popular chiefly because they can easily transfer huge amounts of power. With comparatively little input, this power is multiplied in the course of its transfer. Known for their strength and agility, fluid-based hydraulic systems make quick and painless labour of difficult industrial tasks.
Hydraulic systems can usually be operated and repaired by unspecialised workers, providing labour cost savings. In general, their simple construction means components are easily modified to suit new applications, and most functions can be conveniently automated and controlled remotely.
Load-limiting hydraulic systems remain stable during power or system failures. Built-in overload protection helps preserve the integrity of equipment that would otherwise become damaged in the event of failure.
When systems need repair, hydraulic components—unlike complex electrical parts like industrial inverters—can often be sourced locally. This means offline systems get back online quickly, saving you costly downtime.
There are some serious safety concerns associated with hydraulic systems. They are notoriously sensitive to heat extremes, as well as air pockets and bubbles.Any of these variables can quickly tear up a hydraulic system if left unresolved.
Line ruptures in particular pose a notable hazard that can lead to serious injuries and death. Strict safety protocols are key to preventing accidents. Fires and explosions are among the consequences of subpar safety regimes.
Today's hydraulics are required to do more work while enduring more extreme pressure and temperature stressors. Leaks and hose failures can be disastrous under these conditions, especially considering that conventional fluids with ideal hydraulic properties are flammable.
The human and environmental hazards of hydraulic oils have spurred the generation of safer, fire-resistant water-based fluids. Today, biodegradable synthetic water solutions are available—although oils remain the preferred medium for the transmission of hydraulic power.
Hydraulic systems can also have negative environmental impacts, depending on their mechanisms and the usage context. Hydraulic mining, or fracturing, for instance, is growing as an 'unconventional' way to mine oil and gas shales using massive quantities of high-pressure, chemically treated water.
On the one hand, hydraulic mining is a powerful way to extract underground fossil fuels that are inaccessible via traditional wells. On the other hand,the process tends to draw negative press for its energy-intensive and environmentally destructive characteristics.
Hydraulic systems have long struggled with energy efficiency, partly due to fluid flow resistance and leakage problems. There is still much to accomplish with respect to the modernisation of hydraulics to meet contemporary efficiency standards.
While hydraulic systems have long struggled with attaining energy efficiency,part of the problem has been mitigated with the introduction of, for example,variable displacement pumps and motors. Today's load-sensing hydraulics are also more energy-efficient—though these modifications can be pricey.
Author Bio This article was written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for www.directmining.com, a supplier of premier mobile and stationary equipment products and services throughout Australia and the AsiaPacific region.