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Hydraulics are machines designed to operate through fluid power. They transfer force using a liquid, most commonly oil, and cover a wide range of applications from jobsite excavators to commercial aircraft. Used across a spectrum of industries, hydraulics are often preferred because the incompressible oil allows large amounts of force to be transferred with relative ease.
Hydraulic machines and systems work in conjunction with valves, pumps, tubes, and fittings. Control valves, such as solenoid valves and check valves, control the flow and direction of liquid in hydraulic systems. Hydraulic cylinders and pumps, like vane pumps and piston pumps, provide and transfer the fluids in hydraulic machines. Hydraulic accumulators, hydraulic clamps, and tubes and fittings are also key accessories and components for hydraulic machinery.
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Magnetic brakes reduce the speed of a driven assembly. They use magnets, metal fins, and eddy currents instead of friction to provide braking action. Magnetic brakes consist of one or two rows of magnets and a copper or aluminum fin. To reduce speed, the brake inserts the metal fin between the magnets where generated eddy currents immediately oppose the metal. Commonly used on roller coaster tracks, magnetic brakes can also be used where there is no available electric power. They are much smoother and quieter than friction brakes.
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Pneumatics are machines designed to operate through gas or compressed air power. Pneumatics cover a wide range of applications, most commonly in the form of power tools, air brakes in motor vehicles, and other devices like compressors. Used across a broad spectrum of industries, pneumatics are often preferred because of their relative ease of use and low cost.
Common types of pneumatic products include compressed air cylinders, available in standard and miniature sizes for varying applications, and directional control valves, which control the flow of compressed air. Directional control valves are also found in hydraulic systems and are commonly available in two-way, three-way, and four-way designs. Many types of pneumatic accessories are necessary to support pneumatic systems, with tubes and fittings essential pneumatic accessories.
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