Different types of hydraulic cylinder

There are several various types of a hydraulic cylinder that you may encounter, and as specialists in hydraulic repairs…we’ve seen them all! Having a more rounded and informed understanding of these hydraulic cylinders should enable you to improve and enhance your knowledge to your own advantage and leisure.

Single – Acting Cylinder

This type of cylinder is named due to the fluid only having one access point or port into the cylinder. This port is at the head end of the cylinder which can only be worked in one direction. As oil it pushed through, the port is pressed on a plunger and causes it to move. When the cylinder is emptied of oil the plunger returns to its original position in line with the failing oil level. The fact that it is a single rather than another type of cylinder could affect the rate at which is can perform. However, this depends on the means for which it may be used and could well not be an issue. Though, if this is an issue you may wish to read about the other options.

Double- Acting Cylinder

Unlike the single acting cylinder, this type of cylinder has two ports; one for extending the plunger and another for retracting. These ports are position at either end of the cylinder, the head and the rod. This means that to extend the rod, the port at the head end is used, but when retracting the rod both ports are used simultaneously. This is a key advantage of this cylinder over the single cylinder. The presence of a ram lip also allows the rod to be additionally supported within the cylinder throughout the extending and retracting processes.

Non-differential Cylinder

This cylinder has two ports (similar to the double-acting cylinder). The main difference is that the rod is extending from both ends, making it more stable and measured in terms of speed and thrust placed on the rod within the cylinder. The fact that pressure and flow can move from end to end of the rod makes it unusual compared to other cylinders and usable in different ways, but also difficult to use for mobile equipment etc. The inclusion of a steel ring, seal and piston within the cylinder provides more stability and control to help manage the conditions and environment inside to balance the forces present.

Telescoping, Ram-type, actuating Cylinder

The option of the cylinder is very different to the others as it operates in a very compact structure with rams placed closely alongside each other to form a collective of cylinder units that can work together with the option of one or two ports to control the flow of fluid. The rams and the ports are all contained with the housing of the cylinder which is part of the design. The ramps require careful positions with space between to accommodate the system. A strong advantage of this cylinder is the reach of the cylinder when all the rams are extended together.

Balanced, Double-acting, Piston-type Cylinder

The key feature of this cylinder is the piston extension, which allows for the area on either side of the piston to be the same and so the forces on either side of the piston are the same. This extra long piston with a clevis allows for careful yet precise changes to be made to the pressures and balances within the cylinder without having to interfere or disrupt other parts and mechanisms of the cylinder. This cylinder is like the non-differential cylinder in that it has a steel ring seal and ports at either end. Although the configuration of the piston is different with access at only one end.

Cushioned Cylinder

This cylinder is designed with cushioned padding to prevent the stroke of the piston from being too strong and stabilising the pressures inside the cylinder. The cushioned effect is the result of a limiting metering device inside the cylinder to control and restrict the power of the piston when operating. This device is positioned at one end of the cylinder near the retraction port to assist it in its purpose. The inclusion of a check value to further monitor the forces within the cylinder is located by the retraction port and on the other side of the piston from the metering device.

Single Acting, Spring Loaded

This type of cylinder focuses on its internal spring that controls the flow of the piston and the fluid from the single port at the far side of the cylinder away from the spring. The seals around the head of the piston prevent the fluid from reaching the spring. This design ensures the spring and the fluid can work together but in a different direction with different forces being applied from either side. It is possible to switch the design and have the spring on one side of the seal and the piston and the fluid on the other. This type of cylinder is most often used to push and pull when required and can also be mounted vertically to allow the weight of the piston to contribute to the function of the cylinder.

With this blog and its information hopefully, you know have a better understanding of the different types of a hydraulic cylinder that are available and how they operate. If you would like any more information then please contact our experienced team here at CJ Plant.