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New design opportunities for hydraulic systems

Author : Mattias Awad, Ovako

31 March 2023

Hydraulic cylinders present a challenge for engineers who want to design systems that will deliver many thousands of operations, while resisting failure from the common failure mechanisms of buckling and fatigue. Mattias Awad, Ovako’s Head of Marketing and Technology at Cromax AB, explains how specifying clean steel can achieve this.

Hydraulic cylinders provide both power and precision in construction and agricultural vehicles, as well as wind turbine pitch control and lifting equipment. However, being long and thin, they are vulnerable to buckling when acting under compressive forces. Buckling is a particularly risky mode of failure, due to its sudden and unpredictable nature. In addition, with large mechanical forces at play, buckling can lead to additional risks for machine operators. 

Often, when designing hydraulic cylinders, engineers use Euler’s theory. This predicts the critical buckling threshold for slender rods under compression. It is used widely in structural engineering, where it is used in design codes and methods for engineers designing beams and columns for buildings and bridges. 

However, when applied to hydraulic cylinders, Euler’s theory has been known to overestimate buckling resistance...

Read the full article in DPA's April issue

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