To begin with, any actuation device that makes use of a pressurized hydraulic fluid is classified as a hydraulic pump. This mechanism is used to produce linear motion and force in applications to transfer power. Hydraulic cylinders basically convert the energy stored in the hydraulic fluid into a sort of force that is then used to move the cylinders in a linear direction.

Components
There are various components involved that allow these cylinders to run efficiently and smoothly. These include the cylinder bottom, the cylinder bottom connection cylinder barrel, and the cylinder head. The piston, piston rod, and piston rod connection are also important elements. Some cylinders may also include feet, which are used to mount the barrels.

Function
Cylinders are typically classified into one or two categories based on their function. These two distinctions are single acting and double acting cylinders. In single acting cylinders, the fluid is pressurized from just one side of the cylinder during the expansion and retraction process. Double acting cylinders, on the other hand, apply fluid in both directions. Double acting cylinders are further divided into single and double rod ended.

Specifications
There are quite a few things to consider before you purchase one of these cylinders. You’ll want to take note of the:

* Bore diameter
* Maximum operating pressure – the maximum working pressure a cylinder is capable of carrying
* Rod diameter
* Stroke – the distance traveled by a piston within the cylinder can range from several feet to a fraction of an inch
* Type of cylinder – can be tie-rod, ram, or welded

Types of Cylinders
There are three main types of hydraulic cylinders, all of which have different uses:
* Tie-rod – these varieties utilize single or multiple tie-rods to provide additional stability to the cylinder. They are mostly installed in the exterior diameter of the cylinder and carry most of the load.
* Welded – this variety is particularly heavy-duty and smooth.
* Ram – these cylinders act as rams, as the cross-section of the moving component serves as half of the cross section of the piston rod. They are used to pull rather than push. This type of cylinder is most commonly used in high-pressure applications.

Now you have some basic, yet important information about hydraulic cylinders.

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