The Pros and Cons of Hydraulics

One amazing technological innovation is the development of hydraulics. Hydraulics help us raise and lower heavy items, so they have been used for a number of things, including doors, cars, and airplanes. While this technology has proved to be very helpful in a wide variety of applications, it can also be harmful. Hydraulic malfunctions can result in serious personal injury. In this article, we will examine the pros and cons of using hydraulic items.

First, let’s take a quick look at how hydraulics work. There is usually a liquid-filled chamber with two pistons on the end. The incompressible liquid is typically oil. When a force is applied to one end of the chamber or piston, the force is multiplied to the other piston. In this way, we can greatly reduce the amount of muscle power needed to lift and move heavy objects.

With cars, there are several ways that hydraulics have come in handy. First of all, if you have ever had a flat tire or any other reason to jack up your car, you may have had to use the jack that comes with your car. Usually, this is a hand-cranked device that is fairly flimsy. Therefore, many people turn to hydraulic jacks. These save time and muscle power and can greatly reduce the effort needed to change a tire or get under your car.

Also for cars, we use hydraulic brakes to slow us down. Due to the powers of hydraulics, the systems multiply our stopping power to help us slow down and come to a stop faster than normal. Additionally, many auto manufacturers are now offering hydraulic trunk and back door openers and closers. Closing the back flap of an SUV or other large vehicle can be difficult, so having an automatic closer powered by hydraulics can be incredibly useful for people who have lost arm strength or usually have their hands full.

Just with cars, you can see why hydraulics have permeated our life. They are similar to simple machines such as pulleys and levers which multiply or redirect force to help us. However, hydraulic systems are not always as wonderful as they seem. Their great power can also be translated into great destruction.

First, powerful hydraulic systems can easily smash fingers and arms, let alone our whole body. For example, if you have an automatic door closer on your SUV, it can easily squish the fingers of a person or child who has a hand resting on the back of the car.

Second, the liquid in hydraulic machines can be dangerous chemicals. If they leak, they can cause burns on your body where it touches you. Thankfully, not all substances are harmful, but it is always a good idea to regularly examine any hydraulic machinery around you for potential leaks.

In some cases, hydraulics can cause serious personal injury if manufactured incorrectly or not handled in a safe manner.