Types of Hydraulic Cylinders

There are various hydraulic cylinders types, and many classification methods. According to the motion mode, they can be divided into linear reciprocating motion and rotary swinging. According to the action of hydraulic pressure, it can be divided into single-acting type and double-acting type. According to the structure, it can be divided into piston type, plunger type, multi-stage telescopic sleeve type, rack and pinion type, etc. According to the installation form, it can be divided into tie rods, earrings, feet, hinge shafts, etc. According to the pressure level, it can be divided into 16Mpa, 25Mpa, 31.5Mpa, etc.

Common hydraulic cylinders types

Piston Hydraulic Cylinder

Piston hydraulic cylinders include single rod type and double rod type. Its fixing method is according to cylinder tube and piston rod. There are single acting hydraulic cylinder and double acting hydraulic cylinder according to the action of hydraulic pressure. In a single acting hydraulic cylinder, the pressure oil is only supplied to one cavity of the hydraulic cylinder. The cylinder can move in one direction by hydraulic pressure, and the movement in the opposite direction is realized by external force (such as spring force, dead weight or external load, etc.). The movement of the piston in the hydraulic cylinder in two directions is completed by the action of hydraulic pressure through alternating oil in the two chambers.

single rod hydraulic cylinder
double rods hydraulic cylinder

Plunger Hydraulic Cylinder

  1. The plunger hydraulic cylinder is a singleacting hydraulic cylinder, which can only move in one direction by hydraulic pressure, and the return stroke of the plunger depends on other external forces or the weight of the plunger.
  2. The plunger is only supported by the cylinder liner and not in contact with the cylinder liner, so that the cylinder liner is very easy to process, so it is suitable for long-stroke hydraulic cylinders.
  3. The plunger is always under pressure during operation, so it must have sufficient rigidity.
  4. The weight of the plunger is often large, and it is easy to sag due to its own weight when placed horizontally, causing unilateral wear of the seal and guide, so its vertical use is more advantageous.
plunger hydraulic cylinder

Telescopic Hydraulic Cylinder

Telescopic hydraulic cylinders have two-stage or multi-stage pistons. In the telescopic hydraulic cylinder, the order of extension of the pistons is from large to small, while the order of no-load retraction is generally from small to large. The telescopic cylinder can achieve a longer stroke, while the length is shorter when retracted, and the structure is more compact. This type of hydraulic cylinder is often used in construction machinery and agricultural machinery. There are multiple pistons that move at one time, and when each piston moves successively, its output speed and output force are both changed.

single acting telescopic hydraulic cylinder
double acting telescopic hydraulic cylinder
multi-stage telescopic hydraulic cylinder

Swing Hydraulic Cylinder

Swing hydraulic cylinder is an executive element that outputs torque and realizes reciprocating motion. There are several forms such as single vane, double vane, spiral swing and so on. The vane type is to fix the stator block on the cylinder, and the vane and the rotor are connected together. According to the direction of oil intake, the vane will drive the rotor to swing back and forth. The spiral swing type is divided into single spiral swing and double spiral. Now double spirals are more commonly used. The linear motion of the piston in the two spiral auxiliary drop hydraulic cylinders is transformed into a compound motion of linear motion and rotation motion to achieve swing motion.

swing hydraulic cylinder

Supplier for those hydraulic cylinders types

Among the hydraulic cylinders introduced above, piston hydraulic cylinders and telescopic hydraulic cylinders are more common. As one of the leading manufacturers of custom hydraulic cylinder design and manufacturing, JW has abundant experience in this field. The photos below are some hydraulic cylinders manufactured by JW, involving industries of marine, offshore, equipment, water engineering, vehicles, metallurgy, etc. We provide hydraulic cylinders for well-known companies around the world, and provide OEM service for famous hydraulic cylinder companies. JW strives to provide customers with the best design solutions and the top quality products.


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