The Hydraulic Cylinder: Frequently Asked Questions

Hydraulic Cylinders: Frequently Asked Questions

The hydraulic cylinder is an essential component of hydraulic systems and is commonly used in construction, manufacturing, and transportation industries. Understanding the mechanics, materials, and maintenance of cylinders is crucial for ensuring optimal performance and longevity. In this blog post, we will answer some of the most common questions asked about hydraulic cylinders, including who invented them, how they work, how to maintain them, and much more.

Custom Hydraulic Cylinder Manufacturing near Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Table of Contents

Who Invented the Hydraulic Cylinder?

The hydraulic cylinder was invented by Joseph Bramah in 1795. Bramah was an English inventor and locksmith who also invented the hydraulic press. His invention revolutionized the manufacturing industry and paved the way for modern hydraulic systems.

Can Hydraulic Cylinders Work with Air?

No, they cannot work with air. They are designed to work with hydraulic fluid, which is much denser than air and provides much more power. Air in the hydraulic system can cause a loss of pressure, which can lead to reduced performance or even system failure.

Does the Size of a Hydraulic Cylinder Matter?

Yes, the size of a cylinder does matter. The size of the cylinder determines how much force it can generate and how much weight it can lift. Choosing the right size cylinder for your application is important for achieving optimal performance. Factors to consider when selecting a hydraulic cylinder include the application, operating conditions, and load capacity.

Can Hydraulic Cylinders Be Repaired?

Yes, hydraulic cylinders can be repaired. Common repairs include replacing seals and repairing or replacing damaged parts. It is important to have your cylinders repaired by a qualified technician to ensure proper functioning. Regular maintenance can help prevent the need for major repairs and extend the life of your equipment.

Can Hydraulic Cylinders Get Air Locked?

Yes, hydraulic cylinders can become air locked. This can occur when air enters the system, preventing hydraulic fluid from flowing properly. Bleeding the system can help remove air and restore proper functioning. It is important to check the hydraulic system regularly for signs of air lock and address any issues promptly to prevent damage to the system.

Can a Hydraulic Cylinder Be Welded?

Yes, your cylinders can be welded. However, it is important to use the proper welding techniques and materials to ensure the cylinder remains structurally sound. Welding should only be done by a qualified technician who has experience working with hydraulics.

Can You Bleed a Hydraulic Cylinder?

Yes, you can bleed a hydraulic cylinder. Bleeding the system removes air and ensures proper functioning. The process involves opening the bleed valve to release any trapped air. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the correct tools when bleeding a hydraulic cylinder.

Are Hydraulic Cylinders Cushioned?

Yes, they can be cushioned. A hydraulic cushion is a feature in some hydraulic cylinders that helps to reduce the impact and shock caused by the cylinder’s motion. Like the name states, It’s basically like a cushion for the cylinder, absorbing the energy created by the moving piston and slowing down its motion before it reaches the end of its stroke.

Hydraulic cushions are often used in applications where a heavy load is being lifted or moved, as they can help to protect the load and the hydraulic system from damage. By providing a more controlled and gradual stop to the cylinder’s motion, hydraulic cushions can help to increase the safety and efficiency of hydraulic systems.

What Fluids Can Be Used for Hydraulic Cylinders?

Various fluids can be used for hydraulic cylinders, including mineral based oil, synthetic oil, and water-based fluids. The choice of fluid depends on the specific application and operating conditions. Factors to consider when selecting a hydraulic fluid include viscosity, temperature range, oxidation stability, and compatibility with seals and other system components. It is important to use a high-quality fluid that meets the manufacturer’s specifications and to perform regular fluid analysis and replacement to ensure optimal system performance and longevity.

What Are Hydraulic Cylinders Made Of?

Hydraulic cylinders are typically made of high-strength steel, although other materials such as aluminum and titanium may also be used. The cylinder barrel is usually made of seamless steel tubing, while the piston rod is made of high-strength steel and is often chrome plated for improved wear resistance. The end caps and other components may be made of steel or other materials depending on the specific application.

What Is Hydraulic Cylinder Drift?

Drift is a common issue that occurs when the cylinder slowly moves or creeps even when the control valve is in the neutral position. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including worn seals, contamination, or improper adjustment of the control valve. Cylinder drift can be prevented by performing regular maintenance, such as replacing worn seals and cleaning the system, and by properly adjusting the control valve.

What Is Hydraulic Cylinder Bore?

The bore is the inside diameter of the cylinder barrel, which houses the piston. The bore size determines the amount of force that the cylinder can generate and the size of the load it can lift. Bore sizes typically range from 1 inch to over 30 inches, with larger cylinders being used for heavy-duty applications.

Are Hydraulic Cylinder Caps Reverse Thread?

No, cylinder caps are typically not reverse thread. Most hydraulic cylinder caps have a standard thread direction, and removing them is similar to removing any other threaded component. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the correct tools when removing and reinstalling caps.

How to Calculate Hydraulic Cylinder Force?

To calculate the force generated by a hydraulic cylinder, you need to know the cylinder bore diameter, the operating pressure, and the piston rod diameter. The formula for calculating hydraulic cylinder force is:

Force (in pounds) = (Pressure (in psi) x Cylinder bore area (in square inches)) – (Pressure (in psi) x Piston rod area (in square inches))

By knowing the force generated by the hydraulic cylinder, you can select the appropriate size and capacity for your application.

Learn more about hydraulic power from the Encyclopedia Britannica.


In conclusion, hydraulic cylinders are an essential component of hydraulic systems, and understanding their mechanics, materials, and maintenance is crucial for ensuring optimal performance and longevity. By addressing common issues such as drift, air lock, and proper sizing, you can prevent damage to the system and extend the life of your cylinders. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and seek the assistance of a qualified technician for repairs and maintenance. With proper care and maintenance, hydraulic cylinders can provide reliable performance and power for years to come.

Interested in custom hydraulics? Check out our manufacturing capabilities and get your custom hydraulics from All Phase!

How Does a Hydraulic Press Work and What Makes Them So Powerful?

The Power of the Hydraulic Press

You may have seen popular videos where hydraulic presses easily crush diamonds and other formidable objects!

Have you ever wondered what makes hydraulic presses so powerful? This blog will look at hydraulic presses and cover the basics of how they work and what they are used for.

Looking for Hydraulic Cylinder Parts near Grand Rapids, Michigan?

All Phase Hydraulics can help with that!

What is a Hydraulic Press?

The word Hydraulic is used to describe the science of using pressurized fluid as a source of mechanical force or control.

A hydraulic press is a mechanical device that is used to crush, flatten, and compress materials for various applications.

The hydraulic press is comprised of two connected cylinders. Each cylinder contains hydraulic fluid. The larger cylinder is commonly referred to as the ram. The smaller cylinder is referred to as the plunger.

Hydraulic presses come in different sizes and types, depending on the application. Some are used to press sheet metal or mold plastics, while others are used to manufacture car body parts or medical devices. Regardless of their application, hydraulic presses have a few common components, including a hydraulic pump, a control valve, and a cylinder.

How Does a Hydraulic Press Work?

A hydraulic press generates and transfers force by utilizing hydraulic fluid. The fluid most commonly used for hydraulics is oil due to its strong pressure resistance. The oil is confined within a closed system of pipelines and cylinders, and a pump is utilized to pressurize the fluid.

When the pump is activated, the hydraulic fluid is forced into the smaller piston, generating pressure. This pressure is then transferred to the larger piston through the pipe or cylinder. The larger piston is typically attached to a press or mold, which applies force to the material being worked on.

Hydraulic presses can generate massive amounts of force, making them ideal for a variety of industrial applications. The force generated is determined by the size of the pistons and the pressure of the hydraulic fluid. The pressure in a hydraulic system is typically measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). Hydraulic presses can generate pressures that range from several hundred PSI to thousands of PSI, depending on the specific application.

This video does a great job visually depicting a basic hydraulic system using syringes to operate a robotic arm!

Common applications

Metalworking: They are used to press sheet metal into different shapes and forms. They can also be used to bend, punch, and shear metal.

Plastics and Composites: They are used to mold plastics and composites into different shapes and forms. They are used to make anything from car parts to kitchen appliances.

Manufacturing: Hydraulic Presses are used to manufacture a wide range of products, from car body parts to medical devices. They can be used to form, shape, and join different materials.

Construction: They are used in construction to form concrete into different shapes and sizes. They can also be used to compress soil or rock.

Automotive: Hydraulic presses are used in the automotive industry to manufacture car parts. They can be used to press and join different materials together.

How Does A Hydraulic Press Work? : Conclusion

In conclusion, hydraulic presses are powerful machines that are used for a wide range of applications. They work by using hydraulic fluid to generate and transfer force from a small piston to a larger one. They are able to generate massive levels of force, which makes them ideal for a variety of applications in industries such as metalworking, plastics and composites, manufacturing, construction, and automotive.

Hydraulic Seals and Fittings in the Grand Rapids Area!

All Phase Carries hydraulic replacement parts and does custom orders!

hydraulic replacement parts

Hydraulic Cylinder Rebuild 101: Warning Signs and Symptoms

Hydraulic cylinders are an essential component of many industrial machines and equipment. They convert hydraulic pressure into mechanical force so machines can perform tasks like lifting and pressing with incredible power and force!

Over time, hydraulic cylinders can wear out, resulting in reduced performance, leakage, and other issues. Knowing when to get a hydraulic cylinder rebuilt is crucial for maintaining the efficiency of your hydraulic equipment. 

Looking for a Hydraulic Cylinder Rebuild in Grand Rapids Michigan?

Signs That You May Need a Hydraulic Cylinder Rebuild

Reduced Performance From your Hydraulic Equipment

Reduced performance is one of the most obvious indicators that it’s time to get your hydraulic cylinder rebuilt. If your machinery is no longer operating to its full potential, your hydraulic cylinder very well may need some upkeep. A cylinder that is worn out or damaged will struggle to produce the required force to operate the equipment efficiently. The end results in reduced performance.

Hydraulic Fluid Leakage

Leakage is another indicator that your hydraulic cylinder may need rebuilding. Hydraulic fluid is a necessity for hydraulics to function properly. Any leakage of hydraulic fluid is an immediate sign that something is wrong.

Damaged piston rods, worn-out seals, and other underlying problems might result in hydraulic leakage. It is important to get your cylinder inspected and possibly rebuilt if you see any hydraulic fluid escaping from it.

Excessive Noise

If you notice excessive noise or vibration in your equipment, it could be a sign that your hydraulic cylinder needs attention. Misaligned or damaged components can cause excessive noise and vibration, indicating that the cylinder needs to be rebuilt or repaired.

Hydraulic Cylinder Rebuild

Corrosion or Damage

Although hydraulic cylinders are built to persist under strenuous conditions, over time they may corrode or sustain damage. Corrosion or damage to the cylinder barrel, piston rod, or other components may result in reduced performance, leakage, or other problems. It is time to get your hydraulic cylinder rebuilt if you spot any indications of rust or damage.

Frequent Maintenance and Repair Costs

If you find yourself frequently having your hydraulic cylinder repaired or replacing components, it may be time to have it rebuilt. Frequent repairs can be a sign that the cylinder is worn out or damaged and needs attention or a possible rebuild.

Hydraulic Cylinder Repair in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Hydraulic cylinders are an essential component of many industrial machines and equipment. Decreased performance, leakage, and excessive noise are all symptoms that may indicate that it’s time for a rebuild. You can make sure that your equipment performs at its peak efficiency by having it inspected and diagnosed by a professional. All-Phase Hydraulics specializes in all things hydraulics and we would love to help!


Hydraulic Hose Repair or Replace? When to Know Its Time

hydraulic hose repair or replace

Hydraulic Hose Repair or Replace? When to Know Its Time

When your hydraulic hose fails you, it will bring your hydraulic system to a standstill, can put your employees at risk, potentially damage your system, and can lead to a mess of environmental ramifications. The best way to prevent this from happening is to recognize the signs of impending failure, perform replacements before failure occurs, and take measures for foreseeable failures.

Hydraulic Hose Basics

The Hydraulic hose is used to transmit fluid through your hydraulic system, often at very high pressures and speeds. They are vital to the correct operation of your hydraulic system, whether it be a hydraulic power unit or an airport runway, or the hydraulics that power an excavator.

The Main Job of a Hydraulic Hose

Hydraulic hoses must contain fluids while they are being transferred while also protecting the fluid from outside containments. Hose failure means that 1. The hose is no longer able to contain the fluid and/or 2. It can no longer prevent outside containments from getting into the fluid. When a hose fails, it not only affects the system’s performance but can also lead to serious damage and expensive repairs to other components within the system.

Common Hose Issues

Your hydraulic hose should last you between a year or two years with many lasting up to ten years, so if you notice your hoses are failing in less than two years, then there are some external factors that are reducing its lifetime. Temperatures more than the recommended operating temperature, especially if the hose is making direct contact with a component that has extremely high temperatures, can cause a hose to fail. Contact with components that are involved in vibratory motion will lead to surface wear, abrasions, or cuts that can shorten the useful life of a hydraulic hose.

Chemical compatibility can also be another issue that compromises the integrity of the hose and can include the fluid used in the system or external chemicals that the hose comes in contact with. The material of the tube should always be selected to be compatible with the media that will be flowing through it. If there is incompatibility, the hose can weaken and eventually fail.

Also, using a hose that is not rated for the operating pressure of the hydraulic system can lead to damaging surge conditions whether the pressure is too high or too low. This incompatibility may be the result of the type of hose material of the type of reinforcement used in the hose. In addition, hydraulic fluid contamination can lead to wear within the hose as well as premature hose failure.

Lastly, your hose assemblies must be put together correctly, and the type of fitting must be compatible with the port it will be used with. The fittings themselves must be installed correctly as well or there can be a risk of a leak or other issues.

Hose Checks

It’s important to check your hoses for heat exposure, sun exposure and signs of again to prevent it from hardening and cracking. You should also look for kinks or excessive twists in the line, which will limit flow and lead to pressure buildup. Flat areas in your line indicate bad routing and could mean that the hose is pulling a vacuum or been pinched.

Check to make sure your hose is not rubbing on anything sharp and that no parts of it are worn or deeply cut. You should also inspect for leaks, especially at connection points, which are the most common points of failure.

Repair or Replace?

Deciding if you should repair or replace a hose relies on one simple rule: when in doubt, replace it. Any type of damage to the length of the hose will compromise the integrity of its walls and can prevent it from holding fluid under a certain pressure, so you’ll want to replace it. Often, the damage occurs at the end of the hose or at a point of connection. Sometimes, to fix it, you’ll need to simply tighten a fitting, but in other cases, you might need to replace the O-ring. In some cases, the fitting breaks but there is enough room left at the end of the hose. If that is the case then you’ll need to remove the fitting and install a new one.

However, in some cases, such as with a brake flex line, the hose should be replaced. Smart preventative services can also be taken, such as installing hose protectors at the first sign of any minor wear. Never open or attempt to repair a hose that is under any type of pressure, and always, always wear appropriate eye and hand protection.

Hoses keep things flowing, and with regular maintenance checks, they can do their job. Now that you know what to look for in a hydraulic hose, you can take smart action at the first sign of any wear or tear.

If you’re looking for any type of hydraulic hose repairs or services, the All Phase Hydraulics team is here to help! We offer hydraulic hose repair for your machinery! Contact us for more information.

Protect Your Hydraulic Cylinders from Extreme Heat and Cold

protect your hydraulic equipment

Protect Your Hydraulic Cylinders from Extreme Heat and Cold

Your hydraulic systems are made to handle demanding work conditions and harsh environments. But even the most rugged, high-performing equipment can fail due to certain harsh conditions. In work environments that involve high and low temperatures, the hydraulic cylinders and the components of these robust systems are prone to damage.

Whether you operate mobile or industrial hydraulic equipment, use these tips below to help you understand the effects of high and low temperatures on your hydraulic systems and how to protect them from damage.

Protecting Your Hydraulic Cylinders in Extreme Heat

All hydraulic systems generate heat during operation. Extremely high temperatures, however, either from mechanical or environmental sources, can do hard on your hydraulic system.

High Temperatures and Hydraulic Fluid Viscosity

You know how oil will thin out once you add it to a hot pan? Well, heat has the same effect on hydraulic fluid and lubricants. Heat is actually considered a type of hydraulic cylinder fluid contamination because of how it changes the chemical properties which result in lower fluid viscosity and oxidation. The changes heat causes affect how well fluid lubricates the hydraulic cylinder components. Inadequate lubrication increases friction, which makes your hydraulic cylinders and components more prone to damage and wear.

Changes to Hydraulic Cylinder Seals and Hoses in High Temperatures

Extremely high temperatures can alter material properties, causing the seals and hoses to lose resistance to tearing, abrasion, or friction. Seals that have been compromised can introduce moisture, grime, and air into your hydraulic fluid and cause your system to fail. Construction and other applications that involve prolonged exposure to extreme heat should consider Viton, PTFE, or other materials with high-temperature ratings.

Protecting Hydraulic Cylinders in Extreme Cold

All Phase Hydraulics is based in Michigan, so we know cold! We also know that exposure to low temperatures is hard on your hydraulic cylinders, especially the seals and fluid.

Low Temperatures and Hydraulic Fluid Viscosity

Hydraulic fluid has a freezing point of -10 F (-23 C), but even temperatures above the freezing point can change the fluid viscosity. Cold temperatures cause the fluid to thicken, making it more difficult for the fluid to move through your system. Lubricants are also sensitive to extreme temperatures and can harden or lose lubricity in extreme cold.

protect your hydraulic equipment

Using hydraulic fluid with a lower viscosity grade can help prevent hydraulic cylinder failure in those colder temperatures. Another way to maintain the fluid viscosity in colder temperatures is using an externally mounted heat source. There are many different types of heating elements you can purchase to keep the hydraulic fluid at the right temperature and viscosity.

How Cold Affects Cylinder Seals and Components

Elastomer and thermoplastic hydraulic seals will shrink and harden under cold conditions, which make the sealed components more prone to leaks. Worn deals cause hydraulic cylinder failure, so it’s crucial to protect your seal components from lower temperatures.

Temperature ratings for hydraulic hoses and seals vary widely because of what material they are made out of. If you plan to use your hydraulic cylinders in frigid temperatures, choose components that have a low temp rating and are compatible with your hydraulic fluid type.

Preventative Maintenance and Using the Right Parts Make a Difference

Performing regular preventative maintenance paired with understanding your mobile equipment application and its operating environment will protect your hydraulic cylinders and other equipment and keep your hydraulic system in pristine condition. Check your fluid levels regularly and inspect your seals and hoses for any signs of wear. Replace bad fluid and worn parts right away will also prevent bigger issues down the road.

All Phase Hydraulics has the parts you need. Everything from custom cylinders to high-quality replacement parts. Our hydraulic cylinders are made in the USA and designed with you in mind to meet your specific applications and work environment. Contact us to discuss your application requirements!

What Are 3 Types of Hydraulic Pumps

What are 3 types of hydraulic pumps

What Are 3 Types of Hydraulic Pumps

There are typically 3 types of hydraulic pumps constructions found in the mobile hydraulic applications. These three pumps include gear, piston, and vane. However, we don’t want you to forget about the clutch pumps, dump pumps, and pumps to refuse vehicles such as the dry valve pumps and Muncie power products Live Pak. For the sake of this blog post we are going to answer the question: What are the Main 3 Types of Hydraulic Pumps.

The hydraulic pump is one of the components of the hydraulic system that takes the mechanical energy and converts it into fluid energy in the form of oil flow. The mechanical energy is taken from the prime mover, which a turning force, such as the power take-off or directly from the engine.

There are two designs for a hydraulic pump. Either a uni-rotational or bi-rotational design. The uni-rotational is designed to operate in one direction of the shaft rotation. In contrast, the bi-rotational pump is designed to operate in either direction.

Type of Hydraulic Pump #1: Gear Pump

The most common design for a truck-mounted hydraulic system is the gear pump. This design tends to have fewer moving parts, is easier to service, more tolerant of contamination than other designs, and relatively inexpensive. Gear pumps are fixed displacement, also called positive displacement pumps. Meaning the same volume of flow is produced in each rotation of the pump’s shaft. The gear pumps are rated in terms of their maximum pressure rating, cubic inch displacement, and their maximum input speed limitation.

Gear pumps are mostly used in open-center hydraulic systems. The gear pump will trap oil in the areas between the teeth of the pump’s two gears and in the body of the pump. Then it will transport it around the circumference of the gear cavity and then force it through the outlet port as the gears mesh. Behind the wear plates, a small amount of pressurized oil will push the plates tightly against the gear ends to improve the pump’s efficiency.

Gear Pump Recap

  • Most common used design
  • Fewer parts, easier to service, can tolerate more contaminates, relatively inexpensive
  • Fixed, positive, displacement pumps
  • Rated in terms of maximum pressure, cubic inch displacement, max input speed limitation
  • Used in open center hydraulic systems

Type of Hydraulic Pump #2: Piston Pump

Piston pumps are often used when high operating pressures are required. Piston pumps traditionally will withstand higher pressure gear pumps with comparable displacements. However, there is a lower resistance to contaminants, increased complexity, and a higher initial cost. Piston pumps are often used with truck-mounted cranes but can also be found in other applications like snow and ice control where it’s desirable to vary system flow without compromising engine speed.

The piston pump contains a cylinder block with pistons that move in and out within the pump. The movement of the pistons draws from the oil supply port and then forces it through the outlet. The angle of the swash plate, which the slippery end of the piston rides against, will determine the length of the piston’s stroke. With the swash plat being stationary, the cylinder block (encompassing the pistons) will rotate with the pump’s input shaft. The pump displacement is then determined by the total volume of the pump’s cylinders. You can choose either a fixed or variable displacement design for the piston.

Piston Pump Recap

  • Can withstand higher pressures
  • Higher initial cost, increased complexity, and lower resistance to contaminants
  • More moving parts, stricter filtration requirements, and closer tolerances
  • Truck-mounted cranes or when desirable to vary system flow without compromising engine speed
  • Fixed and variable displacement options are available

Type of Hydraulic Pump #3: Vane Pump

Vane pumps were commonly used on utility vehicles such as aerial buckets and ladders. Today, the vane pump is not as commonly found in those mobile hydraulic systems. The gear pumps have become more widely accepted and available.

Within a vane pump, as the input shaft rotates it causes the oil to pick up between the vanes of the pump which then will be transported to the pump’s outlet side. Similar to how gear pumps work, there is one set of vanes, rather than a pair of gears, on a rotating cartridge in the pump housing. When the area between the vanes decreases on the outlet side and increases on the inlet of the side pump, the oil is then drawn in through the supply port and expelled through the outlet as the vane cartridge rotates due to the change in the area.

Vane Pump Recap

  • Was used in utility vehicles, but is not as common today since gear pumps are more widely accepted and available

All Phase Hydraulics has various hydraulic pumps and motors that can work with any application equipment you might have. We are proud suppliers of hydraulic pumps and motors from Young Powertech Hydraulics & Dynamic Fluid Components

How Often Should I Refinish the Chrome on my Equipment?

How Often Should I Refinish the Chrome on my Equipment?

The longevity of rechroming services on your equipment largely depends on the condition and environment in which you most frequently work in. Most experts recommend rechroming services every couple of decades in non-wear circumstances, even if you work in harsh conditions. Factors that will require rechroming services are commonly determined by:

  • The thickness of your current chrome plating layer
  • How often regular equipment maintenance and proper routine care are performed 
  • The quality of chrome plating materials

The chrome plating not only provides a clean and attractive finish but also is intended to protect your equipment from wear, impact, and corrosion. If you notice early signs of damage or rust then you may need rechroming services sooner than later.

Benefits of Rechroming Services for your Equipment

The rechroming process involves using an electrical current to apply a thin layer of metallic chromium on a surface. When a proper thickness layer of coating is applied to your equipment like hydraulic cylinders, pistons, and other mechanical components, it delivers durable and dependable protection against any excessive wear and corrosion buildup.

Ever wonder why steel and other materials and naturally strong and can withstand heavy duty use yet you still need to invest in chrome refinishing services? Well, by having the chrome plated on your equipment routinely refinished, you can have an extra layer for better wear and rust resistance for improved performance as well as the following rechroming benefits:

  • Added flexibility to apply hard chrome on a range of different materials including brass, copper, and stainless steel.
  • Ability to finish those irregular surfaces and shapes that are hard to reach inside holes, tight spaces, and bores.
  • Increasingly long-term protection capacity with a decreased risk of flaking or delamination during the coating’s lifespan.
  • Low-temperature application, causing little damage or effects on the substrate metal surface.

When you invest in quality chroming services that prevent corrosion, improves wear resistance, and increases the materials hardness- you can expect to minimize additional operating expenses and reduce work downtime.

Before Rechroming Service

rechroming service before

After Rechroming Service

rechroming service after

Why Choose All Phase Hydraulics for Your Rechroming Services?

All Phase Hydraulics is dedicated to helping you improve your business and continue your operations. We offer custom rechroming services for your cylinders to keep your productivity high and your repair costs low. Our premium, multi-step rechroming services will get your cylinders where they need to be in order to keep you working and your business in motion. It is important to get your cylinders rechromed before it becomes a problem.

Give Us a Call Today to Learn More! 

Hydraulic Fluid 101: Everything You Need to Know When Choosing a Hydraulic Fluid for Your System

Hydraulic Fluid 101: Everything You Need to Know When Choosing a Fluid for Your System

Your pumps may become inefficient or even fail simply because you have used the wrong type of hydraulic fluid. How do you know if you are using the right kind of fluid for your specific hydraulic pump? The answer to that question is it’s dependent on several factors, including the type of pump you have, its maximum operating temperature, its maximum operating pressure, and the type of material that was used to make the pump’s seals.

Hydraulic Fluid

Hydraulic fluid can serve multiple purposes in a hydraulic system and its components including pumps. The purposes of hydraulic fluid include:

Lubricating Components within the Hydraulic System

Preventing Corrosion

Dissipating Heat

Transmitting Energy

Mainly, the most important factor of the hydraulic fluid is the ability of the fluid to transmit energy, but that can be compromised if too much heat is trapped within the pump, internal components are allowed to corrode, or there is not enough lubrication to prevent surface damage of the internal components.

Why the Hydraulic Fluid is Important for Pumps

The hydraulic pump is known to be the heart of the hydraulic system, and if the wrong fluid is used it can impact the pump’s performance and life expectancy. This being said, the use of a fluid that is poorly matched to the pump can lead to a failure that can cause cascading issues throughout the system. Issues that can arise if the wrong fluid is used include:

Excessive Heat Generation

Formation of Sludge and Varnish

Erosion and Excessive Surface Wear

Reduced Component Life

Significantly Reduces System Efficiency

If you notice any of these systems, it may be time to research a better-suited hydraulic fluid for your system.

Hydraulic 101

Key Properties of Hydraulic Fluids

It’s important to understand what properties are important for your particular application before selecting a fluid for your system. The most important characteristics of hydraulic fluids include their viscosity, lubrication, thermal properties, flammability, stability, and foaming.


Viscosity is a measure of the fluid’s resistance to flow, with honey being an example of high viscosity, water being an example of medium-level viscosity, and most gases exhibit very low viscosity. It is closely related to temperature, with hydraulic fluids becoming more viscous as temperature, with hydraulic fluids becoming more viscous as the temperature drops.

If a hydraulic fluid has a viscosity that is too high, the system will not run efficiently due to the losses involved in overcoming the resistance of the fluid to move. Additionally, damage can occur because components within the system will not be fully lubricated. However, if the viscosity is too low, there can still be some lubrication issues and the fluid might not be as effective at transmitting energy.


A good hydraulic fluid will serve as a lubricant throughout the system, protecting critical surfaces from damage and preventing metal-to-metal contact. In some instances, a hydraulic system or pump might require a hydraulic fluid with some additives to help maintain its lubricity in the presence of high pressures.

Thermal Properties

It’s important to keep in mind the system’s range of operating temperatures so the hydraulic fluid will remain stable and be able to maintain the desired viscosity. This can be a huge issue for equipment that is exposed to outdoor temperatures, especially when the temperatures drop below freezing. In addition, the fluids need to be able to dissipate the heat that is generated by pressure drops and friction.


Hydraulic fluid should have a high flashpoint when being used in an explosive or highly flammable environment. The flashpoint is the temperature that the hydraulic fluid gives off enough vapor to ignite in the air. However, keep in mind that hydraulic fluids can easily ignite if they are discharged under high enough pressure to produce a fine oil mist. Hydraulic fluids should have a non-petroleum makeup or contain a large amount of water If flammability is an issue.


If possible, the hydraulic fluid should be non-volatile. It should remain both physically and chemically stable in the presence of extreme pressure fluctuations, a wide operating temperature range, and even long-term storage.


Another potential issue to look out for with hydraulic fluids is foaming, which occurs when the hydraulic fluid releases trapped gases. Foaming is a result of increased system temperatures as well as a loss of hydraulic fluid as the gases are released.

Types of Hydraulic Fluid

There are three types of basic hydraulic fluid: water-based, petroleum-based, and synthetic. Each type has its own characteristics that make it ideal for certain systems. In addition, there are some fluids that are ideal for applications that can affect the environment.

Water-Based Hydraulic Fluid

This is the oldest type of hydraulic fluid but in modern times is not used as much as the other types. Keep in mind that while water may not be as effective at lubrication, it’s ideal for situations where the possibility of fire is a concern. Water-based fluids tend to be cheaper than synthetic fluids but still more expensive than petroleum-based fluids.

Petroleum-Based Hydraulic Fluid

This type of hydraulic fluid is far more commonly used than water-based fluids and is a cheaper alternative to synthetic fluids. There are various types of petroleum-based fluids that are different from each other based on how the petroleum products were processed:

Group I: Produced from Solvent Neutral Mineral Oils

Group II: Comprised of Hydroprocessed Base Oil

Group III: Comprised of Hydrocracked Base Oils

Additives comprise about 1% or less of petroleum-based fluids but have a tremendous impact on hydraulic fluid performance. Key additive package components include antioxidants, anti-wear components, foam inhibitors, viscosity modifiers, and rust inhibitors.


This type of hydraulic fluid is man-made and designed specifically for providing high-performance properties that work well in flammable environments. Synthetic hydraulic fluids are the most expensive but work better than other types of fluids when exposed to extreme temperature variations and high pressures. However. Unlike petroleum-based and water-based fluids, they may be incompatible with certain seal materials and can be toxic.

Let's Wrap It Up on Hydraulic Fluids

Unless your system is bring used in a very flammable environment, either petroleum-based or synthetic fluids should work well. The viscosity of fluid- which is one of the most important factors involved when selecting a hydraulic fluid- is heavily dependent on both temperature and pressure, with low-temperature working conditions requiring a lower-viscosity fluid. Additionally, the fluid needs to be chemically compatible with the seals used in the pump; this is typically a problem related to the use of synthetic fluids.

All Phase Hydraulics offers maintenance plans to help meet your preventative maintenance needs and goals- and this includes making sure that the most appropriate hydraulic fluid is being used in your system.

Hydraulic 101

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Hydraulic Hose Specifications

Hydraulic Hose Specifications

For each use of hydraulics, there is a specific hydraulic hose that is suitable for the job. Selecting the right hydraulic hose specifications for your hydraulic hose is critical for optimal performance and preventing damaging or injurious failures. While all hoses have finite and expected lifespans, there are many factors that contribute to the longevity of your hose. By understanding factors that contribute to hose lifespans and failures, you can make informed decisions regarding the type of hose required for your given situation.

Hose Construction

Hydraulic hoses can be constructed out of a variety of different materials. Including composites, elastomers, metals, polymers, silicone, and thermoplastics, just to name a few. The materials that are used for a specific hose will determine the situations in which the hose is meant to be used and even the type of hydraulic fluid that flows through it. Each hose is made of three layers: the inner tubing, wire reinforcement, and exterior shell.

Inner Tubing

The inner tubing of hydraulic hoses is often constructed of plastic or rubber. This is the part of the hose that comes into contact with the fluid and so it must be made out of the right material for the fluid type. For example, some fluids may break down the rubber material, and so the host must be made out of plastic. Having the right material for your inner tubing helps prevent hose failure and damage throughout the rest of the hydraulic system.

Wire Reinforcement

Wire reinforcement layers can be made of metal, plastic, or textile depending on the flexibility and strength required. There may be multiple reinforcing layers between the inner and outer layers of a hydraulic hose depending on its durability rating. There are two styles of wire reinforcement that additionally improve the flexibility or strength. Wire braid will offer more flexibility at the cost of some strength, while wire spiral offers increased strength at the cost of some flexibility.

The wire reinforcement is used to counteract bother the internal and external pressure. The internal pressure is the main force the reinforcement acts against, as the highly pressurized hydraulic fluid presses against the walls of the inner tube. The external pressure is less of an issue but can come into play in some other specific situations.

Exterior Shell

The exterior shell acts as a protector for the inner tube and wire reinforcement from the environment. Environmental dangers could come in the form of abrasion, wear, temperature, and even sunlight. The exterior shell is typically made from rubber, plastic, metal, or textile. The exact material chosen will depend on where and how your hose will be used. If the hose is going to be somewhere with more extreme environmental dangers, then it should be made of a more robust material.

Hydraulic Hose Specifications

Diameter and Length

How the fluid within the hose behaves depends on the hose diameter and length. The inner diameter is the diameter within the most inner tubing where the liquid flows. Pressure drops and increased internal temperatures caused by friction with the tube walls is due to the diameter being too small. If it is too large, it can lead to suboptimal system performance due to the flow. Common inner diameter sizes range from 3/16in. to

The outer diameter of the hose is composed of the three-layer structure of the hose as well as the inner diameter. By measuring the difference between the inner and outer diameters, you will get the thickness of the hose wall. This diameter is important to remember for the connection points.

For the hydraulic system the hose length is much more important than you may have realized. The longer the hose is, the more potential there is for pressure drops. Just as with the inner diameters that are too small, this is because there is more contact between the fluid and interior walls which will create friction. And for this reason, it is critical that the hose is the correct length for the location where it is being used.

Operating Conditions

Hydraulic hoses must be able to withstand various conditions within which they are expected to operate. Your hydraulic hoses may be used in environments that require increased water resistance and abrasion, flexibility, temperature resistance and/or pressure resistance.

Abrasion and Wear Resistance

Abrasion and wear are the number one cause of hydraulic hose failure. This damage is caused when hoses rub against each other or other objects within the system. Even if you don’t think the hoses will rub against other objects, the small amount of vibration from the fluid flowing can cause wear over time. For this reason, it’s important to think how abrasion will come into play when routing houses and try to avoid high-abrasion contact.

Pressure Resistance

While external pressure on hoses typically is not an issue outside of specific environments, all hydraulic hoses must be able to withstand their internal pressures. Every hose will have a maximum pressure rating printed on it. This rating should never be exceeded, even with pressure spikes. Exceeding the pressure rating could lead to your hose bursting which may cause injury, damage, and downtime.

Temperature Resistance

Hydraulic hoses have both pressure ratings and temperature rang ratings. If a hose is used in conditions that are too hot for it, it could lead to materials breaking down or even melting. If the temperatures are too cold for the hose, then it could become rigid which will lead to it cracking. You should be considering both the temperature inside and outside of the hose as they both play a major role of the overall temperature.

The temperature of the fluid within the hose can be hundreds of degrees Celsius depending on the hydraulic system and fluids being used. If the internal structure of the hose cannot withstand this, it will fail. These temperatures are generated by friction between the fluid and their interior walls of the hose. The higher the pressure and flow rate, the higher the fluid temperature will be.

Safety Qualities

Lastly, some specialist hoses come with specific safety qualities that make them idea for potentially dangerous situations. Static-resistant hoses are made of conductive or semi-conductive materials that are able to dissipate build-up static electricity. This helps prevent electrical fires from starting. Flame-resistant hoses are a bit different in that they do not actually prevent fires, but rather prevent fires from getting worse. These hoses are able to remain intact even with flames occurring, which prevents them from bursting and fueling the fire with hot hydraulic fluid

All Phase Hydraulics

Here at All Phase Hydraulics, we understand the importance of preventative maintenance, especially when it comes to your hydraulic hoses. Since hoses are the most vulnerable part of any hydraulic system, they will need to be checked regularly for signs of damage and wear. Contact us today if your hydraulic system needs inspection, maintenance, or repairs. Our expert technicians will keep your hydraulics in peak condition.

Does Your Hydraulic Hose Need Inspection, Maintenance, or Repair? Learn More About How We Can Help, Here

Types of Hydraulic Jacks & Their Uses

Types of Hydraulic Jacks & Their Uses

A hydraulic jack is a mechanical device that is used to lift a heavy weight by applying force through a hydraulic cylinder. Hydraulic jacks are most commonly used in the Automobile industry to lift vehicles from the ground. There are two types of hydraulic jacks- trolley hydraulic jacks and bottle hydraulic jacks. Both of these jacks perform the same function but have differences in their functioning and making.

Pascal’s law is applied to calculate the force of a hydraulic jack. Two pistons inside a cylinder that mainly work for lifting heavy weight are what hydraulic jacks consist of. The bigger cylinder and small cylinder are connected. The small piston will force the fluid to lift the big piston. The two ball valves work like a check valve that allows flow and stop while pumping.

Pressure = Force X Area

When a bar is inserted to the handle socket and pumping motion is enforced, the hydraulic fluid is forced by the piston and will go through a one-way valve, and then the fluid force acting to the bottom of the bigger cylinder and the ram will go upwards. The other valve is blocked so pressurized fluid can’t back until it is unscrewed. This is how the hydraulic jack works.

Components of Hydraulic Jacks

  • A Reservoir
  • Pumps
  • Cylinder
  • Piston
  • Check Valves or Ball Valves
  • Release Valve

Power Source of Hydraulic Jacks

  • Hand Power
  • Air (Compressed)
  • Electric
  • Gas

Common Applications of Hydraulic Jacks

  • Lifting Industrial Heavy Loads
  • Lifting the Car and Vehicles for Clamping
  • Lifting or Clamping of Machinery Equipment’s

Types of Hydraulic Jacks

  • Hydraulic Jack (Bottle Jack and Floor Jack) *Most Commonly Used
  • Scissor Jack
  • Hi-Lift Jack
  • Motorcycle Jack
  • Trolley Jack
Types of Hydraulic Jacks

Floor Jack

Types of Hydraulic Jacks

Scissor Jack

Types of Hydraulic Jacks

Bottle Jack

Bottle Jack

The name bottle jack comes from the appearance of it looking like a milk bottle. It rises weight with a vertical shaft that is pumped by a hand lever. Bottle jacks are commonly used in the automobile industry for lifting cars. It is secured by a frame and simply used as a free-standing piece of equipment to allow for repositioning. One of the main advantages of a bottle jack is that it can fit in small and compact places.

Floor Jack

The floor jack shaft is operated horizontally. When the handle is pushed down, the jack lifts the object upward. There are two types of floors jacks, one of them is a mechanical floor jack and the other is a hydraulic floor jack. The main advantage of a floor jack is that it can seat low to the ground and operate speedy.

Mechanical Floor Jack: this type of floor jack is developed with a screwing mechanism. The screw mechanism is used to lift the weight.

Hydraulic Floor Jack: this type is developed with check valves, cylinders, and pistons which help lift the weight.

Scissor Jack

Scissor jacks are smaller in size and easy to store. Turning the lead screw helps lift the weight. You are able to tighten the lead screw by a small crank to draw the linkages together. It is most commonly used to aid in changing tires for cars and vehicles. Scissor jaks tend to operate relatively slow and are somewhat lightweight making them less desirable to use on heavy duty vehicles.

Hi-Lift Jack

Hi-Lift Jacks are commonly used for farming vehicles rather than cars or trucks. Hi-Life Jacks were designed by Bloomfield Manufacturing Company 100+ years back. There are two climbing pins that work alternatively into the Hi-Jack lift, one pin will hold the load and the other is freed and moved to the next whole while lifting. This type of jack is dangerous if you don’t know how to correctly use- please advice a professional before using.

Motorcycle Jack

Just as the name mentions, this type of jack is used to lift motorcycles for cleaning and modifications. It was developed for lifting motorcycles safely and also tends to be used for lifting ATV 4 wheel style vehicles as well.

Trolley Jack

The Trolley Jack was developed to lift a vehicle to be able to work under it to repair or regular maintenance. It is usually designed to lift vehicles and hold into a safe position for a short period of time. The wheels of a trolley jack make slight movements to make up for the shift in the car during weight distribution.

Hydraulic jacks really have many different uses and can be used in to many different ways- whether it’s changing a tire, lifting up your vehicles to look underneath for repairs or maintenance, or even lifting a piece of heavy equipment for repairs. A hydraulic jack allows for the user to exert a large amount of force and power through a small, and simple movement making your next mechanical project just a whole lot easier.

All Phase Hydraulics is proud to carry American Forge & Foundry hydraulic jacks for our customers. AFF is proven to be durable, reliable, and affordable, all while getting the job done efficiently. Check out our line of American Forge Jacks that we offer. 

If you’re looking for assistance on which Hydraulic Jack is right for your specific application- feel free to Contact Us today!