Can A Hydraulic Cylinder Be Used As A Pneumatic Cylinder?

Hydraulics vs. Pneumatics

Hydraulic and Pneumatic systems have been the source of confusion for many years as their result and purpose seems to be extremely similar and or some would argue, the exact same! So what does make these two applications so different? Can they be used interchangeably? How do each of them function that makes them different from the other? Let’s explore the differences and similarities of hydraulics and pneumatics so that we all have a better idea of what is best for each individual need.
Similarities of the two are many! They both function in a very similar fashion, just with a different means of movement. Both hydraulics and pneumatics require similar components and the idea behind them both is that force is exerted resulting in the ability to do something such as living, spinning, moving, pushing, the possibilities are endless…

hydraulic vs pneumatic cylinder

The biggest difference between pneumatics and hydraulics is actually the means by which the cylinder is working. Pneumatics use gas, generally air or pure gas in order to transmit power by compressing the gas. Hydraulics on the other hand use fluid, often oil, glycol, and other flame resistant liquid options.
        Pneumatics in a very general sense are compressed air or gas the creates a linear force. They are pressurized systems that compress the air or gas in order to produce force allowing for movement to be created. The downside of pneumatic systems is that they really cannot produce more than 100 pounds per square inch (PSI) Because the pneumatic system is working with compressed air, there is a delay in movement, and also there is a requirement for a constant “compressor” source to keep things going. Some examples of pneumatic systems are a nail gun, pneumatic or “air” brakes used by busses and large trucks.
       Hydraulics on the other hand are made up of a pressurized system rather than pressurizing a gas or liquid. The pressurized hydraulic system uses moving liquids to move the pressure to different areas creating the force used to move the areas as needed. Hydraulic systems have the ability to create a much larger force, generally ranging from 1,500 up to 10,000 PSI which is obviously much more than what a pneumatic system can do. This results in a much larger ability to move and lift things – liquids are not very compressible which means that there is no delay in the movement. Some various examples of a hydraulic system in use are a dump truck, a hydraulic lift, and an excavator.

Hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders are also made differently, generally hydraulic cylinders are manufactured with thicker pieces of metal in order to be compatible with the high amounts of pressure moving within. With all of this information, we can now that although it might be POSSIBLE for a hydraulic cylinder to be used as a pneumatic cylinder, you ultimately want to keep them each in their retrospective areas for the best results.

If you have questions about your hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders or need to look into replacing your current cylinders, please see our pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders page and contact us today!

hydraulic cylinder

What Is The Difference Between A Single & Double Acting Cylinder?

And How Do I Know Which Is Right For My Project?

There are two main type of hydraulic cylinders, a single acting cylinder and a double acting cylinder, the two function very differently when it comes to the hydraulic fluid that is contained within, but what is the actual difference between the two – and how do you know which one is right for your machinery and equipment?

Single Acting Cylinders:

A single acting hydraulic cylinder is unique in the fact that the fluid within the mechanism only applies pressure onto one side of the piston. That pressure forces the cylinder shaft to extend creating that movement. The fluid within the cylinder is oil, preventing the cylinder from compressing. Depending on the single acting cylinder, the oil will either be forwarded into a separate reservoir or the other option is that by means of a small device, the oil will flow back automatically. This simple process is extremely effective when it comes to equipment and various devices, and is used by people around the world to simplify tasks that otherwise might be extremely challenging tasks. In short, a single acting cylinder only functions by means of pressure to one side, then retracts by another outside source such as the weight of the load, or commonly a spring.

single acting cylinder

Double Acting Cylinders:

A double acting cylinder functions a little bit differently from a single acting cylinder. In this type of hydraulic cylinder, hydraulic fluid is used to utilize pressure onto both sides of the piston permitting for both extension and compression with no help from any sort of spring, crank, or device. The double acting cylinder is not utilized in as many situations, but only when extreme force is needed in both extension and retraction of a device.

Now, when it comes to understanding which cylinder is correct when it comes to your piece of equipment, engine, or application, it’s important to understand what situations call for which cylinders! Single acting cylinders are simpler in design and are more compact making them versatile for many different situations. Although simple and versatile, the single acting cylinder also has some disadvantages when it comes to size and it’s force ability because it can only really provide a large amount of force one way. Whereas a double acting cylinder, although it is larger, and isn’t as compact, will provide a sort of power and force that is unmatched by the single-acting cylinder.
Examples of Single Acting Cylinders: Most car & diesel engines
Examples of Double Acting Cylinders: Steam Engines

This is just a brief overview of how single and double acting cylinders differ as well as the various applications that you might use them for. If you are unsure about which cylinder will serve best for your project, please reach out to us here at All Phase Hydraulics. We would be happy to help you find which cylinder will be best for you.
To see the various types of cylinders that we carry and distribute, please refer to our line card.

Ultimate Guide To Manufacturing & Installing Your New Hydraulic Cylinder

custom manufacturing custom finishing

1. Brainstorm & Plan
First thing is first, always have a plan and idea. Whether you have a very basic cylinder that needs to be made, or a complex, custom hydraulic cylinder idea to make your machine work. A plan is always a good idea and a necessity in most cases. Sit down and brainstorm and plan for your project. Have some general specs and ideas for what and how you want the finished product to be and function.

2. Design
Once you have a good plan of how your hydraulic cylinder should function and work, you can move into the design portion of the process. This can and will be done by an experienced engineer. Either one that you might have already on staff, or it’s possible that your manufacturing company has an engineer on staff or that they partner with regularly. This process can be lengthy, as the idea comes to life into an actual design, made to work perfectly for your project.

3. Manufacturing
Once a design has been completely solidified the manufacturing can officially begin. If you do not have the manufacturing capabilities, it’s important to find a company that you trust, that has a proven track record of success with manufacturing and repairing hydraulic cylinders. All Phase Hydraulics & Machine would love to chat with you about manufacturing your custom or general hydraulic pieces.

4. Testing
After your new hydraulic cylinder has been manufactured, comes the time to test the new piece with your machine. You will have to carefully install your new piece into the machine and begin the testing process. We recommend that you always test your machines on something low risk just in case there are any kinks to be worked out. You want to be able to work those out without affecting any of your production in a major way.

5. Maintenance and up-keep
Your new machine is up and working, you’ve tested everything, and even started using your new setup. Now comes the maintenance and general up-keep of your equipment. We believe that routine and preventive maintenance is crucial in the life of your equipment – not only to extend the machines life, but also to keep up the best possible productivity as well! See our friends over at Speed-Tech Equipment’s recent blog about preventive maintenance!

For more information on partnering with All Phase Hydraulics to design, build, and maintain your generic and custom hydraulic cylinders, please contact us today. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Our team of dedicated individuals is ready to face any challenge and ensure that you are receiving a high quality hydraulic cylinder for your machine!

10 Main Causes Of Hydraulic Hose Failure & How To Prevent Them

Hydraulic Hose failure is no joke, not only can it be dangerous, but it also can leave you without an important piece of machinery for a sometime as the hose gets fixed or replaced. While sometimes there is not anything you can do to prevent your hydraulic hose failure, there are various routines that you can adopt in order to stop waiting for your next hydraulic hose to fail you with poor timing. Here are 10 top reasons behind hydraulic hose failure, and a few tips & things you can do to do your best in preventing it from happening.

1.

Site Damage – Site damage is a direct result of the conditions that your machine is in. This will mostly be seen in aggressive conditions such as construction sites. The hydraulic hoses in these situations are easily subject to more abuse, at times being hit or busted on by other high density objects like steel and concrete – the scenarios are endless. Now this is something that an operator can only do so much to prevent. The best thing someone can do to help prevent site damage to the point of hose failure is regularly checking over your machine, making sure that all pieces are in good condition, and when you begin to see a piece of any hydraulic hose starting to show noticeable wear there are options such as metal or textile reinforcement sleeves that will help prolong the hydraulic hose life until you can schedule it for maintenance accordingly allowing you to will help prevent a sudden hydraulic hose failure in the middle of a project so that you do not have to go without a machine in a poor situation.

Reasons behind hydraulic hose failure
hydraulic hose failure checklist

2.

Wear & Tear– General wear & tear isn’t something that you can really truly prevent. Just like any thing else, hydraulic hoses are meant to be used! With use will come wear and tear, but similarly to site damage, the thing you CAN prevent is hydraulic hose failure in the worst time possible. With a routine maintenance check of your equipment you can keep a look out for hoses that might be rubbing incorrectly, missing clamps, cracked hosing or anything else that could lead to a equipment crisis. Taking the time to go through a routine check over will exponentially lessen the likelihood of your machine failing you at a bad time.

3.

Contaminated Fluid – the fluid that is running through your hose can cause just as much damage as anything else to your hydraulic hoses. As pieces of the system break down, small fragments of various origins can create abrasions on the inside of your system. Contaminated fluid can also be a result of improper maintenance. In order to lessen the likelihood of contaminated fluid in your hoses, be sure to properly read the instruction manual & follow the steps in regards to changing your machines oil & filters. In addition to that, it’s a good idea to add to your list of routine maintenance to take small samples of your hydraulic fluid to ensure purity & lack of external particles.

4.

Tube Erosion – Another common cause of hydraulic hose failure is tube erosion. This is generally caused by a concentrated high velocity fluid traveling through the hose. To best prevent tube erosion, it is important to have the correct size hoses for your machine & for the amount of fluid & pressure that they will be undergoing. If you have questions about what the proper size hose is for your specific situation & machine, please Contact Us Today, we are happy to help you!

hydraulic hose repair

5.

6.

Non Compatible Fluid – believe it or not, hydraulic hoses are not all things to all fluids…that seems obvious right? The fluid you run must be compatible with the corresponding hose, if not, you run the risk of many complications such as hose disintegration, swelling, and leaking, which can in then turn into a much larger issue such as system contamination.

Bend Radius exceeded & kinks manifesting by fittings – A bend radius is very important to take notice of and keep in mind as you use your hydraulic hoses, ignoring the recommended bend radius can easily shorten the life of your hydraulic hose through kinking, & crushing your hose. Not only does it weaken the hose, but as the bend radius is exceeded, there is less and less space for the fluid inside the hose to move.

7.

Improper Assembly – this is possibly one of the most dangerous reasons behind hydraulic hose failure! If you are allowing someone to assemble or replace pieces and hoses on your hydraulic machinery, it is important that they fully understand exactly what they are doing. It’s important that the pieces are carefully cleaned & flushed to prevent fluid contamination. The pieces must be fit together at the proper length & with proper force. Fittings should be crimped into place correctly & the ends of the hoses need to be properly adjusted. Done incorrectly can lead to serious destruction, leaks & issues in your machinery.

8.

Heat Aged – Not only over heating but under heating as well can cause damage to your hydraulic hoses resulting in failure. Over heating will cause the outside of your hydraulic hoses to harden & in some cases crack creating a weak piece in the puzzle. It’s important to try your best not to let your machinery over heat letting them rest as needed, if that is not possible, it’s important (once again) to do routine checks of your machinery making sure that they are properly functioning & in good condition.

hydraulic hose failure

9.

Poor Planning & Routing – many hydraulic hose failures could be prevented with better routing & planning of the machine. Poor routing can be the cause of two different hoses rubbing together causing friction & potential abrasions. While working on your machinery, make sure to read through your manuals to route your hydraulic hoses correctly to minimize friction between hoses, or other routing issues. Another way to prevent poor routing is to have an experienced hydraulics technician work on your machinery, this will give you the confidence in a job well done.

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10.

Improper Hose Length/width – Improper hose length & width can be a quick way to create hydraulic hose failure that could potentially leave you in a really poor position. Too short of a hose will not leave enough room for the expansion & contraction of the hose through use. Be sure to research your machine & read the manual to make sure that you are replacing or adjusting the hose properly & with the correct size hose.

These are 10 of the top reasons behind hydraulic hose failure, but they are not ALL of the reasons. Be sure to keep a routine of checking of your equipment regularly, along with the hydraulic hoses & all pieces related & remember, not all hydraulic hose failures can be prevented.
If you are unsure how to properly bring the above preventative measure to completion & need help repairing or replacing your hydraulic hoses, please contact us today – we are more than happy to help you!

Need Help Fixing With Hydraulic Hose Repairs? We Can Help!

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Hydraulic Jack & Scissor Jack – Uses & Benefits

Which Jack Should You Choose?

Hydraulic Jacks or “floor jacks” and Scissor Jacks or “screw jack” are two extremely useful tools with the same general outcome. So which one is right for your project? Which one should you be trying to obtain for the trunk of your car in an emergency? Both types the hydraulic jack & scissor jack have some amazing benefits, but, both might not be right for your project.

A hydraulic jack is an impressive tool to add to your disposal, they are most commonly used in household settings to lift cars for maintenance & changing tires. On a larger scale, other forms of hydraulic jacks are used in so many things that we do, in construction equipment, in platform liftings, material handling & even earth moving. The hydraulic jack works off of the base of Pascal’s law; if you don’t remember much from High School science class, we have you covered. In brief, “A small force is applied on a smaller area of hydraulic fluid and that force generates some pressure in the fluid. That pressure is then applied to a wider area at output so that adequate force is generated to lift the load.” (Club Technical 2018)

American Forge Jack 2

A scissor jack is much more simple machine, its a mechanical jack that operates with the help of a lead screw. You tighten the screw by a small crank to draw the linkages together. This raises the jack – when you loosen the screw (also by crank) the linkages will grow farther apart & the jack will lower. Although there are many benefits to a scissor jack, they also have a few disadvantages. Scissor jacks are relatively slow to operate…you may have to spend a little more time raising & lowering in order to get the desired result. The other disadvantage is that they are somewhat lightweight & are not recommended to be used on heavy duty vehicles.

So, what makes a hydraulic floor jack different and/or better than a common scissor jack? Here are some advantages that we’ve found. One of the biggest advantages is speed, a hydraulic jack can attain the same height that a scissor jack can in a matter of seconds! They are also a little heavier duty, trust-able with many different vehicles & a little heavier duty objects. Lastly, although the hydraulic floor jack may not be as mobile friendly, because they have wheels they are generally easier to roll around on a floor without needing to stress your back to pick it up!

Overall both pieces of equipment are relatively easy to maintain & keep, and depending on your reason & usage, either could be a viable option.

At All Phase Hydraulics we offer several types of Hydraulic Jacks for you & your project!

Need Help Finding the Right Hydraulic Jack For Your Project?

Contact Us Today!

Hydraulic Cylinder Reseal

Hydraulic Cylinder Reseal
Is it time to reseal your hydraulic cylinders? We understand that this process can be daunting and frustrating with all the work that you have to do. Not to mention taking the time to buy new custom seals, then wait, then perform the maintenance. We are here to help! We offer a complete hydraulic cylinder reseal service for our clients. But, if you are more of a hands-on type of individual, we can help you too. Either select your new seals from our variety, or send us in your old set…regular or custom, and we will ship out your new hydraulic cylinder seals the following day. To learn more, click on the button below and Contact Us!
All Phase Hydraulics & Machine is a manufacturing and repair company located in Hudsonville, Michigan specializing in various custom hydraulic repair & custom re-chroming services. We also offer mobile onsite repair throughout Michigan, as well as the northern parts of Indiana. With the mobile service we are able to travel to your facility, diagnose the issues with your equipment, and repair them without you ever having to leave your home. All Phase Hydraulics & Machine offers Cylinder Repair, Hydraulic Repair, Re-Chroming/Custom Seals, Pumps, Motors, & Valves, and Mobile On-Site Repair Service. We also offer products such as Hydraulic Jacks, Hydraulic Hoses, Hydraulic/Pneumatic Cylinders, and Pumps/Motors.

All Phase Hydraulics

2017 Newsletter

All Phase Hydraulics & Machine believes that a quality cylinder repair is more than just seals and new paint. We pride ourselves on our ability to return a cylinder to its original specifications or better.


Tom Andrus
Tom Andrus
cylinder repair division
Eugene DeBoer

This June, Gene decided to use his thirty years of experience in sales to benefit the team at All Phase Hydraulics. Instead of buying and selling pallets for Kamps Pallets, he now advertises for both the repair and manufacturing of hydraulic cylinders. Before Gene was in sales, he farmed for thirteen years; now he goes out to Iowa twice a year to get his farming fix at his brother’s farm. Gene and his wife Ruth Ann have six children and eighteen grandchildren.

Tom has joined All Phase Hydraulics to lend a helping hand to the manufacturing division. He has worked hard to assemble, package and ship brand new cylinders hot off the machines. Before joining us, Tom worked for a year as an IT Field Engineer. Tom spends his free time outdoors doing anything from camping to kayaking to skeet shooting.

We are so proud of the members that we have on our team. All Phase Hydraulics  is dedicated to meeting our consumer needs, and we make sure that each and every employee has the same dedication and focus that we do. We are excited to show off our hard-working employees and recognize them for the way they help our company run. Please Contact us today to learn more about what we do and how we can help you with your specific needs. We cannot wait to hear from you, and look forward to partnering with you. Give us a call today at 616.669.3975

January 2017 Newsletter

We are welcoming in our 28th year of business!

January 2017 Newsletterall phase hydraulics newsletter

Welcome to 2017. Speed Wrench is embarking on our 28th year of business. As we look forward to a new year, we can’t help but look back on 2016 to be reminded that though we may plan our future (and we should), the future does not always work out as planned.

We were especially reminded last year when a number of employees were faced with the unexpected passing of their parents, spouses, and even children. As each year brings us that much closer to Glory we need to be reminded of the words from a song: “Teach us O Lord to count our days and set our hearts on wisdom’s ways”. May that be our constant prayer as we move into 2017 and all that it may hold in store for us.

January 2017 Newsletter

Quality, Delivery, Price!

Custom Welded Body Cylinders

“For our custom welded body cylinders, we developed the criteria of: quality, delivery, and price. All Phase Hydraulics satisfied all three points – emphatically.”

1. QUALITY – Precise machining tolerances, durable, proven construction, exacting adherence to design dimensions, stainless piston rods for our marine application. Quality control is a must, and we’ve yet to have a hitch!

2. DELIVERY – We needed to shorten delivery times, to help us rotate our stock without drowning in cylinders.  Now, we have lead times we can count on.

3. PRICING – Now we have an affordable cylinder that’s a bargain. Since we stock them, and price them to move, we need a manufacturer who would do reasonable quantities and still reward us for a steady volume.

“Also, All Phase has demonstrated another added value – outstanding customer service! All Phase is responsive, consistent, exacting, timely, and reliable.”custom welded body cylinders