Hydraulics can be found in several instances including motor vehicles and construction equipment. Hydraulics have several benefits over mechanical systems including safety, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
The advantages of hydraulic systems make them very popular in most industries. Some of these advantages include a high horsepower-to-weight ratio and safety in hazardous environments. Force can also be held constantly, moved over great distances with little energy loss and motion can be almost instantly reversed. The elimination of mechanical trains also makes hydraulic systems less complicated.
Hydraulic systems are used widely in both industrial and mobile equipment. Industrial hydraulics are used in mining, waste reduction, agriculture as well as utility equipment. Hydraulics are used for lifting, pressing, cutting, forming, bending and moving heavy components. As a result, hydraulic systems are most prominent in systems which require a heavy force or torque.
In motor vehicles, hydraulics are most commonly found in the application of brakes. The relatively small force exerted by the driver's foot on the pedal is transmitted through the fluid in a small piston. The force transmitted in turn affects a larger piston which multiplies the force. This increased force is transmitted to the brake pads which rub against the brake discs and slow the vehicle.