How Polymer in Fluid Power Systems Boost Performance
New hydraulic power systems are quickly adapting to handle more power, heavier loads, and longer service lives demanded by modern industries and machines. In order to keep pace with increasing demands, the internal components of fluid power systems are also changing. Whereas steel poppets and spools were once sufficient for most hydraulic and fluid power applications, new parts made of advanced polymers are delivering superior performance and service.
Why use polymer for hydraulic systems
As fluid power systems for earthmoving, agricultural, and construction equipment require greater capacities and power, their components must be able to withstand the increased pressure. Traditional steep poppets and spools have served as a barrier to higher, more efficient operating pressures. Steel parts will often leak to some degree during normal operation, and the leakage will increase with the number of operating cycles. Additionally, systems that use steel poppets and spools generally require frequent rebuilds.
Benefits of polymers as metal replacements
The use of plastics is advantageous both for the construction and operation of fluid power system components. Polymer properties like high strength, low material shrinkage, low absorption of water, and high dimensional stability lead to a variety of benefits:
- Virtually Zero Leak performance
- Reduction of weight and size
- Lower vibration and noise
- Improved tribological properties
- Self-sealing capabilities
- Increased resistance to impurities
- Resistance to water, aggressive chemicals, and extreme temperatures
Additionally, polymers can be injection molded and 3D printed to meet the specifications of complex design profiles that require precision and exact tolerances. Compared to manufacturing and machining metal components, the production process for plastic is shorter and allows extremely high levels of accuracy, all typically at a lower cost.
The properties of polymers make it ideal for a wide variety of fluid power components, including pressure relief valves, directional control valves, hydraulic cylinders, gerotor pumps, gears, and many more.
See the Polymers We Use: Polymers