Different Types of Hydraulic Cylinders to Know About

Different Types of Hydraulic Cylinders To Know About

There are several different types and designs of hydraulic cylinders to consider for your business. Each one has specific advantages and is best suited to certain environments. It can become confusing to figure out which cylinder is best suited for your use, if you can’t get into contact with your ram dealer to find a solution, you’re in luck. In today’s blog we’ll be looking at the main types of hydraulic cylinders so you’ll be able to tell exactly which model will work for your situation.


Single Acting Cylinder

In a single acting cylinder, the piston force is applied in a single direction. These models can also be called a ‘push cylinder’ because it works through a pushing motion. The working stroke pushes outward as the cylinder contracts at the head end. As the motion only flows one way the return stroke depends entirely on an internal spring positioned around the piston shaft.


Double Acting Cylinder

Double acting hydraulic cylinders can create force in two directions. The piston cylinder is divided into two pressurised chambers that enable the rod to achieve both outward and return strokes under its own power (a special type of hydraulic fluid). This type of cylinder comes in several different types of systems.


The standard double acting cylinder has a single piston shaft and exerts force in one direction. They’re most commonly used in objects that open and close, or for raising arms etc.


Double Rod cylinders have two rods, one is attached to each side of the piston surface. Creating a cycle movement pushed on by different parts of the cylinder. By alternating the pressure in the two piston chambers, the hydraulic cylinder can exert a back-and-forth motion.


Balanced hydraulic cylinders have two compression chambers that are equal in size and create the same force in both directions.


Cushioned hydraulic cylinders have a limiting device at the head of the piston to reduce its load at the end of the outward stroke.


Double acting hydraulic cylinders are simple and cheap to manufacture and are extremely versatile. They’re a great option as they’re widely used in construction plants, manufacturing equipment and vehicles.


Tandem Hydraulic Cylinders

Tandem hydraulic cylinders are two separate cylinder barrels with a piston head in each which is connected by a single rod. When the first cylinder is pressurised, the rod enters the base end of the attached cylinder and pushes the piston surface, creating and directing the force being generated. Using tandem cylinders allows a build-up of force available from the small cylinders. It also conserves energy, as the system has an outward pushing force only the first cylinder is required to consume energy and move. Sometimes three or more cylinders can be connected in tandem stages.


Telescopic or RAM cylinder

Telescopic or RAM cylinders are a bunch of individual cylinders grouped together in decreasing size, with up to six systems being common. The cylinder barrel acts as the piston rod, transferring force to the next cylinder. Telescopic or ram mount dealers cylinders are mostly used for long reach equipment like crane lifts and digger arms. They’re most often single acting, utilising a spring mechanism for the return stroke.


Hopefully this brief guide has helped to develop your understanding of the most common hydraulic cylinders. If you still have questions or are unsure of which cylinder would best suit yours needs constant us today or browse our range of hydraulic cylinders online at Motus Hydraulics


Hartley Currie – General Manager

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