Double and Single Acting Hydraulic Cylinder Applications

Hydraulic and Pneumatic

Life is easier and less complicated, thanks to hydraulics. The power of pressurized fluid makes it possible to lift and carry heavy loads and dig deep into the earth. When you choose hydraulic cylinders for your company, you have two main choices. You can go with double acting or single acting hydraulic cylinder applications. Which is the right choice? Let’s look at the issue a little closer and see.

Single Action

Hydraulic machines take fluid power and change it into mechanical power. Single action cylinders are the most common today. A piston, rod, and seal work together to form the stroke. Fluid enters and exits through the same port. A spring or flywheel mechanism holds the piston up.
A control valve sends fluid to the cylinder, and it enters through the port (blind end). As fluid enters the barrel, pressure builds up, and it forces the piston down, moving the rod out (forward stroke). When a control valve directs fluid to leave the port, pressure subsides, and the piston returns to its original position from spring pressure (contraction stroke). The cycle repeats itself over and over in a single acting hydraulic cylinder.

Double Action

Double action cylinders have fluid ports on each side of the piston. As fluid enters one side, pressure pushes the piston away and this forces fluid out of the other port. After fluid flow reverses, the opposite action occurs. This process produces linear motion in two directions. You receive both push and pull power and excavation equipment commonly uses double action cylinders.

Why Choose a Single Acting Hydraulic Cylinder?

A single action cylinder only needs one hydraulic hose. They are cheaper than most double action cylinders and used for many applications. Because they work with gravity or spring return action, you have few parts to wear out, and this offers low maintenance and dependability.