The origin of hydraulic cylinders

Hydraulic cylinders rely on pressurised fluids to produce extremely high forces.  We have been harnessing the power of water to run machinery for hundreds of years.  The earliest examples of this are waterwheels which provided power for mills. In the 17th century, Blaise Pascal discovered that pressurised water in confined spaces increases the initial force. It wasn’t until one hundred years later Daniel Bournelli actually put Pascal’s theory into practice.  This development resulted in the use of hydraulic cylinders in all areas of our lives.

In 1795 Joseph Braumah built the first hydraulic press using the principle designed by Bournelli. After many years of development and improvements, the water was deemed too corrosive and replaced by noncorrosive oil.  This had many benefits as the oil is much denser than water and able to manage heavy loads. Also, it does not overheat and evapourate ensuring the hydraulic system remains bubble-free.

As well as developing and refining the fluid in hydraulic systems hydraulic cylinders have also been greatly improved.  The last century hydraulic systems have been used in many applications such as; cranes, car braking systems, drilling, manufacturing and rescue tools.  Hydraulic systems increase the power of an electric motor tenfold making light work of heavy lifting and pulling.

Hydraulic Cylinders In The Future

Engineers are constantly devising ways to increase the amount of force hydraulic systems produce. This century has seen many developments in the use of hydraulic cylinders to power cranes, landing gear, moving heavy objects and in manufacturing.  Developments in hydraulic cylinders enable heavy tasks to be undertaken with precision and a high degree of accuracy.

Hydraulic systems are much more effective than mechanical systems due to their precision and controllability. The sheer power they produce makes any lifting work achievable in many industries.  It is incredible to think about all of the amazing possibilities hydraulic systems will enable us to achieve in the future.

Challenger Hydraulic Cylinders

Challenger Group manufactures highly effective hydraulic cylinders to suit the individual requirements of each customer. They range from a bore size of 20 mm to 350 mm with working pressure up to 450 Bar.  The cylinders can be double acting, single acting and through rod types and manufactured from mild stainless steel if required. We also incorporate Cartridge valves, limit switches or linear potentiometers into our hydraulic cylinders if applicable to particular applications.

We use computer-aided design (CAD) and modern CNC machine tools extensively in our design and build process.  This ensures the reliability and efficiency of our hydraulic cylinders and ultimately results in customer satisfaction.

Our hydraulic cylinders are used in a range of applications including; Machine Tools, Refuse handling, materials handling, offshore equipment, steel processing, water treatment, mining, construction, vehicle manufacturing, and within the chemical industry.  We also stock a range of hose and couplings. 

If you would like to see our manufacturing process or commission the manufacture of hydraulic cylinders contact us and we would be happy to help.