How Hydraulic Systems Support People With Disabilities

Hydraulic systems play a major role in our lives making everything we do much easier and safer.  They also enable people with disabilities to live as normal life as possible. Businesses and tourist attractions are making their premises increasingly accessible due to the Equality Act 2010.  These adaptations make a huge difference in the quality of life for people who would normally be excluded from everyday activities. Businesses also benefit from making their premises accessible by having more visitors and gaining good reviews on sites such as Trip Advisor.

Disability platform lifts are a common sight in garden centres, museums, schools, cafes and restaurants. Being able to take a disabled relative for a lovely day out because a venue is accessible makes a huge difference to people’s lives. Many disabled people miss out on doing activities they enjoy because they simply cannot access the venue.  Companies who make the effort to make their premises accessible show that they welcome everyone. This is greatly appreciated by people with disabilities and their families.

Individuals benefit from hydraulic systems in the form of hoists which are operated by carers and medical staff. They allow carers to transport their clients safely from bed to chair without damaging their carers backs.  This not only allows people to spend time with their families it also reduces the risk of pressure sores and infections.  

Disability Platform Lifts

Disability platform lifts are freestanding units that are attached to the building structure at each level.  They are operated by a button that must be depressed throughout the whole journey giving the passenger full control.  There are many safety features such as safety gates which ensure a safe ride. They can accommodate wheelchairs and a small number of standing passengers at any one time.

Hydraulic systems are used to move the lift upwards making the ride very smooth and safe.  Museums, garden centres, cafes and other tourist attractions have disability platform lifts installed to make them more accessible.  Offices and other working environments also install such lifts. This gives employees and clients equal access regardless of any conditions they have restricting their mobility. Hydraulic systems play a major role in allowing people to enjoy pleasures in life others take for granted.

Hydraulic Systems At Home

Sometimes hydraulic systems in the form of hoists enable disabled people to do simple tasks such as getting out of bed in the morning.  People may become immobile for several reasons including, paralysis, brain injury and dementia. These people just cannot mobilise themselves so they rely on hydraulic systems to help them to move to other areas of the house.  Caregivers use hoists and harnesses to transport people from their bed to their chair so they can live as normal a life as possible.

Hydraulic systems mean that very little energy is used to raise the person from a lying position to a sitting position.  Caregivers are trained in moving and handling as well as how to use the harness and operate the hoist. Hydraulic systems in the hoist ensure that they do not injure themselves in the process of helping others.  People who are unable to move would be very isolated and incur many pressure sores without the use of hydraulic systems.
If you would like to know more about hydraulic systems or platform disability lifts contact us and we would be happy to offer advice.

Hydraulic Power Units And The Rescue Services

The role of hydraulic power units play in our lives is immense.  We have been using hydraulics to make light work of a variety of jobs ever since Blaize Pascal outlined his principle in the 17th century.  Pascal’s Law state, ‘that when pressure is applied to an enclosed fluid, the pressure is transmitted undiminished to every point of the fluid and to the walls of the container.  This knowledge has enabled us to build hydraulic braking systems and other systems that use liquid to transmit force.

We use hydraulic power units to travel in cars, planes, boats and trains.  They enable us to move quicker than ever before and of course, stop easily with minimal effort.  Our need to get from A to B efficiently and economically puts us at risk of accidents. Rescue services such as the fire service and coast guard use hydraulic power units to power vehicles and launch rescue boats. Hydraulic tools such as, ‘The Jaws Of Life’, and jacks are used to lift damaged vehicles and cut passengers free.

Most rescue services are run by dedicated teams of volunteers who rely on donations from the public to purchase equipment and vehicles.  Money raised by RNLI and the Mountain Rescue enable the rescue teams to use cutting edge technology to save many lives. Hydraulic power units are even used to detect earthquakes and save people from their effects.

Ways Hydraulic Power Units Turn Us Into Super Heroes

Hydraulic power units give us superhuman strength enabling us to rescue people from almost possible situations. The way hydraulic power units work means that only a fraction of the pressure is necessary to produce a greater force.  Here are ways in which hydraulic power units turn mere mortals into superheroes.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Lots of cars and lots of people result in a high number of car accidents.  In 2016 nearly 200,000 people were involved in car accidents with almost 2000 people losing their lives on the country’s roads.  Motorists account for 50% of these casualties while ¼ of those involved in accidents were pedestrians. The incidents of car accidents have steadily reduced sinced the 60s due to drink -driving laws and improved vehicle safety.  However, accidents do happen and our rescue services are well equipped to ensure survivors are able to live another day. (Source: research.briefings.parliament.uk)

Hydraulic power units are used to raise cars to enable the rescue services to get people out of their cars safely.  Fire engines are equipped with clippers called the ‘Jaws Of Life’, which are powerful cutters that enable fire officers to cut the roof of the car off so that casualties can be removed without further injuries.

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Next time you avoid putting your loose change into the collecting buckets of the RNLI think about the tireless work of the volunteers who risk life and limb to rescue people from our agitated waters.  They have saved 140,000 lives since they were founded in 1824. There are 237 operating lifeboat stations with 444 active lifeboats in the UK.

Hydraulic pulley systems are used to release the lifeboats into the water, pull casualties out of the sea and set the boat back into its boathouse.  The work is physically demanding and requires a lot of stamina. Hydraulic power units give the rescuers that extra bit of muscle to save more lives.

If you would like to find out more about Challenger’s bespoke hydraulic power units contact us and we would be happy to offer advice.

What Would Life Be Like Without Hydraulic Systems?

Hydraulic systems are so integrated into our lives that we don’t even notice them any more.  We use hydraulic systems in the building industry, car braking systems, lifts, boats, aeroplane flaps and to rescue people from car accidents.  They make light work of heavy tasks because a small amount of pressure results in a greater force. The most common example of this is how a car braking system works.  Hydraulic braking systems enable even the frailest person to have the power to stop a ten tonne truck with their foot.

Blaise Pascal established his law in the 17th century.  Pascal’s Law states, ‘that a pressure applied to a fluid in a closed container is transmitted equally to every point of the fluid and the walls of the container’. (Source: teachengineering.org).  If you are having trouble getting your head around Pascal’s Law this simple video may help you to understand it better.

Scientists are exploring new ideas similar to hydraulic systems such as electromechanical systems.  The technology is new and has a lot of development to go through before it replaces hydraulic systems.  Until then we are extremely dependant on the labour saving qualities of hydraulics.

How Would We Cope Without Hydraulic Systems?

Driving without a hydraulic brake system would involve a lot more skill and strength of character.  We would have to rely on the handbrake to stop which is less effective than hydraulic brakes. Constantly using the hand brake is likely to destroy the car pretty quickly. Hydraulic systems play a major role in the automotive industry and it is likely we would abandon car production without them.

Lumberjacks use hydraulic systems to fell trees. Without such systems we would not have chainsaws, jackhammers,  lifting equipment and log splitters. They would have to revert back to using axes, handsaws and ropes to chop and transport trees.  Felling trees would be such back-breaking work it is likely deforestation would cease which may be better for the environment in the long run.

Lifting heavy objects would be virtually impossible without using large amounts of heavy equipment to counterbalance and lift heavy objects.  We would have to continue using the pulley and chain system to lift heavy goods. Think about the length of time and manpower needed to build the pyramids and – that is what life would be like today.

Hydraulic systems are used to rescue and safe people in car accidents or on the sea.  The Jaws Of Life are cutting tools used to cut the top off cars to make it easier to get them out.  Lifeboats use hydraulics for launching and lifting them back into the station. Hydraulic systems are used in disability lifts allowing everyone to have equal access to workplaces, shops and museums.

We would be able to cope without hydraulic lifts but life would be a lot harder and it would take longer to do most tasks.  It would be interesting to know what scientist would have invented as an alternative to hydraulic systems if Pascal hadn’t developed his law.

To find out more about our hydraulic systems contact us and we would be happy to offer advice.

What Are Hydraulic Hose Fittings?

Hydraulic hose fittings are essential components in hydraulic systems.  They connect the hoses together forming an airtight bond allowing the hydraulic system to work effectively.  Hydraulic systems need to be airtight so it is important to choose the correct hose fittings. There are many different sizes to choose from which fit many different systems.

These are the seven pieces of essential information necessary to select the correct hose fitting.  These are; size, temperature, application, media, pressure, ends and duplication or STAMPED. Choosing the correct hose fittings ensures hydraulic systems are efficient and fault free.  Incorrect fittings increase the chance of air getting into the system and causing it to fail.

There are many different types of hose fittings available from ISN to R13 multi spiral in bore sizes ¼ NB and 2 NB.  The complete range includes; BSP, JIC, METRIC, NPT, ORFS and SAE flange fittings in mild steel and 316L stainless steel.  Pressure testing of the hydraulic hose assemblies goes up to 830 Bar.

The Importance Of Hydraulic Hose Fittings

Hydraulic hose fittings are an integral part of hydraulic systems which play a major role in all of our lives.  Car braking systems, diggers, lifts, rescue equipment, fairground rides and production lines all use hydraulic power systems. Life is so much easier with the power increasing properties of hydraulics.  Without them, we would have to use superhuman strength to carry out everyday tasks we take for granted.

Hose fittings play a major role in hydraulic systems because they connect all of the hoses together.  It is essential the system is airtight for it to work effectively, therefore, choosing the correct hose fittings is incredibly important.  Lose hose fittings do not provide an airtight connection resulting in air bubbles in the system.

Choosing The Correct Fittings

There are so many different hydraulic systems and a large number of fittings available so how do you determine the correct fittings for your system?  STAMPED is a system the industry uses to determine the correct hose fittings for hydraulic systems. It is an acronym for size, temperature, application, media, pressure, ends and duplication.

Size

You measure the size of the hose by measuring the inner diameter and outer diameter of the fitting.  They refer to this as I.D. and O.D. Also any angles the hose is going to be bent into needs to be considered when you measure it as this affects the overall length.

Temperature

Temperature has a profound effect on hoses and results in system failure if the wrong materials are selected. It is important to consider the temperature of the liquid running through the hose and the temperature of the outside environment.

Application

Determining the purpose of the hose helps you to select the correct materials for the application.  Different types of hoses are suitable for different types of systems.

Media

Media is the substance or material that flows through the hose.  Some substances contain corrosive chemicals so the hose needs to be resistant to this type of material.

Pressure

Pressure causes wear and tear on hose assemblies so selecting the correct material to withstand the pressure is important.

Ends

Choosing the correct hose fittings ensures the system works effectively.  Taking note of any bends helps to make sure you choose the correct fittings.

Duplication

Being able to recreate an existing system is more economical and cost-effective than creating a new system.  
If you would like to find out more about hose fittings contact us and we will be able to offer you advice.

History Of Hydraulic Systems

Hydraulic systems use a method of compressing fluids contained inside a channel or compartment.  The innovative design works through a simple principle that can be demonstrated using syringes, a tube and water.  The main principle behind hydraulics is that it less effort is required to move an object due to the compressed water inside the tube.  Hydraulics are used in construction, technology and in cars.  Hydraulic systems have played a major role in our lives since they were invented and are used in many different applications.

Hydraulic Press

Initially people harnessed the energy of water by using water wheels.  Although effective there was a lot of potential energy lost.  Sir Armstrong Whitworth witnessed this inefficiency in 1785.  He collaborated with his friend, Joseph Bramah, who was already working on a press to invent the hydraulic press ten years later.  Joseph Bramah was awarded a patent for the invention of the hydraulic press in 1795.

Pascal’s Law

The hydraulic press was invented using the principle of Pascal’s Law which states that, ’ A change in the pressure of an enclosed incompressible fluid is conveyed undiminished to every part fluid to the surfaces of the container’.  In other words compressed water can enable a small push to become a big push due to the water pressure in the enclosure.  Hydraulic systems are found in the breaking systems of cars, hydraulic jacks, wheelchair lifts, diggers, hydraulic presses, wing flaps and rudders.

Resurgence Of Hydraulic Systems

When electricity became the next big thing and nobody could get enough of the power of electrons  hydraulic systems went out of favour and were hardly used.  However interest in them reignited in the 21st century – probably when it was realised how much electricity drained the world’s resources.  The resurgence took hold after the second world war and we have been developing and modifying hydraulic power ever since.

Hydraulic Systems All Around

Hydraulic systems are used everywhere and we may not even be aware of it.  Generally anything that requires something to be raised or pushed will have a hydraulic system enabling it to happen.  Hydraulic systems not only make manufacturing and transportation easier, they also allow people who are disabled to get to work through the use of lifts.

Often the most simple ideas are the best and in the case of hydraulic systems, the explanation may be lengthy but we couldn’t live without them.