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Metal fabrication is a value added process that involves the construction of machines and
structures from various raw materials. A fab shop will bid on a job, usually based on the
engineering drawings, and if awarded the contract will build the product.
Fabrication shops are employed by contractors, OEMs and VARs. Typical projects include;
loose parts, structural frames for buildings and heavy equipment, and hand railings and stairs
for buildings.
The fabricator may employ or contract out steel detailers to prepare shop drawings, if not
provided by the customer, which the fabricating shop will use for manufacturing. Manufacturing
engineers will program CNC machineRaw materials
Standard raw materials used by metal fabricators are;
plate metal
formed and expanded metal
o tube stock, CDSM
o square stock
o sectional metals (I beams, W beams, C-channel...)
welding wire
Cutting and burning

The raw material has to be cut to size. This is done with a variety
of tools.
The most common way to cut material is by Shearing
Special band saws designed for cutting metal have hardened
blades and a feed mechanism for even cutting. Abrasive cut-off
saws, also known as chop saws, are similar to miter saws but with
a steel cutting abrasive disk. Cutting torches can cut very large
sections of steel with little effort.
Burn tables are CNC cutting torches, usually natural gas
powered. Plasma and laser cutting tables, and Water jet cutters,
are also common. Plate steel is loaded on a table and the parts
are cut out as programmed. The support table is made of a grid of
bars that can be replaced. Some very expensive burn tables also
include CNC punch capability, with a carousel of different
punches and taps. Fabrication of structural steel by plasma and
laser cutting introduces robots to move the cutting head in three
dimensions around the material to be cut.
Hydraulic brake presses with v-dies are the most common
method of forming metal. The cut plate is placed in the press and
a v-shaped die is pressed a predetermined distance to bend the
plate to the desired angle. Wing brakes and hand powered brakes
are sometimes used.
Tube bending machines have specially shaped dies and mandrels
to bend tubular sections without kinking them.
Rolling machines are used to form plate steel into a round
English Wheel or Wheeling Machines are used to form complex
double curvature shapes using sheet metaMachining
Main article: machining
Fab shops will generally have a limited machining capability
including; metal lathes, mills, magnetic based drills along with
other portable metal working tools.
Main article: welding
Welding is the main focus of steel fabrication. The formed and
machined parts will be assembled and tack welded into place
then re-checked for accuracy. A fixture may be used to locate
parts for welding if multiple weldments have been ordered.
The welder then completes welding per the engineering drawings,
if welding is detailed, or per his own judgment if no welding details
are provided.
Special precautions may be needed to prevent warping of the
weldment due to heat. These may include re-designing the
weldment to use less weld, welding in a staggered fashion, using
a stout fixture, covering the weldment in sand during cooling, and
straightening operations after welding.
Straightening of warped steel weldments is done with an Oxy-
acetylene torch and is somewhat of an art. Heat is selectively
applied to the steel in a slow, linear sweep. The steel will have a
net contraction, upon cooling, in the direction of the sweep. A
highly skilled welder can remove significant warpage using this
Steel weldments are occasionally annealed in a low temperature
oven to relievresidual stressesFinal assembly
After the weldment has cooled it is generally sand blasted, primed
and painted. Any additional manufacturing specified by the
customer is then completed. The finished product is then
inspected and shipped.

Heat treating is a group of industrial and
metalworking processes used to alter the physical, and
sometimes chemical, properties of a material. The most common
application is metallurgical. Heat treatments are also used in the
manufacture of many other materials, such as glass. Heat
treatment involves the use of heating or chilling, normally to
extreme temperatures, to achieve a desired result such as
hardening or softening of a material. Heat treatment techniques
include annealing, case hardening, precipitation strengthening,
tempering and quenching. It is noteworthy that while the term heat
treatment applies only to processes where the heating and
cooling are done for the specific purpose of altering properties
intentionally, heating and cooling often occur incidentally during
other manufacturing processes such as hot forming or welding.

Heat treating furnace at 1,800 F (980 C)
Metallic materials consist of a microstructure of small crystals
called "grains" or crystallites. The nature of the grains (i.e. grain
size and composition) is one of the most effective factors that can
determine the overall mechanical behavior of the metal. Heat
treatment provides an efficient way to manipulate the properties of
the metal by controlling the rate of diffusion and the rate of cooling
within the microstructure.
There are two mechanisms that may change an alloy's properties
during heat treatment. The martensite transformation causes the
crystals to deform intrinsically. The diffusion mechanism causes
changes in the homogeneity of the alloy.

The crystal structure consists of atoms that are grouped in a very
specific arrangement, called a lattice. In most elements, this order
will rearrange itself, depending on conditions like temperature and
pressure. This rearrangement, called allotropy or polymorphism,
may occur several times, at many different temperatures for a
particular metal. In alloys, this rearrangement may cause an
element that will not normally dissolve into the base metal to
suddenly become soluble, while a reversal of the allotropy will
make the elements either partially or completely insoluble.

When in the soluble state, the process of diffusion causes the
atoms of the dissolved element to spread out, attempting to form
a homogenous distribution within the crystals of the base metal. If
the alloy is cooled to an insoluble state, the atoms of the
dissolved constituents (solutes) may migrate out of the solution.
This type of diffusion, called precipitation, leads to nucleation,
where the migrating atoms group together at the grain-
boundaries. This forms a microstructure generally consisting of
two or more distinct phases. Steel that has been cooled slowly,
for instance, forms a laminated structure composed of alternating
layers of ferrite and cementite, becoming soft pearlite.

Unlike iron-based alloys, most heat treatable alloys do not
experience a ferrite transformation. In these alloys, the nucleation
at the grain-boundaries often reinforces the structure of the crystal
matrix. These metals harden by preciptation. Typically a slow
process, depending on temperature, this is often referred to as
"age hardening."

Many metals and non-metals exhibit a martensite transformation
when cooled quickly. When a metal is cooled very quickly, the
insoluble atoms may not be able to migrate out of the solution in
time. This is called a "diffusionless transformation." When the
crystal matrix changes to its low temperature arrangement, the
atoms of the solute become trapped within the lattice. The
trapped atoms prevent the crystal matrix from completely
changing into its low temperature allotrope, creating shearing
stresses within the lattice. When some alloys are cooled quickly,
such as steel, the martensite transformation hardens the metal,
while in others, like aluminum, the alloy becomes softer.
of composition

Phase diagram of an iron-carbon alloying system. Phase changes
occur at different temperatures (vertical axis) for different
compositions (horizontal axis). The dotted lines mark the
eutectoid and eutectic compositions.
The specific composition of an alloy system will usually have a
great effect on the results of heat treating. If the percentage of
each constituent is just right, the alloy will form a single,
continuous microstructure upon cooling. Such a mixture is said to
be eutectoid. However, If the percentage of the solutes varies
from the eutectoid mixture, two or more different microstructures
will usually form simultaneously. A hypoeutectoid solution
contains less of the solute than the eutectoid mix, while a
hypereutectoid solution contains more.

Eutectoid alloys
A eutectoid alloy is similar in behavior to a eutectic alloy. A
eutectic alloy is characterized by having a single melting point.
This melting point is lower than that of any of the constituents,
and no change in the mixture will lower the melting point any
further. When a molten eutectic alloy is cooled, all of the
constituents will crystallize into their respective phases at the
same temperature.
A eutectoid alloy is similar, but the phase change occurs, not from
a liquid, but from a solid solution. Upon cooling a eutectoid alloy
from the solution temperature, the constituents will separate into
different crystal phases, forming a single microstructure. A
eutectoid steel, for example, contains 0.77% carbon. Upon
cooling slowly, the solution of iron and carbon, (a single phase
called austenite), will separate into platelets of the phases ferrite
and cementite. This forms a layered microstructure called pearlite.
Since pearlite is harder than iron, the amount of softness
achieveable is typically limited to that produced by the pearlite.
Similarly, the hardenability is limited by the continuous martensitic
microstructure formed when cooled very fast.

Hypoeutectoid alloys
A hypoeutectic alloy has two separate melting points. Both are
above the eutectic melting point for the system, but are below the
melting points of any constituent forming the system. Between
these two melting points, the alloy will exist as part solid and part
liquid. The constituent with the lower melting point will solidify first.
When completely solidified, a hypoeutectic alloy will often be in
solid solution.
Similarly, a hypoeutectoid alloy has two critical temperatures,
called "arrests." Between these two temperatures, the alloy will
exist partly as the solution and partly as a separate crystallizing
phase. These two temperatures are called the upper (A
) and
lower (A
) transformation temperatures. As the solution cools from
the upper transformation temperature toward an insoluble state,
the excess base metal will often be forced to "crystallize-out." This
will occur until the remaining concentration of solutes reaches the
eutectoid level, which will then crystallize as a separate
A hypoeutectoid steel contains less than 0.77% carbon. Upon
cooling a hypoeutectoid steel from the austenite transformation
temperature, small islands of ferrite will form. These will continue
to grow until the eutectoid concentration in the rest of the steel is
reached. This eutectoid mixture will then crystallize as a
microstructure of pearlite. Since ferrite is softer than pearlite, the
two microstructures combine to increase the ductility of the alloy.
Consequently, the hardenability of the alloy is lowered.

Hypereutectoid alloys
A hypereutectic alloy also has different melting points. However,
between these points, it is the constituent with the higher melting
point that will be solid. Similarly, a hypoeutectoid alloy has two
critical temperatures. When cooling a hypereutectoid alloy from
the upper transformation temperature, it will usually be the excess
solutes that crystallize-out first. This continues until the
concentration in the remaining alloy becomes eutectoid, which
then crystallizes into a separate microstructure.
A hypereutectoid steel contains more than 0.77% carbon. When
slowly cooling a hypereutectoid steel, the cementite will begin to
crystallize first. When the remaining steel becomes eutectoid in
composition, it will crystallize into pearlite. Since cementite is
much harder than pearlite, the alloy has greater hardenability at a
cost in the ductility.
Effects of time and temperature

Time-temperature transformation (TTT) diagram for steel.
Proper heat treating requires precise control over temperature,
the amount of time that an alloy remains at a certain temperature,
and in the cooling rates of the particular technique.

With the exception of stress-relieving, tempering, and aging, most
heat treatments begin by heating an alloy beyond the upper
transformation (A
) temperature. The alloy will usually be held at
this temperature long enough for the heat to completely penetrate
the alloy, thereby bringing it into a complete solid solution. Since a
smaller grain size usually enhances mechanical properties, such
as toughness, shear strength and tensile strength, these metals
are often heated to a temperature that is just above the upper
critical temperature, in order to prevent the grains of solution from
growing too large. For instance, when steel is heated above the
upper critical temperature, small grains of austenite form. These
grow larger as temperature is increased. When cooled very
quickly, during a martensite transformation, the austenite grain
size directly affects the martensitic grain size. Larger grains have
large grain-boundaries, which serve as weak spots in the
structure. The grain size is usually controlled to reduce the
probability of breakage.

The diffusion transformation is very time dependent. Cooling a
metal will usually suppress the precipitation to a much lower
temperature. Austenite, for example, usually only exists above the
upper critical temperature. However, if the austenite is cooled
quickly enough, the transformation may be suppressed for
hundreds of degrees below the lower critical temperature. Such
austenite is highly unstable and, if given enough time, will
precipitate into various microstructures of ferrite and cementite.
The cooling rate can be used to control the rate of grain growth or
can even be used to produce partially martensitic
However, the martensite transformation is
time-independent. If the alloy is cooled to the martensite
transformation (M
) temperature before other microstructures can
fully form, the transformation will usually occur at just under the
speed of sound.

When austenite is cooled slow enough that a martensite
transformation does not occur, the austenite grain size will have
an effect on the rate of nucleation, but it is generally temperature
and the rate of cooling that controls the grain size and
microstructure. When austenite is cooled extremely slow, it will
form large ferrite crystals filled with spherical inclusions of
cementite. This microstructure is referred to as "sphereoidite." If
cooled a little faster, then coarse pearlite will form. Even faster,
and fine pearlite will form. If cooled even faster, bainite will form.
Similarly, these microstructures will also form if cooled to a
specific temperature and then held there for a certain amount of

Most non-ferrous alloys are also heated in order to form a
solution. Most often, these are then cooled very quickly to
produce a martensite transformation, putting the solution into a
supersaturated state. The alloy, being in a much softer state, may
then be cold worked. This cold working increases the strength
and hardness of the alloy, and the defects caused by plastic
deformation tend to speed up precipitation, increasing the
hardness beyond what is normal for the alloy. Even if not cold
worked, the solutes in these alloys will usually precipitate,
although the process may take much longer. Sometimes these
metals are then heated to a temperature that is below the lower
critical (A
) temperature, preventing recrystallization, in order to
speed-up the precipitation.

Complex heat treating schedules, or "cycles," are often devised
by metallurgists to optimize an alloy's mechanical properties. In
the aerospace industry, a superalloy may undergo five or more
different heat treating operations to develop the desired
properties. This can lead to quality problems depending on the
accuracy of the furnace's temperature controls and timer.
Main article: Annealing (metallurgy)
Annealing is a rather generalized term. Annealing consists of
heating a metal to a specific temperature and then cooling at a
rate that will produce a refined microstructure. Annealing is most
often used to soften a metal for cold working, to improve
machinability, or to enhance properties like electrical conductivity.
In ferrous alloys, annealing is usually accomplished by heating
the metal beyond the upper critical temperature and then cooling
very slowly, resulting in the formation of pearlite. In both pure
metals and many alloys that can not be heat treated, annealing is
used to remove the hardness caused by cold working. The metal
is heated to a temperature where recrystallization can occur,
thereby repairing the defects caused by plastic deformation. In
these metals, the rate of cooling will usually have little effect. Most
non-ferrous alloys that are heat-treatable are also annealed to
relieve the hardness of cold working. These may be slowly cooled
to allow full precipitation of the constituents and produce a refined
Ferrous alloys are usually either "full annealed" or "process
annealed." Full annealing requires very slow cooling rates, in
order to form coarse pearlite. In process annealing, the cooling
rate may be faster; up to, and including normalizing. The main
goal of process annealing is to produce a uniform microstructure.
Non-ferrous alloys are often subjected to a variety of annealing
techniques, including "recrystallization annealing," "partial
annealing," "full annealing," and "final annealing." Not all
annealing techniques involve recrystallization, such as stress

Normalizing is a technique used to provide uniformity in grain size
and composition throughout an alloy. The term is often used for
ferrous alloys that have been heated above the upper critical
temperature and then cooled in open air.

Stress reliess relieving is a technique to remove or reduce the
internal stresses created in a metal. These stresses may be
caused in a number of ways, ranging from cold working to
non-uniform cooling. Stress relieving is usually
accomplished by heating a metal below the lower critical
temperature and then cooling uniformly.
Main article: Precipitation hardening
Some metals are classified as precipitation hardening metals.
When a precipitation hardening alloy is quenched, its alloying
elements will be trapped in solution, resulting in a soft metal.
Aging a "solutionized" metal will allow the alloying elements to
diffuse through the microstructure and form intermetallic particles.
These intermetallic particles will nucleate and fall out of solution
and act as a reinforcing phase, thereby increasing the strength of
the alloy. Alloys may age "naturally" meaning that the precipitates
form at room temperature, or they may age "artificially" when
precipitates only form at elevated temperatures. In some
applications, naturally aging alloys may be stored in a freezer to
prevent hardening until after further operations - assembly of
rivets, for example, may be easier with a softer part.
Examples of precipitation hardening alloys include 2000 series,
6000 series, and 7000 series aluminium alloy, as well as some
superalloys and some stainless steels. Steels that harden by
aging are typically referred to as maraging steels, from a
combination of the term "martensite aging."
Main article: Quenching
Quenching is a process of cooling a metal very quickly. This is
most often done to produce a martensite transformation. In
ferrous alloys, this will often produce a harder metal, while non-
ferrous alloys will usually become softer than normal.
To harden by quenching, a metal (usually steel or cast iron) must
be heated above the upper critical temperature and then quickly
cooled. Depending on the alloy and other considerations (such as
concern for maximum hardness vs. cracking and distortion),
cooling may be done with forced air or other gases, (such as
nitrogen). Liquids may be used, due to their better thermal
conductivity, such as water, oil, a polymer dissolved in water, or a
brine. Upon being rapidly cooled, a portion of austenite
(dependent on alloy composition) will transform to martensite, a
hard, brittle crystalline structure. The quenched hardness of a
metal depends on its chemical composition and quenching
method. Cooling speeds, from fastest to slowest, go from polymer
(i.e.silicon), brine, fresh water, oil, and forced air. However,
quenching a certain steel too fast can result in cracking, which is
why high-tensile steels such as AISI 4140 should be quenched in
oil, tool steels such as ISO 1.2767 or H13 hot work tool steel
should be quenched in forced air, and low alloy or medium-tensile
steels such as XK1320 or AISI 1040 should be quenched in brine
or water.
However, most non-ferrous metals, like alloys of copper,
aluminum, or nickel, and some high alloy steels such as austenitic
stainless steel (304, 316), produce an opposite effect when these
are quenched: they soften. Austenitic stainless steels must be
quenched to become fully corrosion resistant, as they work-
harden significantly.
Main article: Tempering
Untempered martensitic steel, while very hard, is too brittle to be
useful for most applications. A method for alleviating this problem
is called tempering. Most applications require that quenched parts
be tempered. Tempering consists of heating a steel below the
lower critical temperature, (often from 400 to 1105 F or 205 to
595 C, depending on the desired results), to impart some
toughness. Higher tempering temperatures, (may be up to 1,300
F or 700 C, depending on the alloy and application), are
sometimes used to impart further ductility, although some yield
strength is lost.
Tempering may also be performed on normalized steels. Other
methods of tempering consist of quenching to a specific
temperature, which is above the martensite start temperature, and
then holding it there until pure bainite can form or internal
stresses can be relieved. These include austempering and
Selective hardening
Many heat treating methods have been developed to alter the
properties of only a portion of an object. These tend to consist of
either cooling different areas of an alloy at different rates, by
quickly heating in a localized area and then quenching, or by
thermochemical diffusioDifferential hardening
Main article: Differential hardening

A differentially hardened katana. The bright, wavy line, called the
nioi, separates the martensitic edge from the pearlitic back. The
inset shows a close-up of the nioi, which is made up of single
martensite grains surrounded by pearlite. The wood-grain
appearance comes from layers of different composition.
Some techniques allow different areas of a single object to
receive different heat treatments. This is called differential
hardening. It is common in high quality knives and swords. The
Chinese jian is one of the earliest known examples of this, and
the Japanese katana may be the most widely known. The
Nepalese Khukuri is another example. This technique uses an
insulating layer, like layers of clay, to cover the areas that are to
remain soft. The areas to be hardened are left exposed, allowing
only certain parts of the steel to fully harden when quenched.Flame
Flame hardening is used to harden only a portion of a metal.
Unlike differential hardening, where the entire piece is heated and
then cooled at different rates, in flame hardening, only a portion of
the metal is heated before quenching. This is usually easier than
differential hardening, but often produces an extremely brittle
zone between the heated metal and the unheated metal, as
cooling at the edge of this heat affected zone is extremely
rapiInduction hn article: Induction hardening
Induction hardening is a surface hardening technique in which the
surface of the metal is heated very quickly, using a no-contact
method of induction heating. The alloy is then quenched,
producing a martensite transformation at the surface while leaving
the underlying metal unchanged. This creates a very hard, wear
resistant surface while maintaining the proper toughness in the
majority of the object. Crankshaft journals are a good example of
an induction hardened surface.
Case hardening
Main article: Case hardening
Case hardening is a thermochemical diffusion process in which
an alloying element, most commonly carbon or nitrogen, diffuses
into the surface of a monolithic metal. The resulting interstitial
solid solution is harder than the base material, which improves
wear resistance without sacrificing toughness.

Laser surface engineering is a surface treatment with high
versatility, selectivity and novel properties. Since the cooling rate
is very high in laser treatment, metastable even metallic glass can
be obtained by this methSpecification
Usually the end condition is specified instead of the process used
in heat treatment.
Case hardening
Case hardening is specified by hardness and case depth. The
case depth can be specified in two ways: total case depth or
effective case depth. The total case depth is the true depth of the
case. The effective case depth is the depth of the case that has a
hardness equivalent of HRC50; this is checked on a Tukon
microhardness tester. This value can be roughly approximated as
65% of the total case depth; however the chemical composition
and hardenability can affect this approximation. If neither type of
case depth is specified the total case depth is assumed.

For case hardened parts the specification should have a tolerance
of at least 0.005 in (0.13 mm). If the part is to be ground after
heat treatment, the case depth is assumed to be after grinding.

The Rockwell hardness scale used for the specification depends
on the depth of the total case depth, as shown in the table below.
Usually hardness is measured on the Rockwell "C" scale, but the
load used on the scale will penetrate through the case if the case
is less than 0.030 in (0.76 mm). Using Rockwell "C" for a thinner
case will result in a false reading.

Rockwell scale required for various case depths

Total case depth, min. [in] Rockwell scale
0.030 C
0.024 A
0.021 45N
0.018 30N
0.015 15N
Less than 0.015 "File hard"
For cases that are less than 0.015 in (0.38 mm) thick a Rockwell
scale cannot reliably be used, so file hard is specified instead.

File hard is approximately equivalent to 58 HRC.

When specifying the hardness either a range should be given or
the minimum hardness specified. If a range is specified at least 5
points should be given.
Through hardening
Only hardness is listed for through hardening. It is usually in the
form of HRC with at least a five point range.
The hardness for an annealing process is usually listed on the
HRB scale as a maximum value.

Diffusion hardening is a process used in manufacturing that increases the hardness of steels.
In diffusion hardening, diffusion occurs between a steel with a low carbon content and a carbon-
rich environment to increase the carbon content of the steel and ultimately harden the
workpiece. Diffusion only happens through a small thickness of a piece of steel (about 2.5 m to
1.5 mm), so only the surface is hardened while the core maintains its original mechanical
properties. Heat treating may be performed on a diffusion hardened part to increase the
hardness of the core as desired, but in most cases in which diffusion hardening is performed, it
is desirable to have parts with a hard outer shell and a more ductile inside. Heat treating and
quenching is a more efficient process if hardness is desired throughout the whole part. In the
case of manufacturing parts subject to large amounts of wear, such as gears, the non-uniform
properties acquired through diffusion hardening are desired. Through this process, gears obtain
a hard wear-resistant outer shell but maintain their softer and more impact-resistant
Diffusion hardening is performed by completely surrounding a metal part with the element to be
diffused into it in either the solid, liquid, or gas phase depending on the type of diffusion process
being performed. The concentration of the diffusing element surrounding the part must be
higher than the concentration of the element inside the part, or diffusion will not occur. The
metal and the surrounding element must then be heated to a temperature sufficiently high for
diffusion to occur. In the case of pack carburizing, the temperature must be 900 C and the part
must be allowed to sit for 12 to 72 hours for the correct amount of diffusion to occTypes
Diffusion hardening can be done in many different ways to achieve different hardnesses and
different surface finishes on metal parts. Some of the different diffusion hardening operations
include: Carburizing, Nitriding, Carbonitriding, Nitrocarburizing, Boriding, Titanium-carbon
diffusion, and Toyota diffusion. While diffusion hardening is performed mainly on steel parts and
carbon is mainly the element used for diffusion, diffusion hardening can also be performed with
other diffusion elements and with other metals. In nitriding, nitrogen is diffused into the surface
of steel, but can also be used with metals such as Aluminum, Chromium, Molybdenum, and
Vanadium. Besides metals and diffusion elements used, diffusion hardening processes differ in
the temperature required for diffusion, the phase of the diffusion element, and additional
treatments such as quenching and tempering. These different factors greatly affect surface
finish and dimensional accuracy of a part. A quenched and tempered part does not have the
same dimensional accuracy as a part that has not undergone such a process. Also, they can
affect the efficiency of the overall process. In carburizing, the carbon can be in any of the solid,
liquid, or gas phases. Although using carbon in the solid phase is usually the safest and easiest
of these to work with, the process is difficult to control and the heating is inefficient. All these
things must come into consideration when choosing a diffusion hardeni
nduction hardening
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Induction hardening is a form of heat treatment in which a metal
part is heated by induction heating and then quenched. The
quenched metal undergoes a martensitic transformation,
increasing the hardness and brittleness of the part. Induction
hardening is used to selectively harden areas of a part or
assembly without affecting the properties of the part as a whole.

1 Process
o 1.1 Definition
o 1.2 History
o 1.3 Principal methods
1.3.1 Single shot hardening
1.3.2 Traverse hardening
o 1.4 Equipment
1.4.1 Power required
1.4.2 Frequency
2 See also
3 References
o 3.1 Notes
o 3.2 Bibliography
4 External links
Induction heating is a non contact heating process which utilises
the principle of electromagnetic induction to produce heat inside
the surface layer of a work-piece. By placing a conductive
material into a strong alternating magnetic field electrical current
can be made to flow in the steel thereby creating heat due to the
R losses in the material. In magnetic materials, further heat is
generated below the curie point due to hysteresis losses. The
current generated flows predominantly in the surface layer, the
depth of this layer being dictated by the frequency of the
alternating field, the surface power density, the permeability of the
material, the heat time and the diameter of the bar or material
thickness. By quenching this heated layer in water, oil or a
polymer based quench the surface layer is altered to form a
martensitic structure which is harder than the base metal.
A widely used process for the surface hardening of steel. The
components are heated by means of an alternating magnetic field
to a temperature within or above the transformation range
followed by immediate quenching. The core of the component
remains unaffected by the treatment and its physical properties
are those of the bar from which it was machined, whilst the
hardness of the case can be within the range 37/58 HRC. Carbon
and alloy steels with an equivalent carbon content in the range
0.40/0.45% are most suitable for this process.

A source of high frequency electricity is used to drive a large
alternating current through a coil. The passage of current through
this coil generates a very intense and rapidly changing magnetic
field in the space within the work coil. The workpiece to be heated
is placed within this intense alternating magnetic field where eddy
currents are generated within the workpiece and resistance leads
to Joule heating of the metal.
This operation is most commonly used in steel alloys. Many
mechanical parts, such as shafts, gears, and springs, are
subjected to surface treatments, before the delivering, in order to
improve wear behavior. The effectiveness of these treatments
depends both on surface materials properties modification and on
the introduction of residual stress. Among these treatments,
induction hardening is one of the most widely employed to
improve component durability. It determines in the work-piece a
tough core with tensile residual stresses and a hard surface layer
with compressive stress, which have proved to be very effective in
extending the component fatigue life and wear resistance.

Induction surface hardened low alloyed medium carbon steels are
widely used for critical automotive and machine applications
which require high wear resistance. Wear resistance behavior of
induction hardened parts depends on hardening depth and the
magnitude and distribution of residual compressive stress in the
surface layer.
The basis of all induction heating systems was discovered in 1831
by Michael Faraday. Faraday proved that by winding two coils of
wire around a common magnetic core it was possible to create a
momentary emf in the second winding by switching the electric
current in the first winding on and off. He further observed that if
the current was kept constant, no emf was induced in the second
winding and that this current flowed in opposite directions subject
to whether the current was increasing or decreasing in the

Faraday concluded that an electric current can be produced by a
changing magnetic field. As there was no physical connection
between the primary and secondary windings, the emf in the
secondary coil was said to be induced and so Faraday's law of
induction was born. Once discovered, these principles were
employed over the next century or so in the design of dynamos
(electrical generators and electric motors, which are variants of
the same thing) and in forms of electrical transformers. In these
applications, any heat generated in either the electrical or
magnetic circuits was felt to be undesirable. Engineers went to
great lengths and used laminated cores and other methods to
minimise the effects.

Early last century the principles were explored as a means to melt
steel, and the motor generator was developed to provide the
power required for the induction furnace. After general
acceptance of the methodology for melting steel, engineers began
to explore other possibilities for the utilisation of the process. It
was already understood that the depth of current penetration in
steel was a function of its magnetic permeability, resistivity and
the frequency of the applied field. Engineers at Midvale Steel and
The Ohio Crankshaft Company drew on this knowledge to
develop the first surface hardening induction heating systems
using motor generators.

The need for rapid easily automated systems led to massive
advances in the understanding and utilisation of the induction
hardening process and by the late 1950s many systems utilising
motor generators and thermionic emission triode oscillators were
in regular use in a vast array of industries. Modern day induction
heating units utilise the latest in semiconductor technology and
digital control systems to develop a range of powers from 1 kW to
many megawatts.Principal methodSingle shot hardening
In single shot systems the component is held statically or rotated
in the coil and the whole area to be treated is heated
simultaneously for a pre-set time followed by either a flood
quench or a drop quench system. Single shot is often used in
cases where no other method will achieve the desired result for
example for flat face hardening of hammers, edge hardening
complex shaped tools or the production of small gears.

In the case of shaft hardening a further advantage of the single
shot methodology is the production time compared with
progressive traverse hardening methods. In addition the ability to
use coils which can create longitudinal current flow in the
component rather than diametric flow can be an advantage with
certain complex geometry.
There are disadvantages with the single shot approach. The coil
design can be an extremely complex and involved process. Often
the use of ferrite or laminated loading materials is required to
influence the magnetic field concentrations in given areas thereby
to refine the heat pattern produced. Another drawback is that
much more power is required due to the increased surface area
being heated compared with a traverse approach.]Traverse hardening
In traverse hardening systems the work piece is passed through
the induction coil progressively and a following quench spray or
ring is utilised. Traverse hardening is used extensively in the
production of shaft type components such as axle shafts,
excavator bucket pins, steering components, power tool shafts
and drive shafts. The component is fed through a ring type
inductor which normally features a single turn. The width of the
turn is dictated by the traverse speed, the available power and
frequency of the generator. This creates a moving band of heat
which when quenched creates the hardened surface layer. The
quench ring can be either integral a following arrangement or a
combination of both subject to the requirements of the application.
By varying speed and power it is possible to create a shaft which
is hardened along its whole length or just in specific areas and
also to harden shafts with steps in diameter or splines. It is normal
when hardening round shafts to rotate the part during the process
to ensure any variations due to concentricity of the coil and the
component are removed.
Traverse methods also feature in the production of edge
components, such as paper knives, leather knives, lawnmower
bottom blades, and hacksaw blades. These types of application
normally utilise a hairpin coil or a transverse flux coil which sits
over the edge of the component. The component is progressed
through the coil and a following spray quench consisting of
nozzles or drilled blocks.
Many methods are used to provide the progressive movement
through the coil and both vertical and horizontal systems are
used. These normally employ a digital encoder and
programmable logic controller for the positional control, switching,
monitoring, and setting. In all cases the speed of traverse needs
to be closely controlled and consistent as variation in speed will
have an effect on the depth of hardness and the hardness value
Power required
Power supplies for induction hardening vary in power from a few
kilowatts to hundreds of kilowatts dependent of the size of the
component to be heated and the production method employed i.e.
single shot hardening, traverse hardening or submerged
In order to select the correct power supply it is first necessary to
calculate the surface area of the component to be heated. Once
this has been established then a variety of methods can be used
to calculate the power density required, heat time and generator
operating frequency. Traditionally this was done using a series of
graphs, complex empirical calculations and experience. Modern
techniques typically utilise finite element analysis and Computer-
aided manufacturing techniques, however as with all such
methods a thorough working knowledge of the induction heating
process is still required.
For single shot applications the total area to be heated needs to
be calculated. In the case of traverse hardening the
circumference of the component is multiplied by the face width of
the coil. Care must be exercised when selecting a coil face width
that it is practical to construct the coil of the chosen width and that
it will live at the power required for the applicationFrequency
Induction heating systems for hardening are available in a variety
of different operating frequencies typically from 1 kHz to 400 kHz.
Higher and lower frequencies are available but typically these will
be used for specialist applications. The relationship between
operating frequency and current penetration depth and therefore
hardness depth is inversely proportional. i.e. the lower the
frequency the deeper the case.
Examples of frequencies for various case depths and material diameters
Case depth [mm] Bar diameter [mm] Frequency [kHz]
0.8 to 1.5 5 to 25 200 to 400
1.5 to 3.0
10 to 50 10 to 100
>50 3 to 10
3.0 to 10.0
20 to 50 3 to 10
50 to 100 1 to 3
>100 1
The above table is purely illustrative, good results can be
obtained outside these ranges by balancing power densities,
frequency and other practical considerations including cost which
may influence the final selection, heat time and coil width. As well
as the power density and frequency, the time the material is
heated for will influence the depth to which the heat will flow by
conduction. The time in the coil can be influenced by the traverse
speed and the coil width, however this will also have an effect on
the overall power requirement or the equipment throughput.
It can be seen from the above table that the selection of the
correct equipment for any application can be extremely complex
as more than one combination of power, frequency and speed
can be used for a given result. However in practice many
selections are immediately obvious based on previous experience
and pacticaliSee also
Induction forging
Induction heater
Induction shrink fitting
Hydraulic machinery
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about power machinery. For civil engineering
concerning water management, see Hydraulics.

An excavator; main hydraulics: Boom cylinders, swingdrive,
cooler fan and trackdrive

Fundamental features of using hydraulics compared to mechanics
for force and torque increase/decrease in a transmission.
Hydraulic machines are machinery and tools that use liquid fluid
power to do simple work. Heavy equipment is a common
In this type of machine, hydraulic fluid is transmitted throughout
the machine to various hydraulic motors and hydraulic cylinders
and which becomes pressurised according to the resistance
present. The fluid is controlled directly or automatically by control
valves and distributed through hoses and tubes.
The popularity of hydraulic machinery is due to the very large
amount of power that can be transferred through small tubes and
flexible hoses, and the high power density and wide array of
actuators that can make use of this power.
Hydraulic machinery is operated by the use of hydraulics, where a
liquid is the powering medium.
1 Force and torque multiplication
2 Hydraulic circuits
3 Constant pressure and load-sensing systems
o 3.1 Five basic types of load-sensing systems
4 Open and closed circuits
5 Components
o 5.1 Hydraulic pump
o 5.2 Control valves
o 5.3 Actuators
o 5.4 Reservoir
o 5.5 Accumulators
o 5.6 Hydraulic fluid
o 5.7 Filters
o 5.8 Tubes, pipes and hoses
o 5.9 Seals, fittings and connections
6 Basic calculations
7 See also
8 References and notes
9 External links
Force and torque multiplication
A fundamental feature of hydraulic systems is the ability to apply
force or torque multiplication in an easy way, independent of the
distance between the input and output, without the need for
mechanical gears or levers, either by altering the effective areas
in two connected cylinders or the effective displacement (cc/rev)
between a pump and motor. In normal cases, hydraulic ratios are
combined with a mechanical force or torque ratio for optimum
machine designs such as boom movements and trackdrives for
an excavator.
Two hydraulic cylinders interconnected
Cylinder C1 is one inch in radius, and cylinder C2 is ten inches in
radius. If the force exerted on C1 is 10 lbf, the force exerted by C2
is 1000 lbf because C2 is a hundred times larger in area (S = r)
as C1. The downside to this is that you have to move C1 a
hundred inches to move C2 one inch. The most common use for
this is the classical hydraulic jack where a pumping cylinder with a
small diameter is connected to the lifting cylinder with a large
Pump and motor
If a hydraulic rotary pump with the displacement 10 cc/rev is
connected to a hydraulic rotary motor with 100 cc/rev, the shaft
torque required to drive the pump is 10 times less than the torque
available at the motor shaft, but the shaft speed (rev/min) for the
motor is 10 times less than the pump shaft speed. This
combination is actually the same type of force multiplication as
the cylinder example (1) just that the linear force in this case is a
rotary force, defined as torque.
Both these examples are usually referred to as a hydraulic
transmission or hydrostatic transmission involving a certain
hydraulic "gear ratiHydraulic circuits

A simple open center hydraulic circuit.

The equivalent circuit schematic.
For the hydraulic fluid to do work, it must flow to the actuator and
or motors, then return to a reservoir. The fluid is then filtered and
re-pumped. The path taken by hydraulic fluid is called a hydraulic
circuit of which there are several types. Open center circuits use
pumps which supply a continuous flow. The flow is returned to
tank through the control valve's open center; that is, when the
control valve is centered, it provides an open return path to tank
and the fluid is not pumped to a high pressure. Otherwise, if the
control valve is actuated it routes fluid to and from an actuator and
tank. The fluid's pressure will rise to meet any resistance, since
the pump has a constant output. If the pressure rises too high,
fluid returns to tank through a pressure relief valve. Multiple
control valves may be stacked in series [1]. This type of circuit
can use inexpensive, constant displacement pumps.
Closed center circuits supply full pressure to the control valves,
whether any valves are actuated or not. The pumps vary their flow
rate, pumping very little hydraulic fluid until the operator actuates
a valve. The valve's spool therefore doesn't need an open center
return path to tank. Multiple valves can be connected in a parallel
arrangement and system pressure is equal for all valConstant
pressure and load-sensing systems
The closed center circuits exist in two basic configurations,
normally related to the regulator for the variable pump that
supplies the oil:
Constant pressure systems (CP-system), standard. Pump
pressure always equals the pressure setting for the pump
regulator. This setting must cover the maximum required load
pressure. Pump delivers flow according to required sum of flow to
the consumers. The CP-system generates large power losses if
the machine works with large variations in load pressure and the
average system pressure is much lower than the pressure setting
for the pump regulator. CP is simple in design. Works like a
pneumatic system. New hydraulic functions can easily be added
and the system is quick in response.
Constant pressure systems (CP-system), unloaded. Same
basic configuration as 'standard' CP-system but the pump is
unloaded to a low stand-by pressure when all valves are in
neutral position. Not so fast response as standard CP but pump
lifetime is prolonged.
Load-sensing systems (LS-system) generates less power
losses as the pump can reduce both flow and pressure to match
the load requirements, but requires more tuning than the CP-
system with respect to system stability. The LS-system also
requires additional logical valves and compensator valves in the
directional valves, thus it is technically more complex and more
expensive than the CP-system. The LS-system system generates
a constant power loss related to the regulating pressure drop for
the pump regulator:

The average p
is around 2 MPa (290 psi). If the pump flow is
high the extra loss can be considerable. The power loss also
increase if the load pressures varies a lot. The cylinder areas,
motor displacements and mechanical torque arms must be
designed to match in load pressure in order to bring down the
power losses. Pump pressure always equals the maximum load
pressure when several functions are run simultaneously and the
power input to the pump equals the (max. load pressure + p
) x
sum of fl]Five basic types of load-sensing systems
(1) Load sensing without compensators in the directional valves.
Hydraulically controlled LS-pump.
(2) Load sensing with up-stream compensator for each connected
directional valve. Hydraulically controlled LS-pump.
(3) Load sensing with down-stream compensator for each
connected directional valve. Hydraulically controlled LS-pump.
(4) Load sensing with a combination of up-stream and down-
stream compensators. Hydraulically controlled LS-pump.
(5) Load sensing with synchronized, both electric controlled pump
displacement and electric controlled valve flow area for faster
response, increased stability and less system losses. This is a
new type of LS-system, not yet fully developed.
Technically the down-stream mounted compensator in a
valveblock can physically be mounted "up-stream", but work as a
down-stream compensator.
System type (3) gives the advantage that activated functions are
synchronized independent of pump flow capacity. The flow
relation between 2 or more activated functions remains
independent of load pressures even if the pump reach the
maximum swivel angle. This feature is important for machines
that often run with the pump at maximum swivel angel and with
several activated functions that must be synchronized in speed,
such as with excavators. With type (4) system, the functions with
up-stream compensators have priority. Example: Steering-
function for a wheel loader. The system type with down-stream
compensators usually have a unique trademark depending on the
manufacturer of the valves, for example "LSC" (Linde Hydraulics),
"LUDV" (Bosch Rexroth Hydraulics) and "Flowsharing" (Parker
Hydraulics) etc. No official standardized name for this type of
system has been established but Flowsharing is a common name
forOpen and closed circuits

Open loop and closed loop circuits
Open-loop: Pump-inlet and motor-return (via the directional
valve) are connected to the hydraulic tank.The term loop applies
to feedback; the more correct term is open versus closed "circuit".
Closed-loop: Motor-return is connected directly to the pump-inlet.
To keep up pressure on the low pressure side, the circuits have a
charge pump (a small gearpump) that supplies cooled and filtered
oil to the low pressure side. Closed-loop circuits are generally
used for hydrostatic transmissions in mobile applications.
Advantages: No directional valve and better response, the circuit
can work with higher pressure. The pump swivel angle covers
both positive and negative flow direction. Disadvantages: The
pump cannot be utilized for any other hydraulic function in an
easy way and cooling can be a problem due to limited exchange
of oil flow. High power closed loop systems generally must have a
'flush-valve' assembled in the circuit in order to exchange much
more flow than the basic leakage flow from the pump and the
motor, for increased cooling and filtering. The flush valve is
normally integrated in the motor housing to get a cooling effect for
the oil that is rotating in the motor housing itself. The losses in the
motor housing from rotating effects and losses in the ball bearings
can be considerable as motor speeds will reach 4000-5000
rev/min or even more at maximum vehicle speed. The leakage
flow as well as the extra flush flow must be supplied by the charge
pump. Large charge pumps is thus very important if the
transmission is designed for high pressures and high motor
speeds. High oil temperatures, is usually a major problem when
using hydrostatic transmissions at high vehicle speeds for longer
periods, for instance when transporting the machine from one
work place to the other. High oil temperatures for long periods will
drastically reduce the lifetime for the transmission. To keep down
the oil temperature, the system pressure during transport must be
lowered, meaning that the minimum displacement for the motor
must be limited to a reasonable value. Circuit pressures during
transport around 200-250 bar is recommended.
Closed loop systems in mobile equipment are generally used for
the transmission as an alternative to mechanical and
hydrodynamic (converter) transmissions. The advantage is a
stepless gear ratio (continuously variable speed/torque) and a
more flexible control of the gear ratio depending on the load and
operating conditions. The hydrostatic transmission is generally
limited to around 200 kW maximum power, as the total cost gets
too high at higher power compared to a hydrodynamic
transmission. Large wheel loaders for instance and heavy
machines are therefore usually equipped with converter
transmissions. Recent technical achievements for the converter
transmissions have improved the efficiency and developments in
the software have also improved the characteristics, for example
selectable gear shifting programs during operation and more gear
steps, giving them characteristics close to the hydrostatic
Hydrostatic transmissions for earth moving machines, such as for
track loaders, are often equipped with a separate 'inch pedal' that
is used to temporarily increase the diesel engine rpm while
reducing the vehicle speed in order to increase the available
hydraulic power output for the working hydraulics at low speeds
and increase the tractive effort. The function is similar to stalling a
converter gearbox at high engine rpm. The inch function affects
the preset characteristics for the 'hydrostatic' gear ratio versus
diesel engine rpm.ComponeHydraulic pump

An exploded view of an external gear pump.
Hydraulic pumps supply fluid to the components in the system.
Pressure in the system develops in reaction to the load. Hence, a
pump rated for 5,000 psi is capable of maintaining flow against a
load of 5,000 psi.
Pumps have a power density about ten times greater than an
electric motor (by volume). They are powered by an electric motor
or an engine, connected through gears, belts, or a flexible
elastomeric coupling to reduce vibration.
Common types of hydraulic pumps to hydraulic machinery
applications are;
Gear pump: cheap, durable, simple. Less efficient, because
they are constant (fixed) displacement, and mainly suitable
for pressures below 20 MPa (3000 psi).
Vane pump: cheap and simple, reliable (especially in g-rotor
form). Good for higher-flow low-pressure output.
Axial piston pump: many designed with a variable
displacement mechanism, to vary output flow for automatic
control of pressure. There are various axial piston pump
designs, including swashplate (sometimes referred to as a
valveplate pump) and checkball (sometimes referred to as a
wobble plate pump). The most common is the swashplate
pump. A variable-angle swashplate causes the pistons to
reciprocate a greater or lesser distance per rotation, allowing
output flow rate and pressure to be varied (greater
displacement angle causes higher flow rate, lower pressure,
and vice versa).
Radial piston pump A pump that is normally used for very
high pressure at small flows.
Piston pumps are more expensive than gear or vane pumps, but
provide longer life operating at higher pressure, with difficult fluids
and longer continuous duty cycles. Piston pumps make up one
half of a hydrostatic transmissionControl valves
Directional control valves route the fluid to the desired actuator.
They usually consist of a spool inside a cast iron or steel housing.
The spool slides to different positions in the housing, intersecting
grooves and channels route the fluid based on the spool's
The spool has a central (neutral) position maintained with springs;
in this position the supply fluid is blocked, or returned to tank.
Sliding the spool to one side routes the hydraulic fluid to an
actuator and provides a return path from the actuator to tank.
When the spool is moved to the opposite direction the supply and
return paths are switched. When the spool is allowed to return to
neutral (center) position the actuator fluid paths are blocked,
locking it in position.
Directional control valves are usually designed to be stackable,
with one valve for each hydraulic cylinder, and one fluid input
supplying all the valves in the stack.
Tolerances are very tight in order to handle the high pressure and
avoid leaking, spools typically have a clearance with the housing
of less than a thousandth of an inch (25 m). The valve block will
be mounted to the machine's frame with a three point pattern to
avoid distorting the valve block and jamming the valve's sensitive
The spool position may be actuated by mechanical levers,
hydraulic pilot pressure, or solenoids which push the spool left or
right. A seal allows part of the spool to protrude outside the
housing, where it is accessible to the actuator.
The main valve block is usually a stack of off the shelf directional
control valves chosen by flow capacity and performance. Some
valves are designed to be proportional (flow rate proportional to
valve position), while others may be simply on-off. The control
valve is one of the most expensive and sensitive parts of a
hydraulic circuit.
Pressure relief valves are used in several places in
hydraulic machinery; on the return circuit to maintain a small
amount of pressure for brakes, pilot lines, etc... On hydraulic
cylinders, to prevent overloading and hydraulic line/seal
rupture. On the hydraulic reservoir, to maintain a small
positive pressure which excludes moisture and
Pressure regulators reduce the supply pressure of
hydraulic fluids as needed for various circuits.
Sequence valves control the sequence of hydraulic circuits;
to ensure that one hydraulic cylinder is fully extended before
another starts its stroke, for example.
Shuttle valves provide a logical or function.
Check valves are one-way valves, allowing an accumulator
to charge and maintain its pressure after the machine is
turned off, for example.
Pilot controlled Check valves are one-way valve that can
be opened (for both directions) by a foreign pressure signal.
For instance if the load should not be hold by the check
valve anymore. Often the foreign pressure comes from the
other pipe that is connected to the motor or cylinder.
Counterbalance valves are in fact a special type of pilot
controlled check valve. Whereas the check valve is open or
closed, the counterbalance valve acts a bit like a pilot
controlled flow control.
Cartridge valves are in fact the inner part of a check valve;
they are off the shelf components with a standardized
envelope, making them easy to populate a proprietary valve
block. They are available in many configurations; on/off,
proportional, pressure relief, etc. They generally screw into a
valve block and are electrically controlled to provide logic
and automated functions.
Hydraulic fuses are in-line safety devices designed to
automatically seal off a hydraulic line if pressure becomes
too low, or safely vent fluid if pressure becomes too high.
Auxiliary valves in complex hydraulic systems may have
auxiliary valve blocks to handle various duties unseen to the
operator, such as accumulator charging, cooling fan
operation, air conditioning power, etc. They are usually
custom valves designed for the particular machine, and may
consist of a metal block with ports and channels drilled.
Cartridge valves are threaded into the ports and may be
electrically controlled by switches or a microprocessor to
route fluid power as needActuators
Hydraulic cylinder
Swashplates are used in 'hydraulic motors' requiring highly
accurate control and also in 'no stop' continuous (360
precision positioning mechanisms. These are frequently
driven by several hydraulic pistons acting in sequence.
Hydraulic motor (a pump plumbed in reverse)
hydrostatic transmission
The hydraulic fluid reservoir holds excess hydraulic fluid to
accommodate volume changes from: cylinder extension and
contraction, temperature driven expansion and contraction, and
leaks. The reservoir is also designed to aid in separation of air
from the fluid and also work as a heat accumulator to cover
losses in the system when peak power is used. Design engineers
are always pressured to reduce the size of hydraulic reservoirs,
while equipment operators always appreciate larger reservoirs.
Reservoirs can also help separate dirt and other particulate from
the oil, as the particulate will generally settle to the bottom of the
Some designs include dynamic flow channels on the fluid's return
path that allow for a smaller reservoirAccumulators
Accumulators are a common part of hydraulic machinery. Their
function is to store energy by using pressurized gas. One type is a
tube with a floating piston. On one side of the piston is a charge of
pressurized gas, and on the other side is the fluid. Bladders are
used in other designs. Reservoirs store a system's fluid.
Examples of accumulator uses are backup power for steering or
brakes, or to act as a shock absorber for the hydraulic
circuit.Hydraulic fluid
Also known as tractor fluid, hydraulic fluid is the life of the
hydraulic circuit. It is usually petroleum oil with various additives.
Some hydraulic machines require fire resistant fluids, depending
on their applications. In some factories where food is prepared,
either an edible oil or water is used as a working fluid for health
and safety reasons.
In addition to transferring energy, hydraulic fluid needs to lubricate
components, suspend contaminants and metal filings for transport
to the filter, and to function well to several hundred degrees
Fahrenheit or Celsius.
Filters are an important part of hydraulic systems. Metal particles
are continually produced by mechanical components and need to
be removed along with other contaminants.
Filters may be positioned in many locations. The filter may be
located between the reservoir and the pump intake. Blockage of
the filter will cause cavitation and possibly failure of the pump.
Sometimes the filter is located between the pump and the control
valves. This arrangement is more expensive, since the filter
housing is pressurized, but eliminates cavitation problems and
protects the control valve from pump failures. The third common
filter location is just before the return line enters the reservoir.
This location is relatively insensitive to blockage and does not
require a pressurized housing, but contaminants that enter the
reservoir from external sources are not filtered until passing
through the system at least once.
Tubes, pipes and hoses
Hydraulic tubes are seamless steel precision pipes, specially
manufactured for hydraulics. The tubes have standard sizes for
different pressure ranges, with standard diameters up to 100 mm.
The tubes are supplied by manufacturers in lengths of 6 m,
cleaned, oiled and plugged. The tubes are interconnected by
different types of flanges (especially for the larger sizes and
pressures), welding cones/nipples (with o-ring seal), several types
of flare connection and by cut-rings. In larger sizes, hydraulic
pipes are used. Direct joining of tubes by welding is not
acceptable since the interior cannot be inspected.
Hydraulic pipe is used in case standard hydraulic tubes are not
available. Generally these are used for low pressure. They can be
connected by threaded connections, but usually by welds.
Because of the larger diameters the pipe can usually be inspected
internally after welding. Black pipe is non-galvanized and suitable
for welding.
Hydraulic hose is graded by pressure, temperature, and fluid
compatibility. Hoses are used when pipes or tubes can not be
used, usually to provide flexibility for machine operation or
maintenance. The hose is built up with rubber and steel layers. A
rubber interior is surrounded by multiple layers of woven wire and
rubber. The exterior is designed for abrasion resistance. The
bend radius of hydraulic hose is carefully designed into the
machine, since hose failures can be deadly, and violating the
hose's minimum bend radius will cause failure. Hydraulic hoses
generally have steel fittings swaged on the ends. The weakest
part of the high pressure hose is the connection of the hose to the
fitting. Another disadvantage of hoses is the shorter life of rubber
which requires periodic replacement, usually at five to seven year
Tubes and pipes for hydraulic applications are internally oiled
before the system is commissioned. Usually steel piping is
painted outside. Where flare and other couplings are used, the
paint is removed under the nut, and is a location where corrosion
can begin. For this reason, in marine applications most piping is
stainless steel.
Seals, fittings and connections
Main article: Seal (mechanical)
In general, valves, cylinders and pumps have female threaded
bosses for the fluid connection, and hoses have female ends with
captive nuts. A male-male fitting is chosen to connect the two.
Many standardized systems are in use.
Fittings serve several purposes;
1. To bridge different standards; O-ring boss to JIC, or pipe
threads to face seal, for example.
2. To allow proper orientation of components, a 90, 45,
straight, or swivel fitting is chosen as needed. They are
designed to be positioned in the correct orientation and then
3. To incorporate bulkhead hardware.
4. A quick disconnect fitting may be added to a machine
without modification of hoses or valves
A typical piece of heavy equipment may have thousands of
sealed connection points and several different types:
Pipe fittings, the fitting is screwed in until tight, difficult to
orient an angled fitting correctly without over or under
O-ring boss, the fitting is screwed into a boss and orientated
as needed, an additional nut tightens the fitting, washer and
o-ring in place.
Flare fittings, are metal to metal compression seals
deformed with a cone nut and pressed into a flare mating.
Face seal, metal flanges with a groove and o-ring are
fastened together.
Beam seals are costly metal to metal seals used primarily in
Swaged seals, tubes are connected with fittings that are
swaged permanently in place. Primarily used in aircraft.
Elastomeric seals (O-ring boss and face seal) are the most
common types of seals in heavy equipment and are capable of
reliably sealing 6000+ psi (40+ MPa) of fluid pressure.
Basic calculations
Hydraulic power is defined as flow times pressure. The hydraulic
power supplied by a pump:
Power = (P x Q) 600
where power is in kilowatts [kW], P pressure in bars, and Q is the
flow in liters per minute. For example, a pump delivers 180 lit/min
and the pressure equals 250 bar, therefore the power of the pump
is 75 kW.
When calculating the power input to the pump, the total pump
must be included. This efficiency is the product of
volumetric efficiency,
and the hydromechanical efficiency,
Power input = Power output
. The average for axial piston
= 0.87. In the example the power source, for
example a diesel engine or an electric motor, must be capable of
delivering at least 75 0.87 = 86 [kW]. The hydraulic motors and
cylinders that the pump supplies with hydraulic power also have
efficiencies and the total system efficiency (without including the
pressure drop in the hydraulic pipes and valves) will end up at
approx. 0.75. Cylinders normally have a total efficiency around
0.95 while hydraulic axial piston motors 0.87, the same as the
pump. In general the power loss in a hydraulic energy
transmission is thus around 25% or more at ideal viscosity range
25-35 [cSt].
Calculation of the required max. power output for the diesel
engine, rough estimation:
(1) Check the max. powerpoint, i.e. the point where pressure
times flow reach the max. value.
(2) E
= (P
= calculate with the theoretical pump flow for the consumers
not including leakages at max. power point.
= actual pump pressure at max. power point.
Note: is the total efficiency = (output mechanical power input
mechanical power). For rough estimations, = 0.75. Add 10-20%
(depends on the application) to this power value.
(3) Calculate the required pumpdisplacement from required max.
sum of flow for the consumers in worst case and the diesel engine
rpm in this point. The max. flow can differ from the flow used for
calculation of the diesel engine power. Pump volumetric efficiency
average, piston pumps:
= 0.93.
Pumpdisplacement V
= Q
(4) Calculation of prel. cooler capacity: Heat dissipation from
hydraulic oil tanks, valves, pipes and hydraulic components is
less than a few percent in standard mobile equipment and the
cooler capacity must include some margins. Minimum cooler
capacity, E
= 0.25E

At least 25% of the input power must be dissipated by the cooler
when peak power is utilized for long periods. In normal case
however, the peak power is used for only short periods, thus the
actual cooler capacity required might be considerably less. The oil
volume in the hydraulic tank is also acting as a heat accumulator
when peak power is used. The system efficiency is very much
dependent on the type of hydraulic work tool equipment, the
hydraulic pumps and motors used and power input to the
hydraulics may vary a lot. Each circuit must be evaluated and the
load cycle estimated. New or modified systems must always be
tested in practical work, covering all possible load cycles. An easy
way of measuring the actual average power loss in the system is
to equip the machine with a test cooler and measure the oil
temperature at cooler inlet, oil temperature at cooler outlet and
the oil flow through the cooler, when the machine is in normal
operating mode. From these figures the test cooler power
dissipation can be calculated and this is equal to the power loss
when temperatures are stabilized. From this test the actual
required cooler can be calculated to reach specified oil
temperature in the oil tank. One problem can be to assemble the
measuring equipment inline, especially the oil flow meter.
olid freeform fabrication (SFF) is a collection of techniques for
manufacturing solid objects by the sequential delivery of energy
and/or material to specified points in space to produce that solid.
SFF is sometimes referred to as rapid prototyping, rapid
manufacturing, layered manufacturing, additive fabrication
and additive manufacturing.
1 Techniques
2 See also
3 References
4 Bibliography
Electron beam melting
Fully fused void-free solid metal parts from powder stock
Electron beam freeform fabrication
Fully fused void-free solid metal parts from wire feedstock
Fused deposition modeling
Fused deposition modeling extrudes hot, molten plastic
through a nozzle, building up a model.
The material then freezes after deposition.
Laminated object manufacturing
Sheets of paper or plastic film are attached to previous
layers by either sprayed glue, heating, or embedded
adhesive, and then the desired outline of the layer is cut by
laser or knife. Finished product typically looks and acts like
Laser engineered net shaping
A laser is used to melt metal powder and deposit it on the
part directly. This has the advantage that the part is fully
solid (unlike selective laser sintering) and the metal alloy
composition can be dynamically changed over the volume of
the part.
Polyjet matrix
PolyJet Matrix Technology (developed by Objet geometries)
is the first technology that enables simultaneous jetting of
multiple types of model materials
Selective laser sintering
Selective laser sintering uses a laser to fuse powdered
nylon, elastomer, or metal. Additional processing is
necessary to produce fully dense metal part.
Shape deposition manufacturing
Part and support material are deposited by a print head and
then machined to near-final shape.
Solid ground curing
Shines a UV light on an electrostatic mask to cure a layer of
photopolymers, uses solid wax for support.
Stereolithography uses a laser to cure liquid photopolymers.
Inkjet 3d printing
This label encompasses many technologies of modern 3D
Printers, all of which use inkjet-like printheads to deposit
material in layers. Commonly, this includes thermal phase
change inkjets and photopolymer phase change inkjets.
Powder bed and inkjet head 3d printing
The part to be printed is built up from many thin cross
sections of the 3D model. An inkjet-like printing head moves
across a bed of powder, selectively depositing a liquid
binding material in the shape of the section
Robocasting refers to depositing room-temperature material
-- in the form of a viscous gel or ceramic slurry -- from a
robotically controlled syringe or extrusion head.
The material hardens or cures (rather than freezes) after

Comparison of solid freeform fabrications methods

Maximum part size (mm)

Process time

Fused deposition
0.005 254 x 254 x 254 (Stratasys)
Laminated object
812 x 558 x 508 (Cubic
Selective laser sintering 0.005
381 x 330 x 457 (3D
Solid ground curing 0.006 508 x 355 x 508 (Cubital) 11:21
Stereolithography 0.003 990 x 787 x 508 (Sony) 7:03
Robocasting 0.1 (Fab@Home)
240 x 240 X 240