Hydraulic Press: Basic Components, Construction, Working and Applications

What is Mean by Hydraulic Press?

A hydraulic press is a machine press that uses a hydraulic cylinder to generate a compressive force.

Hydraulic systems use Pascal’s law which states that 

The external static pressure applied on a confined liquid is distributed or transmitted evenly throughout the liquid in all directions.

In simple terms, we can say that pressure applied to an enclosed fluid will be transmitted without a change in magnitude to every point of the fluid. The pressure at any point in the fluid is equal in all directions.

Pascal’s law is given by the formula, F=P*A


F= force applied,

P= Pressure transmitted

A= Cross-sectional area

In hydraulic press, the same principle is used for lifting heavy weight by the application of much smaller force.


Main components of Hydraulic Press System

The main component of the hydraulic press are

  1. Hose
  2. Hydraulic Motor
  3. Reservoir Tank
  4. Direction Control Valve
  5. Pressure relief valve
  6. Pressure gauge
  7. Limit switch
  8. Hydraulic cylinder
  9. Pressing plate.

Basic components of hydraulic press system
Basic components of hydraulic press system
Basic Components of Hydraulic Press System


Hydraulic hose is used to convey the hydraulic fluid to or between the hydraulic components.

Hydraulic motor

A hydraulic motor is used to pump the hydraulic fluid in the system. The motor is usually equipped with a pump for pumping purposes.
Read more: Different types of Hydraulic Pumps.

Reservoir tank

Hydraulic oil is stored in the reservoir tank.

Direction control valve

Direction control valves (DCVs) are used to control the direction of the actuator/cylinder. Generally, a manually controlled DCV is used in the hydraulic press.

Read more: Direction Control Valves and their types

Pressure relief valve

It is used to control the pressure in the system.

Limit Switch

It is used to control the position of the piston of the cylinder. It prevents the cylinder to travel post a predetermined point.

Hydraulic cylinder

This is a mechanical actuator that is used to give a unidirectional force through a unidirectional stroke.

Read more: Different types of Hydraulic Cylinders.

Circuit Diagram and Simulation of a Hydraulic Press

In the simulation part, red lines indicate the pressure lines of the circuit. That means if a line turns red hydraulic fluid is flowing through it which is responsible for either forward stroke or backward stroke.
We have used a meter-in circuit, which controls the speed of the forward stroke of the cylinder by changing the flow adjustment of the flow control valve which controls the flow of oil going to the head end of the cylinder.
It should be noted that the flow control in the given circuit is achieved by forward direction only. In return stroke, the return flow from the cylinder bypasses through a check valve.

Working Principle of Hydraulic Press

Working Principle of Hydraulic Press | www.enggarena.net
Working Principle of Hydraulic Press

The working principle of hydraulic press is based on Pascal’s law which states that the intensity of pressure in a static fluid is transmitted equally in all directions.

A hydraulic press consists of two different cylinders of two different diameters.

One cylinder is of smaller diameter that contains a plunger and another cylinder is of larger diameter that contains Ram.

These two cylinders are connected through a pipe/hose which contains hydraulic fluid through which pressure is transmitted.

When a smaller force F is applied on the plunger, pressure is produced in the liquid.

As per Pascal’s law, this pressure is transmitted equally in all directions and act on the Ram. Thus, the Ram is pushed forward and heavier objects can be easily lifted.

Applications of Hydraulic press

  • Manufacturing Industry

Hydraulic presses are widely used for automotive folding and forming applications. Brake pads, sealing components, insert molding, truck bed liners, electrical connectors and insulators, fuel delivery parts, etc. are the vehicle parts manufactured using hydraulic presses.

  • Manufacturing Electrical Parts

These are widely used to assemble the housings and switches used in switching stations. Thermostats are also manufactured with the help of a hydraulic press.

  • Military Applications

Presses are used in most of the air force bases. They are commonly used for loading the shells.

  • Building Aircrafts

In the Aerospace industry, they are used for metal forming and machinery fabricating processes. Windshield wiper blades, gear assemblies, airplane body panels, and wings are built using hydraulic presses.

  • Metal forming operations
  • Deep drawing operations
  • Punching operations
  • Blanking operations
  • Molding operations
  • Clinching operations
  • Forging operations


16 thoughts on “Hydraulic Press: Basic Components, Construction, Working and Applications”

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