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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hydraulic Press

(1A) Pressure applied to a confined fluid is the same throughout that fluid. If you apply 10 PSI at point 1, there will be 10 PSI at point 2. What this means, is that if you apply 10 PSI over a 1 square inch area on a fluid, then you apply 10 PSI over everything that fluid is in contact with, and hence you've also applied 10 PSI on the second area of the fluid that is maybe 5 square inches.

(1B) What this means is that if you apply a force of 10 pounds over 1 square inch on side 1, that means you are applying a force of 50 pounds over an area of 5 square inches on side two .... meaning you can lift your heavy car by applying a relatively small force on the car jack.

(1C) What gives? This pressure difference will cause the fluid to flow because the fluid in your car jack is incompressible. The energy that you exert on side one, say you push side one down 5 inches, is the same energy that you give to side two.

Thus, you've exerted 50 inch-pounds of energy on side 1 (Force one, 10 lbs, times the distance you've exerted that force over, 5 inches gives you 50 inch-pounds), well, then you've also exerted 50 inch-pounds on side two resulting in side two rising by 1 inch (50 pounds on side two, times 1 inch on side two gives you the balance of 50 inch-pounds).

(1D) The volume of displacement on both sides is the same too.

Side 1 displacement .... (1 square inch)x(5 inches) = 5 cubic inches

Side 2 displacement .... (5 square inches)x(1 inch) = 5 cubic inches

(2) Then, a hydraulic jack draws fluid from the fluid "reservoir" to replace the fluid that you've jacked up, as it acts like a positive displacement piston pump. Due to energy inefficiencies, you never quite displace the amount of fluid as in this perfect example because some of the fluid flows back into the reservoir on the recharge stroke.