Hydraulic motors play a key role in many hydraulic systems. They are responsible for converting hydraulic energy (energy in a fluid) into rotational mechanical energy. All hydraulic motors have this basic function in common, but there are many different types of motors, each operating in a unique way.
Types of Hydraulic Motors
The most common types of hydraulic motors are piston, gear and vane motors. They each offer their own advantages for specific applications.
- Gear Motors
Gear motors are manufactured with two gears: one which drives, and one which idles. They can be external motors with two matching gears, or internal motors with an inner and outer gear. The basic operation of all gear motors is: hydraulic fluid enters one side, flowing throughout the gears and their housing, all the way to the outlet where it is then pushed out of the motor.
Gear motors are usually the cheapest, and they perform best when there is medium pressure and flow rate.
- Vane Motors
The basic design of vane motors consists of a housing and an off-centre bore inside. Vanes (or blades) slide and in out, and when hydraulic fluid flows through it causes an unbalanced force. This force makes the rotor turn in one direction.
Vane motors are ideal for medium pressure and high flow conditions and cost somewhere in between gear and piston motors.
- Piston Motors
There are many types of piston motors such as radial, axial and inline motors. In radial piston motors, the pistons are perpendicular to the crankshaft and move due to fluid pressure when the crankshaft rotates. In axial piston motors, the pistons are arranged in a circular pattern inside the housing. Inline piston motors have pistons inside a cylinder block and torque is created by pressure being exerted on the ends of the pistons.
More efficient and able to cope with high levels of pressure and flow, piston motors are more expensive than gear and vane motors.
Uses of Hydraulic Motors
Hydraulic motors are used in hydraulic systems which require torque (a rotational force). They provide advantages over electric motors because they don’t require any electricity and are able to endure more extreme environments. Hydraulic motors can be used in small-scale applications such as high speed drills, but can also be manufactured for heavy duty industrial applications in machinery such as excavators and bulldozers.
There are several key factors to consider when deciding on the right hydraulic motor for your specific application. You need to know the maximum pressure, speed and torque that the hydraulic motor can allow for. You must know the system requirements for displacement and flow, and you should consider what fluid will be used, how resistant the motor is to contamination and how heavy and large it is.
If you need advice about selecting the ideal hydraulic motor for your requirements, the team at Hydraulic Solutions and Sales are happy to assist. Backed by decades of industry experience, we are well-equipped to provide you with advice you can rely on and quality products from internationally leading brands. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you.