eli5 why hydraulics can be used to crush near everything, but the functional components don’t crush themselves?


eli5 why hydraulics can be used to crush near everything, but the functional components don’t crush themselves?

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A hydraulic piston generates force from pressure.

The fluid pushes on a solid steel bar. That solid steel bar then moves and (in the case of crushing something) transfers the force to the unsuspecting material victim.

If the unsuspecting material victim was, in fact, a solid steel bar the size of the hydraulic tool, then one of two things would happen.

In a good, functional press nothing happens. The tool hits the work piece and halts. It reaches its maximum force and stops.

If somehow your pump could go to a way higher pressure, then something would break. Probably the cylinder itself bursting. That’s the big tube that the solid metal bar comes out of, where the fluid is.

If somehow the cylinder and pressure system *and motor* were all super overbuilt, then the tool itself could be crushed.

Or if you have a particularly weak tool, such as the bladed tools on *hydraulic press channel*, then the tool can break much more easily. They have videos where the tool itself is crushed.

The other answer here is perfect. In even simpler words. Your hand can crush a piece of paper or a can. If you try to crush a brick nothing will happen. Your muscles aren’t strong enough to damage your body. Only in some extreme weight lifting cases and arm wrestling do you see that people break their own bones by over exerting them.

Same holds for the hydrolic press, its build to apply X force. Everything that cant handel that will break, the rest will not and then nothing happens.

Not really an answer to your question, but more of a fun fact. Hhdraulic stuff is “relatively” sensitive. It’s made to move in one direction ( “up and down” ) and one direction only. If you apply a decent enough sideways force to the cylinder part (usually the metal tube with another metal tube sticking out) say, by hitting it with an average hammer, presumably, the thing ought to fail catastrophically. Don’t try this at home, because the cylinder contains hydralic fluid which is toxic as hell, and there’a a very high chance, in such a scenario, the cylynder may rupture violently, amd given the forces at play, injecting hydralic fluid into your body through your skin and such, from “x” feet away isn’t likely to be an issue for the fluid.