Picture a dentist’s chair and a car lift. These are vastly different from one another, and yet, they still have one thing in common: both can lift heavy loads with ease. And all of that is made possible y the serious lifting power of hydraulics systems. Ever seen an industrial capacity car lift before? Such a machine can lift as much as 18,000 pounds without much trouble.
But, why are hydraulics seemingly used on a lot of heavy lifting devices? To answer this question, it helps to understand how they really work.
Hydraulics involve the study of liquids and their mechanical properties. In engineering purposes, hydraulics deal with using liquids (i.e. water and oil) to move things. The use of liquids instead of other mediums, say, air, is appropriate because of one property that liquids have: incompressibility.
Compressed air has less volume when it’s squeezed. Compressing liquid, on the other hand, is utterly impossible—its volume doesn’t change even if it’s pressed really hard. The same thing is true with solids. Try pressing hard on a sheet of metal, and you’ll see a dent form. This incompressibility that liquids have means that, with enough force (push or pull) applied, the liquid will move from one end of the hydraulic system to another.
Now, you might ask why liquids are incompressible compared to gases. It’s because the molecules in them have less distance between one another. Water is perhaps the most incompressible because its molecules have greater intermolecular bonds than most liquids.
Serious Lifting Power
Thus, we move on to hydraulic lifts. Given the right mechanical assembly (i.e. hydraulic chambers that could withstand the great liquid pressure without bursting), hydraulic lifts can lift almost anything. Take this: the ALE Heavy Lift company managed to raise a 42,695-ton oil rig topside to a height of over 78 feet, using proprietary hydraulic jacks. It is currently the heaviest load out ever performed.
These are the reasons car lifts, like other heavy lifting machines, use hydraulics. Science makes them more than capable of lifting almost incomprehensible loads.
Should you need that kind of lifting power for your automotive shop, contact us today and we can help.