5 things you didn't realise were Fluid Powered
Your face after you've read this blog post. stock images are fun, aren't they?
Following on in a way from my Explaining Fluid Power to your Friends blog, where I mentioned about my perpetual struggle to explain Hydraulics and Pneumatics, this little list is compiled of things that before working in the Fluid Power industry I had no idea used Hydraulics or Pneumatics and made me say "ahhhhh! I didn't realise that..". Impress your peers with the essential 5 things you didn't know were Fluid Powered! (citation needed...)
1. Wind Turbines
Although the premise of a wind turbine is to convert the air around us into electricity, sometimes they need a little help from Hydraulics. In some of the bigger models a couple hydraulic motors help rotate the Nacelle to face the wind direction; much like a good band roadie, their efforts tend to go unnoticed!
2. Fairground rides
Look around you the next time you go to the fair, you're in a Hydraulic fun land! Most attractions like the Ferris Wheels, Pendulums and Towers are all powered by Hydraulics in one way, shape or form. It's merely pressurised oil that is lifting up the big heavy arms of the rides that are spinning you around and feeding your adrenaline rush. Clever huh?
Hear me out here! This one is a bit of a wild card as I don't mean proper living Kangaroos, I'm referring to Festo's Bionic Kangaroo. Many of you will know Festo as a massive Pneumatic brand who make all manner of pneumatic items; what you might not have known is they have a Bionics Division and have made several Bionic Animals that combine Pneumatics and Electrical Drives. I'll let the below video do the rest of the explaining!
4. Knives (Water Cutting)
It's interesting how things act differently under pressure (my resumé would lead you to believe that I act calm!), especially when a fluid that you usually associate as a requisite for life could quite possibly, in the wrong hands, be turned into an instrument of death! Water Cutting Machines are an industrial tool that use a Hydraulically Powered & highly pressurised jet of water to cut soft materials such as wood and rubber; with the adding of abrasives to the jet it can even cut the likes of metal and granite.
Like the Kangaroo above, this is another wild card as such... As a child I was a massive Jurassic Park fan and I'm not going to lie, I'm excited to see Jurassic world in a week or two! It comes as no surprise then that I found the next fact pretty interesting: In the Jurassic Park films, the animatronic scenes were powered by Hydraulics. At the time of filming the first Jurassic Park, electric drives weren't fast or fluid enough to capture the movement of the massive reptiles; this is where Hydraulics stepped up and became champion. By far this is my favourite Fluid Power fact; it also excites me that if we wanted to, We could make our own T Rex here at Derek Lane & Co... That'd make a good exhibition piece at the next Devon County Show, don't you think?