Under Pressure: Hydraulic Swivel Design

Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 in UEA Blog


Ba-da dun bada dun dun “Pressure! Pushing down on me, pushing down on you.”  Many of you may know that these are the classic lyrics from the 1981 hit music single Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie. This song eloquently speaks of social pressure that causes bad things to happen in the world. Towards the end, the song gets self-reflective and asks that we keep an open heart to the world. The music video for this song shows a mix of different 'pressures'; crowds at a subway station, car engines exploding, rockets exploding, buildings and bridges falling down, Wall Street signs, un-employment lines, homeless food kitchens, riots and general mayhem. While this type of art is frequently very subjective, I believe they are trying to tell us that we can combat pressure by using our hearts.

In a mechanical sense we can absolutely combat pressure, by using our heads. Mechanical pressure is measured in the U.S. as Pounds per Square Inch (PSI), which is the amount of force divided by area. This is of great interest within the fluid power industry. The amount of pressure within a system dictates how strong each component needs to be. As the saying goes, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”. This saying also relates to a fluid power system. If a component within the fluid power system were to fail due to pressure 'pushing down' on it, it would begin to leak and render the system useless until we give it some 'love' and fix it.

Our hydraulic swivels are designed for our customer's specific application. This means that we meet pressure requirements with enough strength and resilience to insure there are no issues. Our RFQ page on our website asks for the pressures for each circuit. If we know the pressures for each circuit and know that they will not likely change in the future, we will design the circuit for that specific pressure.  This allows us to produce a quality and cost-effective swivel to your requirements. With a swivel and or slip ring from UEA, we will get your machine up and running for many years to come, which will be music to your ears.

Brady Haugo
Design Engineer

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