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Fluid Power Formulas


Torque and horsepower relations:

T = HP x 5252 ÷ RPM
HP = T x RPM ÷ 5252
RPM = HP x 5252 ÷ T

Torque values are in foot pounds.

Horsepower for driving a pump:

For every 1 HP of drive, the equivalent of 1 GPM @ 1500 PSI can be produced.

Hydraulic (fluid power) horsepower:

HP = PSI x GPM ÷ 1714
PSI is gauge pressure in pounds per square inch, GPM is oil flow in gallons per minute.

Horsepower for idling a pump:

To idle a pump when it is unloaded will require about 5% of its full rated horsepower.

Velocity of oil flow in pipe:

V = GPM x 0.3208 ÷ A
V is oil velocity in feet per
second. GPM is flow in gallons
per minute, A is inside area of
pipe in square inches.

Compressibility of hydraulic oil:

Volume reduction is approximately 1/2% for every 1000 PSI of fluid pressure.

Charles' Law for behavior of gases:

T1 V2 = T2 V1, or T1 P2 = T2 P1
T1, P1. and V1 are initial temperature, pressure, and volume, and T2, P2, and V2 are final

Compressibility of water:

Volume reduction is about 1/3% for every 1000 PSI pressure.

Boyle's Law for behavior of gases:

P1 V1 = P2 V2
P1 and V1 are initial pressure and volume; P2 and V2 are final conditions.
Wattage for heating hydraulic oil:

Each watt will raise the temperature of 1 gallon of oil by 10F per hour.

Hydraulic cyl. piston travel speed:

S = CIM ÷ A
S is piston travel speed, inches per minute, CIM is oil flow into cylinder, cubic inches per minute, A is piston area in square inches.


Flow velocity in hydraulic lines:

Pump suction lines 2 to 4 feet per second; pressure lines up to sure to 500 PSI, 10 to 15 feet/sec.; Pressure lines 500 to 3000 PSI, 15 to 20 feet/sec.; pressure lines over 3000 PSI, 25 ft/sec; all oil lines in air-over-oil system, 4 ft/sec.

Heat equivalent of fluid power:

BTU per hour = PSI x GPM ÷ 2


Thrust or force of any cylinder:

T = A x PSI
T is thrust or force, in pounds, A is piston net area in square inches, PSI is gauge pressure.

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