Fluid Power Journal

Hydraulic Basics: Recognizing Hydraulic Symbols

This new series of articles, compiled by Fluid Power Journal Technical Editor Dan Helgerson, CFPAI/AJPP, CFPS, CFPECS, CFPSD, CFPMT, CFPCC, will include selected excerpts from the IFPS Study Manuals. Study Manuals may be downloaded by visiting www.ifps.org. (IFPS members may download for free; non-members may purchase.)

The easiest method to learn hydraulic symbols is to keep a reference handy and refer to it from time to time. The only globally accepted reference to hydraulic symbols is ISO 1219-1, but companies worldwide use a number of other standards, though they share fundamental similarities.

Editor’s Note: Learning to recognize and interpret fluid power symbols is much like learning a new language.  Every written language has a finite number of letters that are used. These letters make up words; the words make up sentences; the sentences make paragraphs; the paragraphs tell a story. Fluid power symbols can be thought of as the letters in the language of fluid power. As such, they are universal; they are not dependent on a knowledge of the designer’s spoken language, but are understood by anyone familiar with the symbols.

The chart below shows many of the symbols (letters) in the language of fluid power. By learning these symbols, it will be possible to construct or identify most fluid power components.

For example, the seven symbols below can be rearranged in several ways to describe very different components.


 

 

 

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