Hydraulic circuit

A hydraulic circuit is a system comprising an interconnected set of discrete components that transport liquid. The purpose of this system may be to control where fluid flows (as in a network of tubes of coolant in a thermodynamic system) or to control fluid pressure (as in hydraulic amplifiers). For example, hydraulic machinery uses hydraulic circuits (in which hydraulic fluid is pushed, under pressure, through hydraulic pumps, pipes, tubes, hoses, hydraulic motors, hydraulic cylinders, and so on) to move heavy loads. The approach of describing a fluid system in terms of discrete components is inspired by the success of electrical circuit theory. Just as electric circuit theory works when elements are discrete and linear, hydraulic circuit theory works best when the elements (passive component such as pipes or transmission lines or active components such as power packs or pumps) are discrete and linear. This usually means that hydraulic circuit analysis works best for long, thin tubes with discrete pumps, as found in chemical process flow systems or microscale devices.[1][2][3]


The circuit comprises the following components:

  • Active components
    • Hydraulic power pack
  • Transmission lines
    • Hydraulic hoses
  • Passive components

See also


  1. Bruus, H. (2007). Theoretical Microfluidics.
  2. Kirby, B.J. (2010). Micro- and Nanoscale Fluid Mechanics: Transport in Microfluidic Devices: Chapter 3: Hydraulic Circuit Analysis. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-11903-0.
  3. Froment and Bischoff (1990). Chemical Reactor Analysis and Design.
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