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Hydraulics versus pneumatics

clock 1.5 minutes | 17 Sep 2019

The advantages of a hydraulic system include the ease and accuracy by which they can be controlled, and the large amounts of power they can generate. In general, hydraulic systems use fewer moving parts than some mechanical and electrical systems. They also provide constant force and torque – indeed, only fluid power systems are capable of providing constant force or torque despite speed changes.

A pneumatic system utilising technology to work the pneumatic pipes and cylinders.
“Pneumatic systems also require regular maintenance of components.”

Moving heavier loads

Hydraulic systems are capable of moving heavier loads and providing greater force than pneumatics, but pneumatics technology is cleaner. Leaks are of less concern with pneumatics, which can leak oil or hydraulic fluid. Pneumatic systems require low maintenance and have long operating lives. Finally, the working fluid or gas of the pneumatic system absorbs excessive force, leading to less frequent damage to equipment.


The compressible gases used in the application of a pneumatics system are easy to store, and safe. But pneumatic systems do require regular maintenance of components. Any problems are likely to occur in the pneumatic system pipeline and air layout. The pneumatic system designer should have placed importance on the laying out of the pipeline network and air flow to reduce the chance of a malfunction taking place. The design should also be as simple as possible.

Maintenance of pneumatics

During maintenance, proper inspection of the pneumatics pipeline should take place. If pneumatic pipes, valves or cylinders are found to be defective, they must be repaired or replaced. Other issues such as resistance of flow or pressure drop are rarer, but if they are detected as part of a regular maintenance regime, they should be addressed immediately.

Hose Protection Ensures Safe Hydraulic Designs​