Privacy Policy

Introduction to hydraulics

Where fluid power hydraulics is used and how it works

A brief summary of the basic theory and simple components

Interactive basic hydraulic training module

Your browser does not support Canvas.

Subject and syllabus


Hydraulic engineering is a broad term commonly used in several industries including river flows, fluid process distribution and motion and control.

Fluid power is the term used to describe the use of different fluids to transmit power and drive, move or control equipment.

Target skill level

No previous knowledge required.

Expected outcomes

To understand the types of equipment driven by hydraulic fluid power.

To understand how hydraulic fluid power works.

To identify typical components used inside a hydraulic system.

Examples where fluid power is used

Fluid power hydraulics is used to drive the biggest, most powerful machines in the world. It is used when pneumatic or electrical systems cannot meet the small size, high power, flexibility, control or safety requirements as effectively as a hydraulic system.

Excavators, cranes, tractors, wind-wave-tidal energy recovery, ship steering and drives, lifting bridges, steel mills, presses, car manufacturing plants, etc.

More examples at

Key topics covered

  • Power is transmitted using the hydraulic fluid
  • Pumps supply hydraulic fluid
  • Actuators drive the loads
  • Valves control the fluid direction
  • Pressure relief valves provide safety protection


Hydraulic fluid power drives the biggest and the best solutions for motion control.

If you want to work with the most powerful robots, machines or energy recovery then consider a job in hydraulics.

Further activities

For a further understanding of the principles, components or systems see the full training menu and course list at