The word “hydraulic” comes from the Greek ‘hydra’ which refers to water and ‘aulos’ which means pipes. Science historians believe that hydraulics (in an extremely basic form) originated in the Greek civilization two millennia ago. The mathematician, Archimedes, reasoned that “a floating or immersed body must be acted upon an upward force equal to weight of the liquid that it displaces.”
As time passed, science improved, technology was beginning to take shape and ways to effectively use hydraulic energy were being discovered. It all began with how water physically behaved at rest or in motion, and evolved from how to generate power with water at the source, to how to generate power at different points of use. Soon, the concept of transmitting power by putting fluids under pressure changed the face of engineering.
In the late 17th century, the study of using oil in hydraulics started to get some legs. French mathematician, Blaise Pascal, created at law in fluid mechanics stating “that pressure exerted anywhere in a confined incompressible fluid is transmitted equally in all directions throughout the fluid such that the pressure variations (initial differences) remain the same.” This became known as Pascal’s Law and created the fundamentals for the science of hydraulics.
Enter English inventor Joseph Bramah. Based on Pascal’s Law, Bramah invented the hydraulic press. His understanding of the relationship between force, pressure and area forever changed engineering and industry. Bramah demonstrated that pressure throughout a closed system is constant and he was granted a patent for his product in 1795. By the time Britain’s industrial revolution hit in 1850, hydraulics were being used in a multitude of industries. The twentieth century saw fluid power through hydraulic replacing electrical systems and the rest, as they say, is history.
Greenham Common used hydraulic doors to seal in safety and seal out nuclear blast. Opened in 1942, it was used by both the Royal Air Force in WW II and most famously by the US Air Force as a major Cold War Nuclear Strike Base. From late 1967, Greenham Common was used for NATO operations in deterrence of the Eastern Block countries. The missile bunkers seen here were designed with their hydraulic doors to withstand the local airbursting of a point strike on the West’s front line deterrent from the East, showing the unique ability of the Hydraulic door system to carry strength and integrity to such a level… and they are still in existence today for all to see as part of the Cold War history.
Today, Hydroswing® is proud to be the pioneer in hydraulic doors. Our superior technology has allowed us to engineer single panel hydraulic doors that replace doors with mechanical and electrical drives. We have taken hydraulic door systems to the next level and are changing the world one door at time. Don’t you want to be a part of our door revolution?