Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Connecting Hydraulic Tank to Hydraulic Pump

After a few false starts and two weeks of missed work, I'm ready to go again. There are only a few components that go into a power cube. The one that I'll be working on this week is the Hydraulic Tank. Before beginning work on it, I took time to understand the component and its connections to the rest of the system.

The tank is shown to the right. When finished, it's almost exactly the width of the cube (28"). There are three holes. The top hole is for refilling the fluid. The hole on the top of the side is for return fluid. The bottom hole on the side is for drawing fluid. There is a strainer (shown) which is deeper than the square tube is deep. In order for it to fit, I'll add a short tube to the side.

Each of the holes will have a 'NPT Weld-In Tank Flange' attached to it. It took me a while to understand what that was. NPT is a threading standard, NPTF is female (innie) and NPTM is male (outie). So a weld-in tank flange is a piece of metal with a threaded hole that is meant to be welded to a piece of steel. You can see one here. With such a flange, I'll be able to screw useful hydraulic connections to the tank.

Exploded Hydraulic Connections
When making a tank like this you have to test for leaks. You do this by attaching an air hose to the tank and pressurizing it. Then cover the joints with soapy water and look for bubbles. Unfortunately, I don't know how to attach the air hose to the tank yet. Hmmmm.
Collapsed Hydraulic Connections

I talked to OSE Tom (who has been great) and he helped explain the hydraulic connections from the tank to the rest of the system. Armed with that knowledge, I ordered some things! They came in and I verified the fit. Left top shows an exploded view, Left bottom shows the parts collapsed as though they've been assembled.

My goal for this week is to drill holes, weld on the ends of the tank, the flanges, and the extension tube.

Note: Bill of Materials updated.