Differences Between Hydraulic Vs Pneumatic Systems

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

There are many types of industrial systems, and two of the most common are hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Both have their unique benefits and drawbacks, which can make them better or worse suited for certain applications. Understanding the differences between these two systems is critical to choosing the right one for your needs. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at both hydraulic and pneumatic systems, highlighting their similarities and differences. By the end, you should be able to decide which type of system is best for your specific application.

Hydraulic and pneumatic systems are two very different types of fluid power, which is why they have their own set of pros and cons. Hydraulic systems use a liquid to transmit energy from one point to another while pneumatic systems use air. Pneumatics are easier to control than hydraulics but also lack the pressure that hydraulics can provide in some situations. The biggest difference between these two types of systems is how they store energy; hydraulic systems store all their energy in fluid while pneumatics store it in the air under pressure. This means that when operating, the hydraulic system’s fluid will eventually run out and need to be refilled whereas the pneumatic system’s air supply will never run out as long as there is an input.

Comparison between Hydraulic and Pneumatic Systems

Parameters of ComparisonHydraulic Systems Pneumatic Systems
UsesHydraulic system uses liquids to transfer energypneumatic systems use gas
CheaperLess cheapCheaper
EfficientMore efficientLess efficient
Environment friendlyEnvironment friendlyMore environment friendly
PowerHydraulic systems are powered by a liquidpneumatic systems use compressed air

What are Hydraulic Systems?

Hydraulic systems are an important part of many machines and vehicles. They use pressurized liquids to transmit energy, which can be used to power several different mechanisms. This article will discuss the basics of hydraulic systems, including the types of liquids used, common problems, and how they work. By understanding hydraulics, you can troubleshoot issues with greater ease and maintain your equipment more effectively.

Hydraulic systems are used extensively in industrial and commercial applications. They are a very efficient way to transmit power and can be used to control a variety of operations. In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of hydraulic systems and some of their common uses. We will also look at some of the key components of a hydraulic system and how they work together to produce motion or force. So, if you’re interested in learning more about hydraulics, keep reading.

Differences Between Hydraulic Vs Pneumatic Systems

What is Pneumatic Systems?

Pneumatic systems are composed of a network of interconnected components that work together to provide precise control over the flow and pressure of gases. Pneumatic systems can be used in many industries including manufacturing, construction, agriculture, mining, and more. There are two main types: compressed-air pneumatic systems and vacuum pneumatic systems. Compressed-air pneumatic systems use air under high pressure while vacuum pneumatic systems utilize vacuums to create suction for various purposes such as moving materials or controlling the speed at which they move.

Pneumatic Systems are a type of pneumatic machine that uses air to create energy. Pneumatic systems use compressed air, stored in an air tank, which moves through the machine using pipes or hoses. The pressure is then used to power devices such as motors, pumps, or valves.  A common example of this would be your car’s brake system – when you press down on the brake pedal it causes a valve to open and release compressed air from the master cylinder into smaller cylinders connected by metal pipes called hoses. This opens up the brakes pads against the discs so that they slow down and stop rotating. When you let go of the brake pedal, springs push back on these small cylinders causing them to compress again and forcing all the air back into the master cylinder.

Differences Between Hydraulic Vs Pneumatic Systems

10 Differences Between Hydraulic and Pneumatic Systems

1. Pneumatic systems use compressed air to create a pressure difference between two points.

2. Hydraulic systems use liquid under high pressure to create a pressure difference between two points.

3. In pneumatic systems, the fluid is usually compressible and incompressible in hydraulic systems.

4. In pneumatic systems, the fluid is typically used for power transmission whereas it is not needed in the hydraulic system.

5. The primary advantage of hydraulics over pneumatics is that they are capable of higher pressures and flow rates.

6. The primary disadvantage of hydraulics over pneumatics is that they require more space due to the size of their components.

7. Hydraulic systems are powered by a liquid, while pneumatic systems use compressed air.

8. Pneumatic systems have been around for over 100 years and were developed in the 1800s to replace hydraulic power.

9. Unlike pneumatic systems, hydraulic fluid does not compress or expand easily.

10. A hydraulic system is more efficient at transferring energy because it can be controlled with a small force.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Hydraulic Systems

1. Hydraulic systems are used in many industries, including construction, mining, and agriculture.

2. The hydraulic system was invented by the ancient Greeks to lift water from one level to another.

3. A hydraulic system is a closed-loop with three main components – pipes carrying liquid (usual oil), pumps that push the liquid through the pipes, and valves that control how much liquid can flow at any given time.

4. There are two types of fluid in a hydraulic system – incompressible fluid (oil) and compressible fluid (water). Compressible fluids like water will change shape when they’re put under pressure.

5. When an incompressible fluid like oil moves through a pipe or tube it doesn’t change shape because it’s not able to be compressed.

6. A pump forces the incompressible fluid into the closed-loop where it pushes against whatever needs lifting—a bulldozer blade for example.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Pneumatic Systems

1. Pneumatic systems have been in use since the 1800s.

2. In 1867, a pneumatic system was used to deliver mail from the General Post Office in London to its destination.

3. It is estimated that there are over 2 million miles of piping for pneumatic systems worldwide.

4. The first gas-powered car was invented by George Selden in 1877 and it ran on compressed air instead of gasoline.

5. The term “pneumatics” comes from the Greek word “no,” which means wind or breath.

6. A pneumatic cylinder can be made out of steel, aluminum, brass, bronze, or plastic materials.


Hydraulic and pneumatic systems both require an input force to produce the desired output. The main difference between them is that hydraulic power can be distributed via pipes, whereas air pressure has to travel through hoses. This means you need more space for hydraulics than pneumatics – so it’s usually only used in larger machinery where the size of the machine doesn’t matter as much. Pneumatics are great if you want your system to be portable or compact because they don’t rely on large volumes of water as hydraulic systems do.


Resource 01: https://www.hydraulic-supply.com/
Resource 02: https://library.automationdirect.com/pneumatic-system/#:~:text

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