How to Size a Hydraulic Pump & Motor


Different types of hydraulic motors use different methods to pump their fluids. Some grind gears together. Some use a combination of cylinders. Some contain vanes that slide in and out of a circular rotor. But ultimately, the various systems all end up forcing the fluid through a cavity to an outlet. The size of this cavity contributes to how much fluid the motor pumps each minute. The other determining factor is the fluid's linear speed.

  • Multiply the proposed volumetric flow rate, measured in gallons per minute, by the set conversion value 231. With a proposed flow rate, for instance, of 40 gallons per minute: 40 x 231 = 9,240.

  • Divide the answer by the fluid's linear speed, measured in feet per second. If the fluid will move, for instance, at 0.018 feet per second, then 9,240 / 0.018 = 513,333.

  • Divide the result by 720, a figure that relates feet per second to inches per minute: 513,333 / 720 = approximately 713 square inches. This is the pump's necessary cross-sectional area.

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