What Is a Closed Center Hydraulic System?

Closed center hydraulic systems pumps fluid via closed center circuits.
Closed center hydraulic systems pumps fluid via closed center circuits. (Image: hydraulic machine image by Heng kong Chen from Fotolia.com)

Hydraulic systems use pressurized hydraulic fluid to manage hydraulic machinery. These hydraulic systems can take the form of an open center or closed center system.

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Closed center hydraulic systems supply fluid on demand to simultaneous operations connected to a single pump. Pressurized fluid flows constantly through the system via a piston pump.

Piston Pump

Piston pumps use positive displacement, or move a fluid by trapping it, then displacing it into a pipe for discharge. Piston pumps use high pressure seals which reciprocate with the piston to move the fluid.

Closed Center Circuits

Closed center hydraulic systems rely on closed center circuits, or systems of interconnected components that move fluid, to provide pressure to the control valves, which partially or fully close or open, based on sensors that determine the level and rate of flow. The pump moves only minimal hydraulic fluid through the closed circuits until a valve is actuated by an operator. This allows the valve’s spool to operate without an open return path to the hydraulic system’s fluid reservoir. This configuration allows multiple valves to connect to different operations while sharing equal system pressure.


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