Custom Search


In the preceding chapters, you learned about hydraulic and pneumatic fluids and components of fluid power systems. While having a knowledge of system components is essential, it is difficult to understand the interrelationship of these components by simply watching the system operate. The knowledge of system interrelation is required to effectively troubleshoot and maintain a fluid power system. Diagrams pro-vided in applicable technical publications or drawings are a valuable aid in understanding the operation of the system and in diagnosing the causes of malfunctions.

This chapter explains the different types of diagrams used to illustrate fluid power circuits, including some of the symbols that depict fluid power components. Included in this chapter are descriptions and illustrations denoting the differences between open-center and closed-center fluid power systems. The last part of the chapter describes and illustrates some applications of basic fluid power systems.


As mentioned earlier in this chapter, to troubleshoot fluid power systems intelligently, a mechanic or technician must be familiar with the system on which he or she is working. The mechanic must know the function of each component in the system and have a mental picture of its location in relation to other components. This can best be done by studying the diagrams of the system.

A diagram may be defined as a graphic representation of an assembly or system that indicates the various parts and expresses the methods or principles of operations. The ability to read diagrams is a basic requirement for understanding the operation of fluid power systems. Understanding the diagrams of a system requires having a knowledge of the symbols used in the schematic diagrams.


The Navy uses two military standards that list mechanical symbols that must be used in preparing drawings that will contain symbolic representation. These standards are as follows: 1. Military Standard, Mechanical Symbols (Other than Aeronautical, Aerospacecraft, and Spacecraft Use), Part 1, MIL-STD-17B-1. 2. Military Standard, Mechanical Symbols for Aeronautical, Aerospacecraft, and Spacecraft Use, Part 2, MIL-STD-17B-2.

Some of the symbols frequently used in fluid power systems have been selected from these two standards and are shown in Appendixes II and III. Appendix II contains symbols from MIL-STD-17B-1. Appendix III contains symbols from MIL-STD-17B-2.

While the symbols shown in the appendixes are not all encompassing, they do provide a basis for an individual working with fluid power systems to build upon. Some rules applicable to graphical symbols for fluid diagrams are as follows:

1. Symbols show connections, flow paths, and the function of the component represented only. They do not indicate conditions occurring during transition from one flow path to another; nor do they indicate component construction or values, such as pressure or flow rate.

2. Symbols do not indicate the location of ports, direction of shifting of spools, or position of control elements on actual components.

3. Symbols may be rotated or reversed without altering their meaning except in cases of lines to reservoirs and vented manifolds.

4. Symbols may be drawn in any size.

5. Each symbol is drawn to show the normal or neutral condition of each component unless multiple circuit diagrams are furnished showing various phases of circuit operation.

For more detailed information concerning the symbols used in fluid power diagrams, consult the above-mentioned military standards. Additional information concerning symbols and the reading of diagrams is contained in BIueprint Reading and Sketching, NAVEDTRA 10077-F1.


There are many types of diagrams. Those that are most pertinent to fluid power systems are discussed in this text.

Pictorial Diagrams

Pictorial diagrams (fig. 12-1) show the general location and actual appearance of each component, all interconnecting piping, and the general piping arrangement. This type of diagram is sometimes referred to as an installation diagram. Diagrams of this type are invaluable to maintenance personnel in identifying and locating components of a system.

Cutaway Diagrams

Cutaway diagrams (fig. 12-2) show the internal working parts of all fluid power components in a system. This includes controls and actuating mechanisms and all interconnecting piping. Cutaway diagrams do not normally use symbols.

Figure 12-1.Hydraulic system pictorial diagram.

Figure 12-2.Cutaway diagrampneumatic

Western Governors University

Privacy Statement - Copyright Information. - Contact Us

Integrated Publishing, Inc. - A (SDVOSB) Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business