Also known as hydraulic cylinder load lifting capacity, hydraulic cylinder force refers to the amount of force a cylinder can generate to lift a load or complete moving, pushing, pulling, and other tasks. By using a straightforward geometric calculation formula, you can ensure that your hydraulic cylinder will complete your job safely, effectively, and without damage.

Before beginning any job utilizing a hydraulic cylinder, consult your specific equipment’s manual to ensure that you apply the best machinery for your planned operations or market.

Before Calculating Hydraulic Cylinder Force

Calculating your hydraulic PSI to force can be completed quickly and in a few easy steps. Always measure accurately to achieve precise and high-performing results.

  1. Know your cylinder’s working pressure. PSI is one of the two main factors needed to calculate force.
  2. Measure your piston’s diameter. Be sure to measure the actual piston, sometimes referred to as a bore, rather than the outside of the hydraulic cylinder to obtain the correct diameter (D).
  3. Calculate the piston’s radius. Radius is calculated by dividing the piston diameter by 2 and squaring the result (r2).
  4. Calculate the piston’s area. The affected area (A) is calculated by multiplying the radius by Pi (π). The calculation formula is A=πr2. If your calculator does not feature a Pi button, simply use 3.14 in its place.

Hydraulic Cylinder Force Calculation Formula

To calculate hydraulic cylinder force, multiply your cylinder’s PSI (P) by the effective area (A) to determine force (F):

  • F=PxA

For example, let’s say that your hydraulic cylinder achieves a pressure of 10,000 PSI. Using the above steps, you then determine the area of your piston. For this example, the diameter is 2.56” and the radius is 1.28”, making the overall area 5.1 inches squared. Your force calculation formula now looks like this:

  • F=10,000×5.1

The force of your cylinder comes out to a lifting capacity of 51,000 pounds. As force is measured in tons, divide that number by 2,000 to calculate a hydraulic cylinder force of 25.5.

Comprehensive Resources for Purpose-Built™ Hydraulic Cylinders

Aggressive Hydraulics is a leading manufacturer of Purpose-Built™ hydraulic cylinders. All our cylinders and cylinder component parts are USA-made to ensure high-quality performances over years of operation. In addition to our catalog of products custom manufactured to your specifications, we also offer an extensive library of industry resources to get you back to work as soon as possible:

Contact us today to learn more about calculating hydraulic cylinder force or how Aggressive Hydraulics can support your operations. Request a quote to begin your custom order. One of our highly trained and helpful representatives will be in touch as soon as possible.