Hydraulic lift tables are small, powerful elevator platforms used in construction, electrical and power service, automotive and garage service, manufacturing, painting, inventory management, telecommunications, wire and cable industries, and any other industry in which getting workpieces to above-ground locations is essential. These tools operate on the principles of hydraulics, whereby a system of pumps and motors is used to convert hydrostatic power, or intense pressure in a fluid, into mechanical motion, or work. The fluid most commonly used in hydraulic systems is petroleum with various additives. Because fluids are highly resistant to pressurization, they can contain a tremendous amount of energy without losing very much volume. Typical fluid pressure inside hydraulic systems is 7000-42000 kilopascals (kPa).
Two of the most important applications of hydraulic lift tables are to improve worker safety and to increase the maximum weight of any given product component. The table eliminates the need for pulleys in moving heavy components. A system of hydraulics is called a hydraulic circuit.
Because these devices contain fluids at high pressure, their components must be very strong and resistant to damage. Even a tiny leak can release a stream of high-pressured fluid that can puncture human skin. Hydraulic lift tables are equipped with pressure relief valves, should the pressure inside exceed safe levels.
As a mechanical means of transferring power, the hydraulic lift is hard to beat. A lot of mechanical power can be contained in small cylinders filled with pressurized fluid. These cylinders are usually made of steel, stainless steel, or aluminum; although titanium is used in some high-performance variants. Hydraulic lift tables often include features for mounting on trucks or other vehicles. Modern devices include microprocessors with load sensors that tune pumps to operate at maximum efficiency levels.