Alexander Fufaev
My name is Alexander FufaeV and here I will explain the following topic:

How Does a Hydraulic Press Work?

Explanation

Video

The hydraulic press is a container with two cylinders filled with an incompressible fluid (e.g. oil). The diameter of one cylinder is much larger than the diameter of the other cylinder.

fufaev.org Hydraulic press lifts a car
Sketch of a hydraulic press.

If you now exert a force \( F_1 \) on the contact surface \( A_1 \) of the cylinder with the smaller diameter, you generate pressure (\( \mathit{\Pi} ~=~ F_1 / A_1 \)) in the container. Since the fluid is incompressible, the generated pressure acts at all points of the container – including on the much larger contact surface \( A_2 \) of the other cylinder.

If, for example, a car is standing on the support surface \( A_2 \), it will be lifted with ease because the force \( F_2 \) on the second support surface is much greater than \( F_1 \), because in this case the following relationship applies:

Formula anchor

Rearranging with respect to the force \( F_2 \) results:

Formula anchor

As you can see, the force on the second bearing surface is greater by the factor \( \frac{A_2}{A_1} \)!