If cars did not have powering steering there would be many angry, over-tired drivers on the road. Power steering allows a car to steer easily and smoothly. When turning the steering wheel, it may be the driver’s muscles that move it, but that is then amplified by the hydraulic pressure inside the steering system. This small adjustment then communicates to the tyres to turn the car with ease into the required direction. Any small adjustment is amplified and allows the car to turn and navigate with ease.
Power steering is needed more in bigger, front wheel drive cars as manoeuvring that weight and the size of the tyres would be nearly impossible without it. Whereas with lighter cars, there is no need for the extra power.
The inclusion of hydraulics into the power steering design was for the added controlled energy in the steering mechanism. This allows the driver to provide less effort to turn the steering wheel when driving and also to reduce the amount of effort needed to turn the vehicle’s wheels when it is stopped or moving slowly. The hydraulic fuel within the system is pressurised to give the driver extra power to make steering the car easier and safer.
Power steering first made an appearance in 1876, but it took 30 years to develop one that could be placed within a five-ton truck. It was patented by Robert E Twyford in 1900. It took a further 20 years for a more practical variant to appear, and this one was placed in a Pierce-Arrow truck by engineer Francis W Davis. He then moved to General Motors to refine his hydraulic-assist power steering system. When he was told it was too expensive, he moved to auto parts manufacturer Bendix. Soon, through money made through sales with the military, the power steering system became more affordable, and automakers were placing them into their vehicles.
Soon after, in 1951, Chrysler made it possible for normal consumers to enjoy powering steering in their own cars. The system was named Hydraguide. From there Cadillac placed the hydraulic powered powering steering into their 1952 model, and in 1958 Charles F Hammond filed several patents related to power steering systems. From here further improvements were made, and power steering is now used in auto racing and other innovations from different car manufacturers.
Hydraulic systems allow for more power to be moved with the least amount of force, which is the exact need for power steering. Hydraulic systems are used in various vehicles, and not only for steering purposes. Some are used for lifting heavy loads and for moving those loads safely and easily. Hydraulics can be found in various industries and helps to improve the moveability of vehicles off and on the road.
For more information around hydraulics Power Team SA, through years of professional service and activities within various industries, is able to provide expert solutions. For hydraulic systems, components and accessories, Power Team SA has available the knowledge and the product to help all customers.