What is the fundamental difference between the construction of pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders? I sense that pneumatic systems respond quickly and hydraulic ones are capable of much greater thrust over a generally-longer actuating time. But pneumatic cylinders are very inexpensive and hydraulic ones are not. I have an positioning application requiring the precision of hydraulics; that is, a system where the fluid cannot be compressed, but a budget that favors a pneumatic cylinder. Can a pneumatic cylinder be used with hydraulic fluid (oil, brake fluid, water... whatever) as long as the pressure behind the fluid is not great? 50psi would do the job just fine; it's four inches of piston travel over the period of a half an hour or so, and I was going to pressurize one side of a cylinder and let the fluid from the other side leak out through a needle valve. Any tips would be most welcome.
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