For OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) as well as for replacement hydraulic cylinders, making a choice between a single or a double-acting cylinder is really not as difficult as most people think.
There is a mistaken belief that the double-acting cylinder is the superior option for every job. In fact, this is simply not the case, and there are a lot of reasons why a single acting cylinder is often a superior choice. The reality of the benefits of one or the other really boils down to the application and the effectiveness of either option.
The design and construction of a single acting cylinder are less complicated than that of the double acting counterpart. Without the need for the dual hoses and the connectors at the top and bottom of the cylinder, there is a lower cost of manufacturing, maintenance, and repair.
The system works by using weight, gravity or occasionally another type of force, to move the cylinder in one direction, typically in returning the rod into the cylinder. The hydraulic pressure through the system is used to extend the rod and lift or push the load.
Capacity and Weight
For low to high capacity loads and weights, a single acting cylinder may be the ideal choice. These cylinders tend to be very durable and sturdy providing a smooth, easy movement of the rod both on the extension and when the rod is being returned to the cylinder.
The use of this type of cylinder includes construction equipment, excavation equipment, truck cranes, lift jacks and other types of similar applications. Ideally, look for a cylinder manufacturer with the ability to customize the design to match the requirements of your project, but also bring the manufacturing in on your budget at to your required timetable.