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A hydraulic press is a machine press using a
hydraulic cylinder to generate a compressive force. It uses the hydraulic equivalent of a mechanical lever, and was also known as a
Bramah press after the inventor, Joseph Bramah , of England.  He invented and was issued a patent on this press in 1795. As Bramah (who is also known for his development of the flush toilet ) installed toilets, he studied the existing literature on the motion of fluids and put this knowledge into the development of the press. 
The hydraulic press depends on Pascal's principle -the pressure throughout a closed system is constant. One part of the system is a
piston acting as a pump, with a modest mechanical force acting on a small cross-sectional area; the other part is a piston with a larger area which generates a correspondingly large mechanical force. Only small-diameter
tubing (which more easily resists pressure) is needed if the pump is separated from the press cylinder.
Pascal's law: Pressure on a confined fluid is transmitted undiminished and acts with equal force on equal areas and at 90 degrees to the container wall.
A small effort force acts on a small piston. This creates a pressure which is transferred through the hydraulic fluid to a large piston
Hydraulic presses are commonly used for
forging , clinching , moulding, blanking, punching, deep drawing, and metal forming operations.  With the growth and importance of light-weighting in the aerospace and automotive industry, more applications are present in Thermoplastics, Composites, SMC Sheet Molded Composites, RTM Resin Transfer Molding, GMT Glass Mat Transfer and Carbon Fiber Molding. All of these applications require precise control and repeat-ability