Pneumatic cylinders constitute a vital part of the pneumatic systems as they enable actuation. Also called air cylinders or pneumatic actuators, they use the energy of the compressed air and convert it into movement. The resultant movement is linear or rotary (turning motion).
Let’s look at the design and mechanism of the pneumatic cylinders and how these devices are significant in various industries.
The design and mechanism of the pneumatic cylinder
Pneumatic cylinders with a piston rod have a tube or barrel. One end of the tube has a cap, and the other has a head.
Compressed air is regulated by a solenoid-operated valve and is forced to enter the cylinder, causing the piston inside to move. The direction in which the piston moves is determined by the chamber in which the air flows inside the pneumatic cylinder.
The force of the compressed air is directed to the piston rod, which in return provides energy to move the end component of the application in which the cylinder is employed. It could be a gripper or clamp to lift or pull objects, or a vacuum cup to provide suction to push heavy valves or doors shut etc.
Two significant attributes in this regard are the diameter and the stroke of the pneumatic cylinders. The cylinder’s diameter determines the force in relevance to the compressed air pressure. The stroke reflects the traveling distance of the piston rod in millimeters.
Types and designs of pneumatic cylinders
The two main types of pneumatic cylinders are single-acting and double-acting siłowniki pneumatyczne. The single-acting pneumatic cylinders have one port which lets the compressed air and causes the piston to move out. There is a spring inside the cylinder, which pulls the piston rod back to its base.
On the other hand, double-acting cylinders have two open ends, both of which allow air inflow. The two sides alternate between the air pressures to simultaneously enable forward and backward strokes, enabling consistency.
When it comes to pneumatic cylinders’ designs, you may find many
Significance of pneumatic cylinders
You may see wide use of pneumatic cylinders in industrial applications in the assembly line for material handling or packaging, placing and picking, pressing, pulling or pushing things. They have also made a significant impact in the automotive industry as they are used in suspension gear and brakes for ATVs and even airplanes.
Pneumatic cylinders are cost-effective, durable and efficient solutions for various industrial automated systems. They are usually made in plastic, steel, stainless steel or aluminum. They provide an economic alternative to hydraulics and electrical systems.
Pneumatic cylinders are also quite lightweight and easy to maintain. They can be used in environments that have challenging conditions like extreme temperatures. In environments where hygiene is a priority, stainless steel pneumatic cylinders are ideal as they allow for clean and smooth surfaces and prevent contamination or the spread of bacteria. One example is the food and beverage industry, where compliance with health and hygiene standards is an utmost requirement.