Pneumatic cylinders are used to generate action or movement through compressed air. They are a safe, cheaper and durable option used in various industrial applications for automating various processes, thus enabling convenience and efficiency.

This article provides a comprehensive insight into the working principle of pneumatic cylinders.

What is a pneumatic cylinder

A pneumatic cylinder, also known as an air cylinder, is a device that converts the force provided by compressed air into mechanical energy. The energy is utilized to generate linear or rotary motion. Pneumatic cylinders are a part of the final components in an application and facilitate in performing various functions.

A pneumatic cylinder has a piston rod encased in a barrel, which is forced outward when compressed air enters and applies force on the piston to cause it to move. A mechanism incorporated into the piston converts the forced air into useful energy to perform a specific function. For instance, automated systems in a factory setting like load moving systems and picking and placing systems have siƂowniki pneumatyczne.

What is it made of, and what are its types

Pneumatic cylinders are usually made of aluminum, steel, stainless steel or plastic. They also come in various sizes, designs and styles. Some examples include tie-rod cylinders, short round body cylinders, compact cylinders and rod-less cylinders.

It is critical to use the right kind of cylinder suited to perform the requisite function. If you employ the wrong kind of cylinder, which is forced to perform beyond its potential, it will impact the longevity of your mechanical application and will have implications on productivity, efficiency and cost etc.

So, when it comes to installing a pneumatic cylinder, you may need to consider aspects like the kind of motion required, whether linear or rotary, the load or pressure requirements, space limitations and the kind of environment it will be operating in. If the environment entails high temperatures, it is important to employ cylinders that can withstand high temperatures.


Single and double-acting cylinders

The two main categories according to their design and working mechanism are single-acting and double-acting cylinders. Choosing which cylinder is appropriate will depend on the factors mentioned earlier.

A single-acting pneumatic cylinder features one port that directs the compressed air to enter into the barrel and forces the piston to extend, while the spring in the mechanism pulls it back to the base or its actual position.

On the other hand, a double-acting cylinder features two valves or ports. The piston rod moves in one direction forward and then backward through alternating the ports receiving the compressed air pressure.

Double-acting cylinders are more durable, have more force than single-acting, and are used in most applications. They are suitable for applications where the required process entails consistent, forceful motion repetitively, such as opening or closing pressurized valves or doors, lifting or placing heavy equipment, or pushing and pulling heavy-duty parts.