Pneumatic cylinders; function and various types

Pneumatic cylinders are metal cylinders that use compressed air pressure and transform it into mechanical energy. Also termed as pneumatic actuators, you may find them in machinery and automated systems in almost every industry. The term pneumatics is derived from the Greek word pneumatikos. It is a combination of two words, breathe and wind, hence referring to air.

Let’s look at their classification and types

The categories and types of pneumatic cylinders

There is a piston inside the cylinder that the compressed air applies pressure on. As a result, the piston provides the work to convert the energy into motion for practical use. The resulting motion could be linear or rotary, making pneumatic cylinders a useful device and suitable for use in various instances.

Pneumatic cylinders are available in various sizes and designs to cater to different applications and process requirements.

They have two main categories; single-acting and double-acting pneumatic cylinders

Single-acting cylinders have one port, and force is applied on the piston from one end to control the movement. Once done, an external force like a spring causes it to return to its original position.

Double-acting cylinders have multiple valves, and they receive equal pressure causing the piston rod to move in two directions. When air is forced to enter into the cylinder, it pushes the cylinder in a particular direction. A different valve creates a vacuum pulling the piston in the opposite direction and causing the air to be removed.

As mentioned earlier, pneumatic cylinders are available in various sizes and perform various functions according to requirements. A few examples of commonly available siłowniki pneumatyczne or actuators are mentioned below.

The Profile and Tie-Rod cylinders

The tie-rod cylinders are the most common type of pneumatic cylinders. Their utility is mainly found in industrial automation. Tie-rod cylinders are durable, sturdy and long-lasting and can easily withstand high temperatures, making them ideal for the manufacturing industry. They are available in steel, stainless steel and aluminum and available in a wide range of designs to facilitate in performing various functions across the industry.

The Round-body Cylinders

Available in single-acting and double-acting forms, round-body cylinders are suited for applications and processes that do not require a lot of force. They are easily customizable and quite cost-effective. Some round-body cylinders are made of stainless steel to withstand corrosion and causticity. There are also round-body cylinders with smooth, clean and hygienic surfaces designed to facilitate applications in hygienic environments such as the food and beverages industry.

The Compact cylinders

Their size may be small, but they are no less in power than the regular pneumatic cylinders. They are suitable for use in places where there is limited installation space. They are also available in single and double acting forms and can be mounted easily.

The Rod-less cylinders

As the name implies, the rod-less cylinders do not have a piston rod, so there is no risk of bending or the rod buckling under pressure. These two are short in size and can fit in small spaces. Many rod-less cylinders are integrated with design features such as load bearings to make them suitable for use in equipment bearing heavy loads on a repetitive basis.