Air cylinders, which are also known as compressed air cylinders and pneumatic cylinders, are pneumatic tools that use the force of compressed air to move things. They are among the most common pneumatic tools and are used in food processing and packaging, metal working, automotive manufacturing, mining, textile production and many other industries.
Every air cylinder is composed of a piston, end covers and a cylinder barrel with at least one air inlet. As compressed air is directed into the cylinder, it pushes the piston along the cylinder's length. The cylinder can be connected to a protruding rod or other structure, which is itself connected to the object that is intended to be moved. There are two categories into which all air cylinders fit. In single acting cylinders, a single inlet allows compressed air in, which moves the piston. A spring behind the piston pushes the piston back when the compressed air is evacuated. In double acting cylinders, two inlets, one on either side of the piston, allow compressed air in and out, pushing the piston back and forth. Valves control the flow of compressed air to the cylinder in both configurations. Other cylinder construction varieties include rotary cylinders, cable cylinders and rodless cylinders, all of which are alternatives to rod-equipped cylinders. Stainless steel and brass are among the most common cylinder construction materials. Compact cylinders, miniature air cylinders and small air cylinders are gaining prominence among manufacturers as microtechnology development operations require access to them; air cylinders are available in sizes as small as 2.5 mm in diameter to 1,000 mm in diameter.
Air cylinders function as actuators in pneumatic systems; an actuator is any mechanism that supplies or transmits controlled energy as part of a mechanical process. Many mechanical processes require access to an actuation method that is reliable, makes no use of harmful chemicals and that is available in many configurations. Different applications call for different air cylinder configurations. The single acting cylinder is able to perform an operating motion in one direction. Pressurized air is introduced on one side of a piston, which causes the piston to move. A spring on the other side of the piston supplies the return force after the pressurized air is released. Single acting cylinders require approximately half the amount of air used by a double acting cylinder for a single operating cycle. A double acting pneumatic cylinder is capable of powered motion in two directions. When a cylinder is pushed out in one direction, compressed air moves it back in the other direction. Air lines running into both ends of the cylinder supply the compressed air. Within these two main configuration categories, there are many specialized configurations available.
Cable cylinders have elongated housing, two rollers and a cable that extends from one end of the cylinder to the other. The yoke, which is the load-bearing surface, is suspended by the cable and moves its attached load as the cable moves back and forth. Rotary cylinders differ from typical air cylinders because they allow revolving motion instead of linear motion. They are typically housed in a circular enclosure in which impellers turn around an axis when pushed by a stream of compressed air. The load-bearing carriage is attached to the axis, which turns in circles both clockwise and counter clockwise. Rodless cylinders are made of long barrels formed with a vertical slot that allow the piston to connect to a load-bearing carriage. They can use mechanical or magnetic coupling to convey force, usually to a body that moves along the length of the cylinder. Each of these configurations varies in size and in load-bearing capacity. The smallest varieties are used in the processing of very small electronics, and the largest are used in heavy-duty industrial processes. A cylinder's composition also depends on its intended application. Stainless steel, for example, is chosen for cylinders that will sustain heavy loads and be subject to harsh conditions.
Choosing an air cylinder for a pneumatic system can be a difficult task. ISO 6432-compliant cylinders all conform to the same dimensions from manufacturer to manufacturer, but not all air cylinder producers make compliant cylinders. If two non-ISO-certified cylinders from different manufacturers are compared, they can have the same bore dimensions, but their stroke length and other dimensions may differ. Because so many of the processes in which air cylinders are used require extreme precision, every air cylinder must be carefully chosen to ensure proper and safe operation. Cylinders should be chosen for their ability to move the greatest load at the lowest acceptable velocity with the minimum available pressure. Cylinder mounting hardware, which includes noses, blocks, pivots and other equipment, is chosen based on the size, force and function of the cylinder. Optional components that help to improve cylinder performance or prevent problems include cushions, bumpers, stop tubes, dual pistons, flow controls, position-sensing switches and position feedback sensors. Carefully chosen air cylinders can be great assets to their users; they are effective, environmentally friendly and available in enough configurations to suit the needs of most industries.
Air Cylinder Manufacturers - Cylinders & Valves, Inc.
Air Cylinder Manufacturers - Cylinders & Valves, Inc.
Air Cylinder Manufacturers - Humphrey Products Company
Air Cylinder Manufacturers - Clippard Instrument Laboratory, Inc.
Air Cylinder Manufacturers - Cylinders & Valves, Inc.
Air Cylinder Manufacturers - M & M Rogness Equipment Company
Air cylinders, also known as pneumatic cylinders, are industrial devices that apply mechanical engineering principles to produce force and movement. The force and movement are driven by high-pressure compressed air, which actually can be labeled as the source of energy that regulates the performance or production of process equipment. The energy generated via high-pressure compressed air is converted into kinetic energy that further drives a machine motor.
To attain a desired machine speed and overall process quality, it is crucial to use a machine that is appropriate for your unique process. In the following paragraphs, we discuss points to consider when selecting the most appropriate air cylinder for your manufacturing process.
Machine Weight: When you are begin the process of selecting an air cylinder for your process equipment, it is important to keep the weight of the machine in which the air cylinder will be used in mind. The machine consumes the energy released by the cylinder, and its performance depends on the pressure generated by the compressed air. Therefore, the weight of the motor, typically the starter motor, should be kept in mind when selecting the fuel cylinder. Ideally, you should choose a compression cylinder that is suitable for a machine that has 25% more weight than your machine. This is a safe margin that most manufacturing businesses apply.
Diameter of the rotation or movement: If you want an object to move four inches, then the ideal size of the cylinder's rod should be at least four inches. However, you can select a longer cylinder size. Most importantly, the size of the object as well as the size of the rod or piston within the cylinder need to be taken into consideration.
Correct Cylinder Installation: Before selecting an air cylinder, check with your air or pneumatic cylinder supplier to ensure that they provide installation service. Make sure that the cylinder has been installed properly to promote safety and efficiency. The cylinder should be installed depending on its size and type. There are different installation procedures that should be followed to assure the proper functioning of the application. Additionally, air cylinders come with several design options that ease their installation. Some of the frequent options are rod-cap thread, rear-cap thread, rear tang, mount, threaded holes that you can use to tighten the bolts, etc. Proper installation can bear the load that the pressure of the compressed air cylinder is trying to move.
Cylinder Type: There are many types of air cylinders, such as reusable cylinders, non-reusable or repairable cylinders, NFPA cylinders (these are approved as per government standards), rod based cylinders, and metal (steel, aluminum, etc.) cylinders. Before deciding which type of cylinder will be suitable for your application, take into consideration the conditions in which it will be used and the application type. You can seek more suggestions on selecting the correct type of cylinder from your supplier or process engineers.
An air cylinder is an appliance that powers a machine with the help of force or energy created by compressed air or gas. The force created by a compressed airflow is in linear motion. Air cylinders that are considered pneumatic cylinders (name root from pneuma, meaning air) are very close to hydraulic cylinders and also use pistons to apply kinetic energy to move a machine in a desired direction. Air cylinders are much safer than their hydraulic counter parts in terms of reliability in performance and prevention of gas and fluid leaks.
Air cylinders are also known as gas-driven cylinders and come in many varieties to suit a number of industry demands. The following paragraphs detail the post popular types of air cylinders and their functions.
Single Piston Cylinder
These are actually the most used air cylinders, having a straight-line or single piston. Also known as single-action piston cylinders, these motors utilize the simple activity of pushing a piston based on energy created by compressed air. Apart from this, single piston cylinders include a spring that draws the piston back after it has applied force to the object. The spring moves the piston back into its original or default position. From its default position, the energy again pushes the piston to complete its next cycle.
More complex than single piston cylinders, a double-action cylinder follows the same working principles of the former. However, these pumps do not have a spring to pull the piston back into position. Rather, double-action cylinders use the force of airflow to return the piston to its initial location. These motors can perform the transfer of pistons back and forth seamlessly. Because of this feature, there is no need for gas or airflow to run into the cylinder.
Telescoping air cylinders can work in single as well as double action cylinders. These smart motors can be tuned according to the specific needs of the manufacturing applications and, therefore, are usually more expensive than the previously discussed cylinders.
Rodless cylinders, as their name implies, do not include a rod to move an object or start an application. Instead, in rodless cylinder motors, the cylinder moves itself in place of a rod or piston. You can program these utilities to act like a single-action or double-action units depending upon the type of application you are using.
These motors have a rotary or a rotating piston that does not rotate beyond the end of the cylinders. The pistons keep rotating within the periphery of the unit, either moving in circular or semi-circular motions.
High-Pressure Air Cylinders
Lastly, these are the most powerful compressed air units. High-pressure cylinders can be used to perform extensive tasks, while having low space requirements due to their tiny and well-designed structure.
You could also customize your industrial air cylinder according to your plant or application's requirements. For this, you will need to speak to your air cylinder supplier.
A large number of industrial process machines that use compressed air as a source of energy include air cylinders, or to be more specific, pneumatic cylinders. Sometimes, pneumatic actuators are also used in industrial appliances to provide the energy to a manufacturing process. Compressed air is an inflammable and explosive gas that moves very fast from a high-pressure chamber to a low atmospheric pressure. The shift in the position of the air valve, the release of air or gas through the valve, and the movement of the cylinder piston and rod all occur very quickly.
Therefore, the speed of the piston, rod, and airflow are important aspects to measure and control during a process. Fast moving rods are impractical to measure, which is why air flow controller systems are used in many air cylinder designs. These mechanisms are usually installed in the air lines located between the valve and the cylinder. Oftentimes, these systems are installed in the cylinder port and also in the exhaust port. However, setting up the flow control mechanism in the exhaust port is not always a necessity.
While introducing an airflow controller system within a cylinder, it is important to notice the cylinder control reaction time. This majorly depends on the distance of the flow control system from the cylinder.
Another way to control the airflow is using needle valves. These valves regulate the flow of air inside and outside the cylinder. This trick can reduce the air flow significantly; however, air flow in either direction could create a problem in the heat or energy transfer of your process equipment.
Cylinder flow control systems, which look similar to a needle valve, include a needle bypass. This needle bypass enables the air to pass through the needle that finally controls the airflow.
The free flow of compressed air that passes through a cylinder's flow control system allows the cylinder to have a full and desired supply of air. However, you will need to make sure that the flow control system has been installed properly. The system also ensures that the outflow of the air is also controlled to the necessary level, which ultimately helps achieve the desired cylinder speed.
If there is a need to introduce a second airflow control system, then also, the system will perform the same job.
Flow control systems control the airflow in and out of a cylinder port, and provide smooth and well-controlled movements of the cylinder piston. The smoother the piston movement, the more controlled your process equipment will perform. Without a throttling system, a piston moves at a very fast speed, uncontrollably. When a flow control system is hosted in the exhaust flow, it puts an end to the unregulated movement of the piston. In fact, the piston starts moving at the controlled and programmed rate. If you want this system to be installed in your process equipment's compressed air unit, you will need to ensure that it has been installed correctly.
Most cylinder flow controls have a schematic on the side showing the flow paths to ensure that they are installed correctly. Proper installation will reduce waste while increasing the performance of the equipment.
have adjustable stops at one or both ends to restrict the amount of piston travel.
Brass cylinders are pneumatic actuators built of specific copper alloys that resist corrosion and wear and allow use in a number of harsh industrial environments.
Cable cylinders are pneumatic devices that utilize pressure differentials to convert compressed air energy into mechanical energy in order to facilitate lateral movement of a cable or wire and all attached loads.are flat barrels with round edges and T-slots for sensors along the entire length of the barrel on three sides. Clean profile cylinders are used in applications that require ease of cleaning and good hygiene as the clean, square line design prevents the collection of dust and dirt.
Compact cylinders, also called "short stroke cylinders," are cylinders whose overall dimensions at zero stroke are minute compared to the typical cushioned cylinders. These low-profile cylinders are used in applications in which there is not enough space for a standard length cylinder, as they can lock or move short distances, even in limited spaces.
convert power from compressed air into mechanical power.
Double acting cylindershave air lines that provide pressure to both ends of the cylinder, supplying motion in two directions. The flow of compressed air is controlled by valves.
have one piston, and the piston rod extends from both ends of the cylinder.
, also called "microcylinders," are small, rectangular, single-acting air cylinders in which the springs are housed inside enlarged piston rods. Miniature air cylinders operate in reverse motion and are easy to install. They offer a range of interchangeable mounting brackets, which attach to the cylinder ends to provide versatility and adaptability and can be powered by plant air.
have two or more boxes and pistons combined or stacked in the same cylinder.
are double-acting cylinders that consist of two cylinders with the same diameter. Multiple-position cylinders provide three or more end positions, as opposed to the normal two provided by other double-acting cylinders.
are cylinders in which the piston rod, ram or plunger and the relative rotation of the cylinder housing and piston are set.
have shorter lengths and larger diameters than other cylinders. are comprised of a piston, a lower and upper port and an expansion chamber.
are similar to single acting air cylinders, but the port is located on the opposite end in order to provide power on the retraction (or "pull") stroke.
are encased in a rectangular, box-shaped frame.
Rodless cylinders have a barrel that is formed with a longitudinal slot, permitting the connection of the piston to the mounting carriage. A hardened band pneumatically seals the cylinder, while a second band on the exterior closes the slot and prevents contamination to the interior of the cylinder; a system of slide rails divides the two bands in the pressure-free zone between the two piston seals, which allows movement of the mounting carriage.
Rotary cylinders are pneumatic actuators that utilize pressure differentials, converting compressed air energy into mechanical energy, which is manipulated to facilitate rotational movement.have only one piston, and the piston rod extends from only one end.
Single acting cylinders have air pressure that supplies motion and force from one side of the piston flange and a spring that provides the return force after pressure release. Single-acting air cylinders utilize about half the amount of compressed air, which is controlled by valves, required by double-acting air cylinders for a single operating motion.
Small air cylinders are compact pneumatic actuators precision-built to maximize productivity within a limited amount of space. are cylinders in which the cylinder body encases the piston.
are suitable for harsh environments in which they will be rigorously cleaned for hygienic reasons or exposed to corrosive forces. Stainless steel cylinders are often referred to as "throwaway," as they are irreparable, and therefore, the cheapest of all cylinders.
consist of two or more cylinders with linked piston assemblies.
are held together by exterior tie rods and are usually in a rectangular bolt pattern.
consist of a series of twin-cylinder slide units and feature side-by-side twin cylinders in one body and two piston rods connected with a mounting plate. This design guarantees precise guiding compared to a typical cylinder and applies double the force of a cylinder of the same height.
Air Cylinder Terms
A device that converts fluid power into mechanical power. An actuator
may be a cylinder or a fluid motor.