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Pneumatic actuator works according to the mechanism of changing pressurized air into other kinds of energy. It needs several components to form a pneumatic actuators, for example, piston, cylinder, valves etc.
There are various types of pneumatic actuator system, such as single air driven piston, multiple actuator type. But there is one thing unchanged, which is that all types of pneumatic actuator make use of compressed air to provide power. The reason why pneumatic actuator use pressurized air is that air is relatively cheaper than other types of sources and air amount is vast, there is no need to worry about insufficiency.
Actuator is the main component of the pneumatic actuator system. It gains power from compressed air and plays a key role in finishing the job. Actually there are various types of actuator, among the large amount of selection; plunge and cylinder are the most common two types. Cylinder can direct air into the chamber to move the piston.
Another key component of pneumatic actuator is valve. There are also two kinds of valves; they are check valve and direction valve. The first type is a one-way valve which is connected with the hose. Check valve enables the pressurized air to accumulate and will not cause backflow during the air flow. The second type, directional valve is installed before the actuator. In some multiple valve system that uses multiple actuators, directional valve serves as an absorber, and it can collect sources. Air can be redirected, stopped and released in accordance with expected time. This directional valve can be operated by a button, a spring, a lever and many different devices.
Feed lines are also important components of electric actuators. It serves as a hose to transfer compressed air. Hoses have various sizes and each size of them can provide different speed. For example, the larger the diameter of hose is, the quicker the compressed air can be transferred, and when air is traveling in a high speed, airflow backup can be reduced at the same time.
Apart from the above components, accumulator is also indispensable because it is a secondary storage unit for pressurized air. Compressed air is reserved in buffer tank or accumulator as eventual use. Very little uneven airflow can cause in the buffer tank and therefore compressor cycle can extend the stopping time within the pneumatic actuator. This trait is especially helpful when actuators are being transported in long distance.
Pneumatic actuators also have other advantages that make it popular. For instance, some types of them have corrosion protection outside and inside of the body which can offer longer service time and lower coefficient of friction. What’s more, they are designed with compact construction such as a symmetric mounting position, it is relatively easy and simple to operate and store. Rack and piston is equipped with multiple bearing, in this way, the machine has lower friction and higher cycle life. To achieve better corrosion resistance ability, stainless steel is also being applied in pneumatic actuator. With all these components, a pneumatic actuator can work to move object by using compressed air.