Pneumatic Actuators Explained
Pneumatic actuators are highly efficient, safe and reliable sources of motion control that utilize pressurized air or gas to convert energy into linear or rotary motion. They’re especially appropriate for the repeated opening and closing of valves and other industrial applications where the use of electricity may cause a fire or ignition hazard. Actuators are commonly used to control the valves that direct the movement of fluids in the Chemical and Process industries.
How Do Pneumatic Actuators Work?
Pneumatic actuators rely on some form of pressurized gas — most often compressed air — to enter a chamber, where the gas builds up pressure. When it has built up enough pressure in contrast to the outside atmospheric pressure, it results in the controlled kinetic movement of a device such as a piston or gear. This resulting movement can be directed in either a straight line or circular motion.
Since the conversion of compressed gas into energy can be highly controlled and is reliable and repeatable, pneumatic actuators are one of the most popular mechanical devices used in a wide array of modern industries.
Pneumatic Actuator Applications
Pneumatic actuators have an extensive variety of applications. Among the most common and popular uses are the pistons and ignition chambers in gasoline-powered vehicles. They use ignition of the air and gasoline to create the pressurized force that eventually moves the piston and converts energy into the car’s crankshaft. However, the majority of pneumatic actuators rely only on pressurized gas with no ignition to produce the desired mechanical force.
In addition to the conventional combustible automobile engine, pneumatic actuators can be found in air compressors, packaging and production machinery, mail tubes and transportation equipment like railway and aircraft applications. They’re crucial in many other industrial situations that call for switch, pump or sensor control as well.
Advantages of Pneumatic Actuators
The advantages of pneumatic actuators stem from both their overall safety and reliability. First of all, since pneumatic actuators can convert energy into motion without ignition or electricity, they’re highly sought after in situations where sparking and combustion cannot be tolerated. In these settings, compressed air can be stored and used in an efficient and repeatable manner that poses no fire risk.
Second, since pneumatic actuators that don’t rely on combustion can be manufactured easily and are relatively simple devices, they are also extremely durable, have low maintenance and offer a long operational life when used correctly.
Pneumatic Actuator Supply
As one of the most reliable distributors of pneumatic actuators, SEMCOR is ready to supply you with the equipment you need from leading manufacturers. In addition, thanks to our outstanding expertise and customer care, the technical support that comes with all our actuators is unbeatable. Contact us now for product descriptions, selection guidance and more.