How Does the Pneumatic Cylinder Work?

Pneumatic cylinders are devices that are mechanically engineered to generate force (in linear motion) from compressed gases. They are also called air cylinders.

Depending on the market’s changing needs, the air cylinders come in a variety of shapes and sizes and perform different functions. Choosing your product according to your needs.

Single Acting Pneumatic Cylinder

Comparatively, this type of pneumatic cylinder is quite small. From the pressure imparted by the compressed air by the piston, driving linear force is created (precisely & lout’). The piston springs back to its original position after exerting the linear force. Air cylinders of this type will be most suitable for customers who need a limited amount of compressed air since this type has a small volume.

Double Acting Pneumatic Cylinder

This machine can be considered by a customer due to its expanded applications. It has two ports that allow it to perform both extending and retracting strokes. Furthermore, its stroke length is also not limited to the fact that it presents the double-acting cylinder as a better choice of the pneumatic cylinder that should never go out of style in any hardware store.

Guidelines For Selecting Pneumatic Cylinders

For OEM applications, pneumatic cylinders are the most widely accepted solution to creating force and motion. This is due to their simple design, ease of installation, affordability, and durability. There are a wide variety of sizes, styles, and configurations of pneumatic cylinders. OEMs must select the pneumatic cylinder carefully so that it will support the application well. Keeping a few guidelines in mind is the easiest way to accomplish this.

Advantages of Pneumatic Cylinder

Both safety and reliability are advantages of pneumatic actuators. Due to their ability to convert energy into motion without an ignition source or electricity, pneumatic cylinders are highly sought after for applications that do not tolerate sparks or combustion. These settings provide an efficient and repeatable means of storing and using compressed air.

Second, since pneumatic cylinders that do not rely on combustion are easy to manufacture and relatively simple devices, they are also very durable, require little maintenance, and have a long operational life when used correctly.

4 Preventive Measures to Avoid Pneumatic Cylinder Repair

When things go wrong, repairs are sometimes required. Any piece of equipment will eventually require repairs. Despite being designed to last a very long time, pneumatic cylinders may require maintenance in the near future.

Let’s check a few points…
  1. Regularly inspecting and maintaining your pneumatic cylinders is a good habit to get into. It sometimes happens that something breaks or wears out, but most often it is wear and tear that requires repairs. Regular maintenance makes cylinders perform better and last longer.
  2. Clean the external parts to check for leaks or damage to seals. Make repairs or replace seals immediately if necessary.
  3. Check the rod or cable seal and tube, along with the cylinder, since these are the most susceptible components. Check the nylon jacket around the cable O.D. on cable cylinders. Make sure that the nylon coating is free of any marks or nicks that may wear out the main seal. Buff out any minor damage with an emery cloth. Severe damage may require a new cable assembly.
  4. Lubricate all of these components (touch up if necessary):
  • For rod cylinders, the rod seal, as well as the rod’s inner and outer surfaces, including the rod       seal groove
  • And the cable seal gland
  • For tubes
  • Well as the inner and outer surfaces of the piston seal groove
  • The piston’s inner and outer surfaces

What are pneumatic cylinders will use for

The use of a pneumatic cylinder depends on its application. A pneumatic cylinder generates motion and force from air pressure by injecting pressurized gas into it. Depending on the application, a pneumatic cylinder will play a specific role.

For example, pneumatic cylinders are commonly used in manufacturing industries to open valves, open doors, place things on or off conveyor belts, and lift heavy objects.

Benefits of Using Compact Air Cylinders in Your Mechanical Design

compact cylinder

When designing industrial equipment, space is often a major consideration. While compact air cylinders have been around for decades, their popularity continues to grow because of their short stroke and low profile, which allow them to fit in tight spaces where traditional cylinders cannot.

  1. Small but mighty

Although compact air cylinders are smaller, they can be just as powerful as their larger cousins. They will be use for linear actuation and control in a wide range of applications, such as:

  • Packaging
  • Manufacturing
  • Conveyor systems
  • Food processing
  • Material handling
  • Automated assembly or sorting
  • Bottling and filling
  • Wire machinery

Some pneumatic cylinders feature rodless designs, but compact air cylinders all feature piston rods. Single-action units provide force in only one direction, either to extend or retract the piston rod. Compact single-action air cylinders are a good choice for ejecting or clamping parts, as well as for actuating levers and flaps.

Direct pressure will use to extend and retract the piston rod of double-acting compact air cylinders. In addition to bending and clamping, this style is commonly use for lifting and lowering, feeding, sorting, punching, and shaking.

  1. What can that small size do for you?

Thanks to their design versatility, compact pneumatic cylinders have distinct advantages. They include:

  • Lighter weight
  • Adaptable to more applications and environments
  • Greater equipment design flexibility
  • Multiple mounting options to further support the efficient design and ensure top performance
  • Numerous standard configurations are possible
  • The custom design offers virtually unlimited options
  • Powerful, reliable performance
  • Multi-piston design will be use to produce greater thrust
  • Feedback sensors will be use to accommodate multiple load positions


If you look around you, you will see that there are various systems that use pneumatic cylinders. Medical and automotive industries use these systems for surgical tools, among others. We hope that this article has helped you to understand the basics of how the pneumatic cylinder works. If you would like to learn more about pneumatic cylinders, you can contact us anytime at

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