@jauhar123 | Updated 31 Oct. 2019
The basic components of a pneumatic system are near universal, despite the wide variety of specifications available for individual units. A pneumatic system refers to any static installation that operates using a compressed gas – either air extracted from the environment or an inert gas. These are distinct from hydraulic systems, which use compressed fluid in liquid form, although the two installations may overlap in function.
Pneumatic systems are found in many industrial applications, engines and machines. The following basic components form part of every pneumatic system.
The actuator is a pneumatic motor that generates outward force through unequal pressure in a pneumatic cylinder, often connected to a piston rod mechanism. Pneumatic cylinders come in many types. Those that use piston rods are divided into single acting and double acting cylinders.
Pneumatic cylinders are dependent on compressed air or inert gas, which enters the cylinder barrel at both ends via a control valve. Before the air reaches this valve it is channelled through a treatment system that composes the following parts:
The intake filter channels either atmospheric air or an inert gas into the pneumatic system, filtering it of dust, VOCs and other unwanted particles. At this stage the air has a low pressure to volume ratio. This will change as it progresses through the treatment system.
The compressor takes air and compresses it to reduce its volume and increase its temperature. There are several types of compressor, which operate under the principle of either positive displacement or dynamic displacement.
Compression increases the temperature of the air, which must be cooled through a heat exchanger to reach operating temperature. Cooling units use a counter flow of air or water to extract and remove surplus heat from the compressed air.