Pneumatic systems play a critical role in many industrial and aviation applications. Similar to hydraulic systems, pneumatic systems can be harnessed to distribute large amounts of power with minimal input. With its ubiquity throughout several domains, it is important to understand how these systems work and how they can be applied. In this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about pneumatic systems and their uses.
Pneumatic systems use compressed air in a closed system to evenly and effectively transmit power to control connected devices. Before understanding the operating mechanism of a pneumatic system, it is first essential to be familiar with some of the associated components. First, air enters the system through an intake filter, which removes any contaminants that may damage the internal components. The compressor then increases air pressure by decreasing the volume in which it is contained. Typically, pneumatic systems compress air to around 6kg/sq mm, producing forces up to 50 kN.
Since compressed air forces particles to collide more frequently, the temperature increases dramatically. To offset this, pneumatic systems employ a cooler directly downstream of the compressor unit. After being cooled, air enters the moisture separator, which removes excess water vapor from the air. Once the compressed air reaches the proper temperature and moisture levels, it is stored in the receiver until ready to use. External to the pneumatic system is the pressure switch, which records and modulates the air pressure. Similarly, the adjustable control valve is used to regulate airflow throughout the system. Finally, the actuator is the component that converts pressure energy into mechanical energy that a number of tools and equipment can harness.
With a solid understanding of the components making up a pneumatic system, it is now easier to understand their working principle. The first step when using pneumatic systems is air treatment, which takes place in three different steps. It is necessary for the air to be cool, dry, and free of contaminants since the associated systems generally contain delicate materials that may be damaged by any of those factors. Once the compressed air reaches the actuator, it moves a piston or gear to produce linear or rotational mechanical energy.
Often, customers are presented with both pneumatic and hydraulic system options for power delivery and must choose between the two. It may not be an easy choice since the two perform the same function through differing means, but there are several distinct differences between pneumatic and hydraulic systems. The main distinction between the two is the mediums used to transfer power, that of which is air for pneumatic systems and fluid for hydraulics.The maximum power output generated by each system contrasts from one another, with hydraulics having the capacity to produce much more power. Pneumatic systems are also cheaper and have lower maintenance costs throughout their operational lifetime.
Pneumatic systems are an affordable, eco-friendly power transfer solution that can support a wide range of applications. Any operation requiring reliable control processes may depend on this system, including commercial appliances, automobile braking systems, and industrial robots, among others. Additionally, pneumatic systems are easy to implement into an existing framework, and it takes little training for employees to operate.
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