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Additional Guidance on Pneumatic Cylinders and Other Actuators
Pneumatic cylinders are the primary actuation devices in pneumatic systems and are an example of a linear actuator. Rotary actuators, pneumatic grippers, and rodless cylinders are other common kinds of actuators.
Pneumatic Cylinder Construction
Cylinder construction consists of a piston, with radius R, moving in a cylindrical core. The piston is connected to a rod, with radius r, which drives the load. The concept of a cylinder is simple (though modern products have additional complications that improve its function). Firstly, compressed air, usually contolled by a valve, flows into the end cap side of the cylinder and applies pressure on the piston. This causes the rod to extend and the load is moved.
The force of a cylinder, at the extend stroke, is given by the follow formula:
Fc = P π R²