What is pneumatic system?

Table of Contents

About Pneumatic System

Pneumatic system is more and more important in modern manufacturing field. Since the 1980s, more and more attention has been paid to automation and labor saving in the production and manufacturing. Because of its unique advantages, pneumatic technology is more and more widely used in the field of industrial mechanization and automation. With the rapid development of science and technology, the degree of industrial production automation is getting higher and higher, and the requirements for the reliability and accuracy of the automatic control system are also increasing, which will certainly promote the rapid development of pneumatic technology.

I.Working Principle of Pneumatic System

Pneumatic system is an industrial system using air as power source and working medium. The pneumatic system draws air from the atmosphere through an air compressor and stores it in an air tank. The volume and pressure of compressed air are increased. Under the control of the control valve, the compressed air is sent to the corresponding actuator through the pneumatic hose. The pneumatic actuator uses the compressed air to generate mechanical movement to complete the specified task. It can be concluded from the above that the working process of pneumatic transmission is to use the air compressor to convert the mechanical energy output by the motor or other prime movers into the pressure energy of air, and then, under the action of the control elements, convert the pressure energy into the mechanical energy in the form of linear motion or rotary motion through the actuating elements, so as to complete various actions and do external work. Pneumatic system has gradually become an integral part of industrial automation, especially when pneumatic system is combined with electronic control system.

II. Characters of Pneumatic System

1.Air As Working Medium, which does not Pollute the Environment, is low-cost and safe to use.

The pneumatic system uses clean and dry air as the power source, which is very environmentally friendly and safe. The working medium of the pneumatic system is usually compressed airbecause it is directly taken from the free air in the atmosphere and can be continuously supplied. In most cases, compressed air is the first choice for pneumatic systems because it is ready, free, and safe, and even if it leaks, it will not cause asphyxia or fire. To maintain the effective operation of the pneumatic system and the normal operation of various pneumatic components, the air source itself must be continuously filtered and monitored. Since the viscosity of air is small and the flow resistance loss is small, compressed air can be supplied centrally and transported remotely.This also helps ensure the long life of the pneumatic system.

2.Pneumatic System can adapt to harsh environment and is not affected by high temperature, dust and corrosion to a large extent.

The pneumatic system has good adaptability to the working environment, especially in the harsh working environment such as flammable, explosive, strong magnetic, radiation and vibration, and its safety and reliability are superior to those of hydraulic, electronic and electrical systems. Therefore, the pneumatic system is very suitable for working in the harsh manufacturing environment. Combined with the electronic control system, it can carry out very effective movement and repetitive mechanical operation. However, compared with electronic systems, pneumatic systems cannot perform repetitive operations with high frequency. The pressure and volume of compressed air will affect the efficiency of the pneumatic system. Once the ambient temperature changes, causing air expansion and contraction, the working accuracy of the pneumatic system will be affected. In the field of mobile equipment, the hydraulic system or electromechanical system is usually bulky and needs enoughpower to provide a power source, so it is not suitable for mobile equipment, while the light and simple pneumatic system is often used for mobile equipment. In the portable robot, it can use a simple electric control system and a compact pneumatic system to provide automatic control. Generally speaking, a pneumatic system has the advantages of high adaptability, high reliability, high portability, low price, etc.

3.Pneumatic system can save production cost.

The price of pneumatic components is appropriate, the cost of the whole device is not high, and the pneumatic components have long service life, less maintenance and low maintenance cost, which can greatly reduce the production cost in the production field.

III.Composition of pneumatic system

The pneumatic transmission system is composed of air supply device, control element, actuating element and auxiliary element.

1.Air supply device

Air source device refers to the energy device for obtaining compressed air, including air compressor (main part) and air source purification device. The air source unit can convert the mechanical energy provided by the air compressor into the pressure energy of compressed air, and store the compressed air in the air tank. The air source unit also contains auxiliary equipment, such as air source purification device.

2.Control element

The control unit is used to control and adjust the pressure, flow and flow direction of the compressed air flow, so as to enable the actuator to complete the predetermined movement rule. According to its functions, it can be divided into pressure device, flow device, direction device and logic device, including various pressure valves, direction valves, flow valves, travel valves, sensors, etc. The control unit enables the pneumatic actuator to work according to the required functions and performance.


The actuating unit converts the pressure energy of the compressed air into the mechanical energy of the pneumatic actuator. The pneumatic actuator includes the cylinder for linear reciprocating motion, the pneumatic motor for continuous rotary motion, the oscillating motor for discontinuous rotary motion, and the vacuum suction cup (with vacuum pressure as the power source).
In the pneumatic system, the air pressure of the compressed air is about 100 psi below, so the output power of the pneumatic system is very low, and the size of the pneumatic actuator is relatively small. If you want to increase the output capacity of the pneumatic system, you can increase the size of the pneumatic actuator, or equip a small hydraulic cylinder on the pneumatic actuator to form a pneumatic supercharger.

4.Pneumatic auxiliary element

Auxiliary devices include oil atomizer, muffler, pneumatic pipe and connector, converter, display, sensor, etc. They are required for purifying, lubricating, silencing compressed air and connecting components. It is used to lubricate the interior of the pneumatic system, reduce the exhaust noise of the pneumatic system, connect various pneumatic components, and process pneumatic signals (such as conversion, display, amplification, detection).

Push to connect fittings
Air Tube
Air Muffler

To sum up, the pneumatic system has fast response, quick action, simple maintenance, good adaptability to the working environment, safety and reliability superior to hydraulic, electronic and electrical systems, and no pollution to the environment; It has the advantages of convenient handling, low working pressure (generally 0.4-0.8MPa), not too large structure size, low output power, poor operation stability of the pneumatic system when the air load changes, large exhaust noise and other shortcomings. However, with the development and progress of science and technology, the problems of the pneumatic system are gradually solved through the pneumatic hydraulic linkage device, the pneumatic electric linkage device, the addition of silencers, etc, Thus, pneumatic system plays an increasingly important role in the manufacturing field.

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