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TOPIC: Pneumatic System


The objective of this experiment is to learn about the basic units that ordinary uses in
the pneumatic system and how it is function. When doing this experiment, we also learned
about how to install and connect the schematic circuit of pneumatic system and then built the
circuit by own following the circuit schematic given in the exercise.


Pneumatic is a system that delivers and controls power using the air. Pneumatic
system is mostly used in the certain factory for the handling work. The working principle is the
same with the hydraulic system whereby it uses the pressure from the movement of the fluid.

There are several advantages using the pneumatic system over the hydraulic system.
The advantages are:

a) The system source is air (free source).

b) The system reaction is instantaneous and quick.
c) Low Temperature.
d) The air supply is compressed air.
e) The devices are cheaper whereby it does not consist of high technology to control

However, the system also has several disadvantages as the followings:

a) It depends on the air quality to deliver the pneumatic system efficiency.

b) It cannot handle heavy duty tasks.

There are 3 categories of valves for the pneumatic system:

a) DCV – Directional Control Valve.

b) FCV – Flow Control Valve.
c) PCV - Pressure Control Valve.

For a pneumatic system the standard used is Pneumatic ISO 1219.

There are 3 types of pneumatic systems in the standardization:

a) Basic Pneumatic
b) Electromagnetic Pneumatic.
c) Pneumatic Logic Control (PLC).

Basic Pneumatic is a pneumatic system whereby the valves are controlled

mechanically meanwhile for the electromagnetic pneumatic the valves are controlled
electromagnetically. As for the Pneumatic logic control, the valves are controlled by ‘Logic’

However, for this workshop module, only one type of pneumatic system will be
covered which is, Basic pneumatic.

Basics pneumatic symbol

 The square shows the number of positions/operations.

 The arrow shows the direction of flow.

A (4) B (2)
 P (1) – Compress air line
 A (4), B (2) – Service/work line.
 R (5), S (3) – Exhaust line.
 X (12) , Y (14) – Signal line.

S (3) P (1) R (5)

Pneumatic symbols in the ISO 1219

Parts of pneumatic symbols following the ISO 1219 are shown below:-

 Shuttle valve (OR).

 FCV.

 Two pressure valve (AND).

 One way FCV.

 Check valve.

 One way FCV.

 One way FCV.

 Rotary Actuator.

 Spring Loaded Check valve.

 Pressure Gauge.

 Air Receiver.

 Push Button.

 Roller Operate.

Simplified Pic-directional control valve with 4 ports and 2 distinct
positions controlled by pressure in both directions by means of pilot
valve (with single solenoid and spring return)
Directional control valve 5/2
Controlled by pressure in both directions-directional control valve
with 5 ports and 2 distinct positions

Throttling directional control

Two extreme positions – unit has 2 extreme positions and an infinite
number of intermediate conditions with varying degrees of throttle
Shows the extreme positions and a central (neutral) position. Two
ports (one throttling orifice) ex. Tracer valve plunger operated
against a return spring
Three ports (two throttling orifices) ex.-directional control valve
controlled by pressure against a spring return

Four ports (four throttling orifices) – ex.tracer valve plunger

operated against a return spring

Electro-hydraulic servo valve

Single-stage direct operation unit which accepts an analogue signal
and provides a similar analogue fluid power output

Two-stage with mechanical feedback indirect pilot operation unit

which accepts an analogue signal and provides a similar analogue
fluid power output.
Two-stage with hydraulic feedback indirect pilot operation unit which
accepts an analogue signal and provides a similar analogue fluid
power output.

2. Flow Control Valves

Throttle Valve
Simplified symbol (doesn’t show the control method or state of

With manual control detailed (shows control method)

With mechanical control against a spring return detailed (shows

control method) ex (braking valve)

Flow Control Valve

With fixed output (variations in inlet pressure do not affect rate of


With fixed output and relief port to reservoir with relief for excess
flow (variations in inlet pressure do not affect rate of flow)

With variable output

With variable output and relief port to reservoir

Flow dividing valve

The flow is divided into two flow in a fixed ratio substantially
independent or pressure variations

3. Pressure Control Valves

Pressure Control Valve

One normally closed throttling orifice (general symbol)

One normally open throttling orifice (general symbol)

Two normally closed throttling orifices (general symbol)

Pressure Relief Valve (safety valve)

Inlet pressure in controlled by opening the exhaust port to the
reservoir or atmosphere against an opposing force (for example a

With remote pilot control the pressure at the inlet port is limited to
the setting of a pilot control

Proportional Pressure Relief

Inlet pressure is limited to a value proportional to the pilot pressure

Sequence Valve

When the inlet pressure overcomes the opposing force of the
spring, the valve opens permitting flow from the outlet port

Pressure regulator or Reducing Valve

Without relief port

Without relief port with remote control but the outlet pressure is
dependent on the pressure control

With relief port

With relief port with remote control but the outlet pressure is
dependent on the pressure control

Differential pressure regulator

The outlet pressure is reduced by a fixed amount with respect to the
inlet presure

Proportional pressure regulator

The outlet pressure is reduced by a fixed ratio with respect to the
inlet pressure

Introduction to symbol

Shows the number of operation

Arrows means flow figure 1

 P(1) – compressed air flow

 A(4) & B(2) – service flow
 Z(14) & Y(12) – signal flow
 R(3) & S(5) – exhaust flow


Single acting
cylinder spring

3/2 way valve

spring return

Double acting

5/2 way valve

spring return


Flow conrol or


12 P

Shuttle valve


Circuit 1 Circuit Diagram 1

Circuit 1 Complete

1) This circuit shows one single acting cylinder and one 3/2 way valve spring return (Push
2) Upon pressing the push button, compressed air starts flowing into the cylinder pushing out
the piston. When the control button is released, the air pressure comes out via the exhaust
line caused by the spring P and link to single acting cylinder spring return.
3) Then, the piston moves out the while of air in cylinder to exit flow via R.
4) And the last when compressed air return to R, the piston return to the initial position.


Circuit 2 Complete Circuit Diagram 2 Complete

Circuit 2 Complete

1. DCV 5/2 ways valve push button was connected to air supply
2. Input point of double acting cylinder single piston rod was connected with output point from
DCV 5/2 ways valve push button and the same time FCV was used to join the connected for
control speed of piston.
3. Output point of double acting cylinder single piston rod was connected to DCV 5/2 ways
valve push button and the same time FCV was also used to join the connected for control
speed of piston to released air
4. After connecting all the tubes, button was pushed and saw a piston was pushed out and
back to the origin as controlled via PVC


Circuit 3 Diagram3

Circuit 3 Complete

1. For this experiment, the piston movement was controlled by 2 sensors. DCV 3/2 ways valve
roller operate and DCV 5/2 ways valve (II) receiving commands from the sensors to control
the pistons.
2. The start and stop functions of the system took place from 2 DCV 3/2 ways valve push
3. Upon pressing the start button, the compressed air entered Sensor 1.
4. Sensor 1 was touched by the piston when the piston was in closed position, air then flowed
into DCV 5/2 via Sensor1 pushing the piston out.
5. The compressed air flowed into DCV 5/2 ways valve through Sensor2 causing the piston to
be pulled back toward the cylinder, touching Sensor1 again.
6. The process continued on until the button stop was pushed.
7. The speed of piston was controlled by FCV.


Circuit 4 Diagram Circuit 4

Circuit Complete 4

1. In this exercise, the operation is similar to exercise 3. The difference was the additional of a
counter/timer and a shuttle valve(OR)
2. The timer stops the operation automatically upon reaching the set point.
3. The shuttle valve gives two choices to stop the operation either by using the counter or the
stop button.
4. While the compressed air from sensor S2 pushes the valve inside DCV 5/2 (II), air from the
DCV 5/2 (II) will flow through sensor S1 activating the timer. This is repeated until the timer
reaches the set time. The compressed air leaves the timer, flows into DCV 5/2 (I) and stops
the air flow into S1 causing the piston to slide back to its origin.


Circuit 5 Diagram Circuit 5

Circuit Complete 5

1. This operation is the continuance of Experiment 4 with the additional of two sensors DCV
3/2 ways valve roller operate, a DCV 5/2 ways valve and a double acting cylinder piston rod.
Sensors S1 and S2 are connected to cylinder B and sensor S3 and S4 are to cylinder A.
2. Upon opening the main supply both cylinders will be pulled back to origin.
3. When the start button was pushed, compressed air from DCV 5/2 ways valve (I) will flow
into DCV 5/2 ways valve (II) after passing through sensor S3, the piston of cylinder A will be
pushed out and touch the sensor S2.
4. Pressure air from sensor S2 will push DCV 5/2 (III) causing cylinder B piston to move out and
touch sensor S4
5. The compressed air coming from sensor S4 entered DCV 5/2 ways valve to (I) pulling the
piston into cylinder A causing it to be in contact with sensor S1 and consequently pushing
cylinder B inside touching sensor S3.
6. Air pressure from DCV 5/2 ways valve (II) will flow to sensor S1 via exhaust line and counter
hence reducing the number of cycle.
7. This process will be repeated until we press the stop button.


Circuit Complete 6

Diagram Circuit 6

1. This circuit two requires two cylinders (double acting cylinder), four sensors (S1, S2, S3, S4).
This circuit is designed to move two pistons of cylinder in different order at same
time.Ensuring the tubes are inserted and attached neatly into the terminals.
2. When push button at 3/2 way valve is pressed, compressed gas will flow in through P (1)
connection and consequently toward Z (14) connection 5/2 way valve, Z (14) connection
allows P (1) of the valve to operate and push the piston outward.
3. When piston 1 from the cylinder 1 move outward, if will touch two sensors they sensors they
are S1 and S2. This contact will then initial the operation of the cylinder.
4. Movement of the piston 2 will touch the two sensors they are S3 and S4. This contact will
cause the piston 1 from cylinder 1 to move. This process is continuously and non-stopping.
5. When piston 1 moves out, piston 2 will not move. Meanwhile when piston 1 move inward,
piston 2 will move outward
6. Their speed can be controlled by adjusting this rate of flow in gas using FCV which is
connecting the two cylinders with 5/2- way valve.
7. Time controller is used to control the number of movements of both pistons.


In the experiment, during connecting of the tubes among the devices there were a few steps taken
to ensure safety has been taken into consideration:

1. Ensuring the mains are closed before starting to connect the tubes.
2. Ensuring the tubes are inserted and attached neatly into the terminals.
3. Ensuring the tubes are connected to the correct/ intended terminals.
4. Ensuring there are no leakages in the tubes or at the terminals.

These are several ways to improve the efficiency of the pneumatic system:

1. Using bigger size tubes.

2. Using shorter tubes.
3. Using straight tubes.
4. Using less number of valves.
5. Using higher pressured air.
6. Reducing the distance between the devices to shorten the length of tubes.


From the experiment, one can learn how the pneumatic system works. One may conclude that the
pneumatic system is quite a straightforward system to operate and maintenance can be performed
with ease. It delivers and controls power delivery using compressed air. However, it is not all well
with the pneumatic system. For example, it is not suited to perform heavy duty tasks like lifting a
one-ton load unless it is a really huge piece of mechanism. The standardized symbols have also made
understanding and representing a circuit a lot easier and more systematic. It also helps with the