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Workshop #4 Stennis Space Center January 7,2006 Introduction to Pneumatics

Methods of Power Transmission Pneumatics Systems Pneumatics Principles Parts Pneumatic Actuators Force Principles Solenoid Valves Advantages

Methods of Power Transmission

Electrical Motors Mechanical power transmission elements Fluid Power

Oil, Water, other liquids Air, other gases


Electric Motors

Motors convert electrical energy to mechanical

Electric motors used in First kit Chipahua/CIM Motor Window Motor Van Door Motor Fisher-Price/Mabuchi Motor Globe Motor

Mechanical Power transmission elements

Gears Belts Chains Bearings Couplings

Mechanical Power transmission using gears

Pneumatics Systems

Pneumatics Definitions
Pneumatics is the general term used to describe the mechanics of gases Pneumatics, derived from the Greek word pneumatikos, meaning coming from the wind It is the branch of science which treats the mechanical properties of air and other elastic fluids used to do work

Pneumatic Principles
compressor solenoid valve cylinder


reservoir tank

Compressor Accumulators Actuators
Source of Air Flow Driven by electric motor Provides the energy to perform the work Reservoir tank - Energy Storage Devices Cylinders convert energy in the compressed air pressure to linear power. Make things move Linear Rotary

Connectors tubing Pressure regulators Valves
2-way 3-way 4-way

Plumbing- connectors -flexible tube

Pressure control -controls the force of the actuator Control direction of flow

Compressor Thomas industries

12 volt system Generates pressure of 120 psi Compact Vibration isolators

Additional Compressor Components

Relief Valve
on Compressor Protects compressor
Common Pressure In

Pressure Switch
Signals the controller to start or stop the compressor



Accumulators Pneumatic tank

Up to two Store compressed air at 120 psi Helps keep the pressure constant Smooth out the pressure fluctuation


Rotary Actuator

Fittings and Plugs

Flow Controls
Regulate flow of air into and out of a cylinder Used to control speed of a pneumatic cylinder If used, attach directly to cylinder (only one end needed)

Exhaust Valve
Use to release pressure

Connection and Disconnection

Regulators Control Pressure
Relieving type in the FIRST kit 2 are included The use of Regulators assures maximum efficiency

Allows air from reservoirs to flow to rest of pneumatic system Limits pressure in valves, cylinders to 60 psi

Solenoid Electric Valves

Pneumatic Actuators
Pneumatic Actuators applies force or creates motion through the use of a pneumatic system

Pneumatic Actuators
Use Pressurized Air to achieve motion Provide power and speed to any actuation system. Variety of Actuation mechanisms available
Arms Grippers Shifters




Construction & Operation

Basic Construction


Compressed Air
is routed by the valve to extend or retract the cylinder

Most Common types of Linear Actuators
Double Acting Single Ended Double Ended

Single Acting

All contain
Cylinder Piston Rod Seals Spring if used


Spring Return

Facts about Pneumatics

Pressure Units of measure
Lbs per in2 or Force per unit area Absolute Pressure 14.7 psia at sea level Gauge Pressure measured relative to ambient

cfm cubic foot (feet) per minute Volume per unit time Scfm Standard cubic foot (feet) per minute

Force Principles
Gauge Pressure works against each square inch of piston surface
The greater the square inch surface of the fluid, the less internal pressure will be developed.

Differential Areas

Force Consideration
Consider the effective area on which the pressure acts On single ended cylinders there is a differential Dont forget friction

Force = Pressure Area
2 diameter piston Area = 3.14 12 = 3.14 in2 Pressure = 60 psi 3.14 in2 60 psi = 188 lbs Force while extending greater than while retracting

Main decisions: Length and diameter

Diameter based on required force Larger diameter: more force, but more air

Cylinder maximum force

Dia Cylinder - 10 Throw 1-1/2 Dia Cylinder -24 Throw 2 Dia Cylinder -24 Throw 26 lb max force 106 lb max force 188 lb max force

Cylinder Forces
Force Applied = Pressure * Cross Sectional Area
Pressure applied on a flat plate, causes a force! The bigger the plate, or the higher the pressure, the greater the force.

Less force in than out.

This is due to a reduced cross section (caused by the rod being in the way!)

1.5 Bore Cylinder

Base Dimension = 4.38 + Stroke Length = ? + Locking Nut = .25 + Clevis Dimension = 1.31

Retracted Length = 4.38 + Stroke + .25 + 1.31 = 5.94 + Stroke Extended Length = 5.94 + (2 x Stroke Length)

Single Solenoid Valve

When energized, cylinder goes to one state When de-energized, cylinder always returns to rest state
When power is cut at the end of the match, cylinder will return to rest state

Each valve powered by one relay module (only in

Double Solenoid Valves

One solenoid pulsed to move cylinder one way, other solenoid pulsed to move cylinder the other way Results unpredictable if both pulsed Valve will stay in either state when neither solenoid energized Can use one relay for each solenoid or one relay and two diodes

4-way Valves in your kit

Double Solenoid (detented)

Single Solenoid (spring offset)


4-way Valves in your kit

Single Solenoid (spring offset)


4-way Valves in your kit

Single Solenoid Poppet (Spring Offset)

4-way 5-port Valves

Directional Control
Spring Solenoid
Passage A Passage B Spool

Valve Body Pressure Passage Exhaust Passage

Why use Pneumatics in 2006? The Advantages

Complete kit: All the parts required to build an operating system Weight: equal or lighter than comparable alternatives Adjustable Force: Different bore cylinders change the available force

By adjusting the applied pressure you can instantly adjust the force

Why use Pneumatics in 2006? The Advantages

no burned up motors stall with no damage

Custom cylinders
in just a few days by UPS


from 9 lbs to 180 lbs easily adjustable

Last minute additions

add a valve or a cylinder quickly

Why use Pneumatics in 2006? The Advantages

Multiple cylinders use same compressor Strong from 9 lbs to 180 lbs easily adjustable
Custom cylinders in just a few days by UPS Last minute additions add a valve or a cylinder quickly

Why do we design with pneumatics?

Simple Pneumatic Cylinders are force vectors. Each cylinder represents a force, which will be applied over a certain distance. Most pneumatic design involves arms or linkages of some type. Know principles of leverage and torque!

Safety MUST
always be considered
Compressed Air is like a coiled spring

Relieve the pressure before working on the system Be aware of pinch points Avoid side-loading increases friction and wear Avoid getting grit or metal shavings on the rod or in the cylinder Use flow controls for safety

Interesting Links
Fluid Power Educational Foundation www.fpef.org Bimba Manufacturing www.bimba.com
Clippard Instrument Lab.

Nason Corporation

Bosch Rexroth www. boschrexroth.com www.boschrexroth.com

www.lordmpd.com www.monnier.com

Lord Corp

Fluid Power Dist. Assn www.fpda.org


Monnier, Inc. Norgren

Fluid Power Society

www.ifps.org Natl Fluid Power Assn www.nfpa.com

www.ewika.com/WikaSit e/GlobalSites.aspx




SMC Pneumatics

Any Questions? About this lecture? About Pneumatics? About Design? About FIRST? About the Game?

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