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How many types of pneumatic cylinder

Views: 919     Author: VPC Pneumatic     Publish Time: 2022-08-22      Origin: https://www.vpc-pneumatic.com/

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Pneumatic cylinder converts the pressure energy of compressed air into mechanical energy to drive a mechanism to achieve reciprocating linear, oscillating, or rotary motion. It is a common power element in machinery and equipment used in the automation of machines and industrial processes. The force and motion produced by pneumatic cylinders can be used in mechanisms such as clamping, ejecting, blocking, and lifting.

pneumatic automation

In manufacturing, pneumatic cylinders are used to open valves, doors, move things on and off conveyors, and lift heavy objects. In the automotive industry, pneumatic cylinders are used in cars and trucks for air ride suspension and braking.

① According to the direction of the compressed air in the piston. It can be divided into single acting cylinder and double acting cylinder.

② According to the structural characteristics can be divided into piston cylinder, rotary vane cylinder, membrane cylinder, pneumatic damper cylinder, etc.

③ According to the installation method can be divided into trunnion cylinder, flange cylinder, pin cylinder.

④ According to the function of the cylinder can be divided into ordinary cylinders and special cylinders. Ordinary cylinder mainly refers to the piston single-acting cylinder and double-acting cylinder. Special cylinder include damper pneumatic cylinder, membrane cylinder, impact cylinder, booster cylinder, stepper cylinder, rotary cylinder, etc.

Pneumatic Cylinder Types

The cylinders that do reciprocating linear motion can be divided into 4 types. The single acting cylinder, double acting cylinder, diaphragm air cylinder and impact cylinder.

Single acting cylinder

Only one end of the piston rod, air only in the piston side of the compression, air pressure to push the piston to generate thrust out of the piston rod, and then by the spring or other power reset.

② Double acting cylinder

The piston on both sides of the alternating air supply, in one or two directions of output force.

③ Diaphragm air cylinder

Replace the piston with a diaphragm, only in one direction output force, with a spring or diaphragm reset. Good sealing, simple structure, small air consumption, but short stroke.

④ Pneumatic impact cylinder

The use of increased bore, weight impact piston rod, reduce the friction coefficient of the cylinder wall. Air cylinder piston rod using recoil device design, in increasing the cylinder impact force while extending the cylinder life. It has the characteristics of strong impact force, fast speed and small air consumption. The impact force can reach more than 10 times of the same stroke and bore of ordinary cylinder.

In addition, there are rodless pneumatic cylinder, pneumatic swing cylinder, rotary cylinders, gas-hydraulic damping cylinder and stepper cylinder.

▍ Introduction To Common Cylinders

① Pen pneumatic cylinder

Also known as mini pneumatic cylinder, small pneumatic cylinder or  micro pneumatic cylinder, material stainless steel and aluminum alloy.


● Inexpensive, compact structure, beautiful appearance;

● Front and rear threaded installation fixed can effectively save installation space;

● Can meet the requirements of high frequency use.

● Application industries are electronics, medical, packaging machinery, etc.

▲ Notes on use:

※ Magnetic switch mounting bracket is required. Magnetic switch mounting is divided into steel belt mounting and rail mounting.

※ To connect the cylinder piston rod and the moving parts through the floating joint, so that the moving parts move smoothly and smoothly to prevent jamming.

※ It is best to leave a margin for cylinder stroke selection.

② Compact pneumatic cylinder


Thin air cylinder is compact structure, lightweight, small space occupation;

● The cylinder body is square, which can be directly mounted on various jigs and special equipment without mounting accessories;

● Cylinder output connecting rod is divided into female thread and male thread type;

● Need to be used with guide elements;

● Magnetic switch can be installed on all 4 sides, so the design is freer (Φ12~Φ25 for 2 sides). And the magnetic switch will not be protruded, which improves operability and safety.

③ Free mount installation cylinder

The free mounting cylinder has high mounting accuracy and strength due to the integrated structure. The buffered form is rubber buffer at both ends, and the buffer adjustment is smooth.


● Space-saving square cylinder with a short stroke and can be installed in any direction;

● The cylinder body and the cylinder head integrated, compact structure, higher installation accuracy;

● The parallelism and straight angle accuracy of the mounting surface of a square cylinder and piston rod shaft core is improved, and the direct installation makes higher strength;

● The connecting rod type: male thread and female thread;

● The rod non-rotating type is standard; Can be with magnetic switch.

Free Mount Installation Cylinder

④ Double shaft air cylinder

Double rod pneumtaic cylinder is dual piston, double rod slide unit with built-in shock absorbers. Widely used in applications from high-speed, low-load impacts to low-speed, high-load situations.


● Extended support guide with good guiding performance;

● With certain guiding, anti-bending and anti-torsional properties, able to withstand certain lateral loads;

● The fixed plate has mounting holes on three sides, which is convenient for multi-position loading;

● The front crash pad of air cylinder can adjust stroke, relieve the shock. And it can produce more force than single shaft cylinder.

⑤ Guided Pneumatic Cylinder

Pneumatic cylinder with guide rods are actuators that incorporate the guide and cylinder into a single unit. A guide mechanism needs to be provided since piston rods can bend, rotate or buckle in response to forces such as lateral loads.


The compact structure of the guide rod cylinder can effectively save installation space. It has its own guide function, which can bear certain lateral load and various installation methods. It can be used for blocking, loading, pushing, stamping, clamping, etc.

guided pneumatic cylinder

⑥ Slide air cylinder

The slide cylinder is guided by cross ball guide, which has low friction and can realize smooth movement without loosening.


● Compact structure, saving installation space;

● High guiding accuracy, able to resist torque and high load capacity.

⑦ Rodless pneumatic cylinder

Rodless air cylinder has no piston rod, it uses piston to achieve reciprocating motion directly or indirectly. Divided into: mechanical coupling and magnetic coupling. The biggest advantage of rodless cylinder is to save the installation space, especially for small bore, long stroke occasions.

Notes on use:

※ Can not fix the middle slider use, must be used to fix the two ends of the front and back seat;

※ Cylinder to avoid direct force, causing cylinder tube bending, and finally use floating link.

pneumatic rodless cylinder

⑧ Pneumatic Gripper Cylinder

Gripper air cylinder is the piston rod is connected to the gripping fingers. As the air pressure moves the piston up and down, the fingers open or close in a parallel or angular manner. This mechanism can be used in pick-and-place operations or to change the orientation of the object.

Pneumatic gripper types: parallel clamp cylinder, swing clamp cylinder, rotary clamp cylinder, three finger air claw, four finger air claw.


Capable of bi-directional gripping with constant gripping torque;

Adopt integrated linear guide, automatic alignment, high repeat accuracy (±0.01mm).

pneumatic gripper cylinder

⑨ Pneumatic Swing Cylinder

Swing cylinder is divided into rack and pinion type and vane type. The more used is rack and pinion type, used for object rotation, turning, sorting, etc.


● Swinging platform type with thin pendulum and no gear gap;  

● Optional internal hydraulic buffer;

● Easy installation of the main body, the load can be installed directly;

● Use large rolling, high precision bearings;

● Angle adjustment range: 0 to 190°;

● Pendulum table radial and axial movement: 0.01 mm or less;

● Can be wired and piped from the body end and side direction to save space.

⑩ Pneumatic Stopper Cylinder

Stopper cylinders is designed specifically for conveyor stopping applications. It features a heavy-duty mounting plate, and the cylinder’s rod / bearing design was developed specifically to withstand side impact loading.

Contact us for more information and pneumatic cylinder price list!

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