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Cylinder performance characteristics

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Piston force Cylinder performance characteristics can be determined theoretically or by the use of manufacturer’s data. The piston force exerted by the cylinder is dependent upon the air pressure, the cylinder diameter and the frictional resistance of the sealing components. F th = A p F th = Theoretical piston Force (N) A = Useful piston Area (m 2 ) p = Operating Pressure (Pa)

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Piston force In practice, the effective piston force is significant. When calculating this, frictional resistance should be taken into consideration. Under normal operating conditions (pressure range of 400 to 800 kPa / 4 to 8 bar) frictional force of approx. 10% of the theoretical piston force can be assumed. For Single-acting cylinder F eff = (A p) - (F R + F F )

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Piston force Double-acting cylinders

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Piston force

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Stroke length The stroke lengths of pneumatic cylinders should not be greater than 2 m and for rodless cylinders 10 m. With excessive stroke lengths the mechanical stress on the piston rod and on the guide bearings would be too great. To avoid the danger of buckling, the buckling diagram should be observed with large stroke lengths. F is the buckling load, E the modulus of elasticity, I the second moment of area, S the buckling length and f the safety factor.

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Buckling diagram

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Piston speed The piston speed of pneumatic cylinders is dependent on the load, the prevailing air pressure, the length of pipe, the cross-sectional area of the line between the control element and the working element and also the flow rate through the control element. In addition, the speed is influenced by the end position cushioning. The average piston speed of standard cylinders is about 0.1-1.5 m/sec. With special cylinders (impact cylinders), speeds of up to 10 m/sec are attained. The piston speed can be regulated by one way flow control valves and speed increased by the use of quick exhaust valves.

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Average piston speed

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This is a guide only and should be used only in the absence of a full analysis. The table has been computed for a pressure of 6 bar.

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Air consumption For the preparation of the air, and to obtain facts concerning power costs, it is important to know the air consumption of the system. The air consumption is specified in litres of air drawn in per minute. For a particular operating pressure, piston diameter, stroke and stroke number, the air consumption is calculated by: Air consumption =AC AC= Compression ratio Piston surface Stroke Strokes per minute Compression ratio =(101.3 + Operating pressure (in kPa))/101.3

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Air consumption chart

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The formulae for the calculation of air consumption in accordance with the air consumption diagram are as follows: for single-acting cylinders q B = s n q H for double-acting cylinders q B = 2 s n q H where q B = Air consumption (l/min) s = Stroke (cm) n = Number of strokes per minute (1/min) q H = Air consumption per cm of stroke (l/cm)

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The overall air consumption of a cylinder also includes the filling of dead zones. Dead zones of a cylinder are compressed air supply lines in the cylinder itself and not zones in the end positions of the piston which are effective for the stroke. Dead zones of cylinders

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