Air Rams: Key Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Pneumatic Cylinder

air ramsPneumatic cylinders function as mechanical devices to compress air in a wide range of velocities. These devices also operate in the same way as hydraulic cylinders do. Each device has a piston which is designed to move in a specific direction. Depending on the industry, air rams are used whether for lowering, lifting, pulling, pushing, or rotating to move products directly or indirectly.

Many industries are considering air cylinders because they are cost-effective, easy to install, and durable. They come in various sizes, designs, and configurations — not to mention there are thousands of them. That is why, when choosing the right air cylinder, consider these key components to help you pick the right air ram for different application requirements.

Cylinder Design

The most basic design of pneumatic cylinders is the rod-style industrial cylinder. Technically, it is a sealed tube which contains a rod attached to a piston, extending to an aperture at one end. As the compressed air gets in through a port at one end of the air cylinder, it causes the piston rod to move, while a second port at the other end lets the air escape. If the roles of the two ports are reversed, the stroke of the piston and rod move in the opposite direction. Different applications can affect the cylinder and piston rod, so it is vital to know its basics.

Rod-style cylinders function in two ways:

  • Single-acting cylinders – one side of the piston is supplied only with air, while the other side serves as an outlet of the air to the environment. With the aid of a spring—in some cases, gravity—the piston returns to its original position after the air pressure is extracted to the environment.
  • Double-acting cylinders – the rod in both directions are powered using compressed air to move a load (such as closing and opening a gate). These cylinders are suitable for loads that need both pulling and pushing.

Force Output

Another pneumatic cylinder component to consider is the force it generates. To determine its force, you have to recognise its air pressure and bore size. Meanwhile, the calculation of the force can get complicated. Many manufacturers list push and pull values in their catalogues for both single-acting and double-acting cylinders to simplify the calculations for users.

Doubling the size of the bore will quadruple the thrust. Simply put, when calculating the force of cylinders with various bore sizes, the square of the diameter can increase the thrust.


The speed of a pneumatic cylinder should also be taken into consideration for it affects the performance and durability of the air cylinder. Port sizes, inlet and exhaust flow through hose, tubing sizes, and control valves are some factors that can change the velocity of an air ram.

Master Mac 2000 is one of the largest privately-owned pneumatic and process automation companies in Australia. They make sure they offer high-quality brands and products to its customers. If you are looking for air rams, Master Mac 2000 brings you top-of-the-line cylinders by Univer with different designs for various applications. Visit and send an enquiry today.

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