Four Factors to Consider When Working with Air Cylinders

air ramsMost industrial applications require linear motion during working operations. One of the most common but cost-effective methods to accomplish this is with a pneumatic actuator or commonly referred to as an air cylinder or sometimes an air ram.

Air cylinders or air rams are devices that translate the source of static power into useful output motion in any form, be it ejecting, clamping, and blocking. It may also be used to apply force to move a load on a clear linear path such as the use of compressed air acting on a piston inside a cylinder.

So, here are four factors to consider when selecting an air cylinder for a project.

The Correct Design

To meet any industrial application need, one must know a little about the parts and options available with air rams. One must keep in mind design considerations for rod bearings (especially when it comes to maintenance), cushions, piston bearings, choosing between coatings or stainless steel or brass, and non-standard specials.

Correct Sizing of Piston Rod

Properly designed cylinders offer several piston rod diameters as standard options. One must determine the proper diameter size for the piston rod for a specific application to prevent cylinder rod buckling or cylinder rod breakage.

Know the Right Load

If you need to size for an existing application, it is essential to measure the required force. If sizing for a completely new application, perform as much physical experimentation as allowed to validate all calculations.

Remember the “Air”

Lubricated but clean and dry compressed is required for optimal cylinder life and performance. However, compared to hydraulic liquids, air is less predictable in the dynamic movement of cylinders, so always size with margin in mind.

For more information about air rams, visit Master Mac 2000 P/L at For the past 30 years, Master Mac 2000 has slowly become Australia’s largest privately owned distributor of pneumatic tools.

Leave a Comment