Many of us might not be aware of the functionality of some industrial products, like air actuators. They can actually serve a lot of purposes and can even prevent emergency situations from happening. There are a variety of actuators available in the market and we can specifically use each of them in different circumstances.
Basically speaking, an air actuator is a device that transforms the energy found in compressed air into mechanical energy, thus allowing users to move objects and equipment from one place to another. There are many kinds of air actuators, but some of the most common ones are as follows: air muscle actuators, compressed air grippers, rotary actuators, and diaphragm air cylinders.
Air muscle actuators generally serve the purpose of pulling objects; they are similar to how human muscles work. They even have the same appearance as that of the human arm. When air is being put and compressed into the air muscle, the air actuator shrinks in length and contracts. When this happens, the air muscle gains the ability to pull an object up to 400 times its weight. Air muscles are made of rubber, which allows people to bend and twist them and even use them underwater. Many people find air muscles very easy to use, as the actuators let them lift or pull heavy objects without having to push a lot of buttons.
A compressed air gripper is a combination of several actuators and it is specifically designed to pull large, heavy equipment. The actuators act like a set of fingers that produce the “gripping” effect. Compressed air grippers are attached to a particular part of the equipment to be pulled, so that they can fully hold the object. Buttons are provided on each compressed air gripper, so that the person would be able to control the opening and closing of the “fingers.”
The rotary actuator is what its name suggests; it prompts heavy equipment to move in a rotating manner, instead of the linear motion produced by other types of actuators. There are two kinds of rotary actuators in general: the vane style and the rack & pinion style. Both styles have similar mechanisms, but one distinction is that the vane style rotary actuator is limited to rotating up to 270 degrees only, while the latter can rotate up to 360 degrees.
Finally, the diaphragm air cylinder is a special type of air actuator. This allows the air actuator to immediately move the heavy equipment to be pulled. In some actuators, the compressed air is not immediately converted to mechanical energy, so it would take some time before the actuators would respond after being controlled. If you need to move heavy tools in the shortest time possible, it is best to use the diaphragm air cylinder.
Air actuators are highly functional and can truly make the lives of people much easier. With the help of these industrial tools, we would never have to exert too much effort to pull or lift heavy materials.