Basic Components of Pneumatic System

The pneumatic system is a system that uses highly compressed air to transmit power. A pneumatic system is similar to Hydraulic System but in this system, compressed air is used instead of hydraulic fluid.
The pneumatic system plays an important role in the Industrial area. It has lots of advantages and hence can be efficiently used in Industry.
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The general layout of the Pneumatic System

Basic Components of the Pneumatic system

Basic components of pneumatic system consist of the following elements

  • Air
  • Compressor
  • Air Reservoir Tank
  • FRL Unit
  • Direction Control Valve
  • Actuators
Pneumatic cylinders, rotary actuators, and motors provide movement and force for the pneumatic system, for moving, holding, and processing materials and assemblies.
To control and operate these actuators, other pneumatic components are needed such as a compressor for preparation of compressed air, reservoir tank to store the compressed air, FRL unit for filtration of compressed air, and control valves for the control of pressurized air, flow, and direction of movement of actuators.
Let us see these components one by one.

Air

As we are using the pneumatic system, the air is a medium of transfer of energy.

Compressor

The compressor is said to be the heart of the pneumatic system. Without a compressor, it is impossible to run the system. The compressor compresses the air coming from the surroundings and pressurizes it for its use.
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Compressor

Air Reservoir Tank

The reservoir tank is used to store the air that is compressed by air. As per the requirements, the size of the reservoir tank is used.
Mostly in Industries large storage tanks/ reservoir tanks are used, because of the large need of air in the pneumatic system.

FRL Unit

FRL unit stands for Filter, Regulator, and Lubricator. The figure below shows an FRL unit. Starting from the left, the first component is the Filter followed by the Regulator and Lubricator.
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FRL Unit
  • The filter filters the impure air coming inside the compressor for its proper working. Generally, the filter contains a porous gauge which acts as an obstacle for the particles coming inside with the air. The size of the gauge is mainly in microns to obtain almost pure air.
  • The regulator regulated the flow of air, that is it controls the rate of airflow through the pipes. A pressure gauge mounted on the Regulator indicates the pressure flowing through it.
  • The lubricator unit is used for lubrication purposes. Unlike the hydraulic system, the pneumatic system doesn’t make use of its fluid as a lubricator. So in order to keep moving parts live, some amount of lubrication is necessary and it is done by Lubricator. A small number of drops are released with the flowing air. As air moves ahead, Lubricating oil sticks to the moving parts, and lubrication is done.

Direction Control Valve (DCV)

DCV stands for Direction Control Valve. As the name suggests, DCV is used for controlling the direction of flowing air through the system. As per requirement, the valve is opened and closed. Direction Control valves are discussed in detail in 4 Common Types of Pneumatic Control Valves
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Actuators

Actuators are nothing but the piston-cylinder arrangement. Nowadays, thousands of actuators are present in the market with their respective specifications.
Single-acting spring return cylinders are more economical as compared to others. Actuators are used for linear motion, which is for pulling or pushing purposes.
Cylinders are fitted with pistons of different diameters and strokes of various lengths.
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Spring return cylinder
 

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