A Technical Guide to Pneumatic Rams

Pneumatic rams, also referred to as pneumatic actuators or cylinders, are mechanisms used to provide linear or rotary force to automated systems or machines – typically used in a wide range of industrial applications.

A pneumatic ram works when compressed air is forced into the cylinder and moves the piston within it. This then generates enough power to move the mechanism attached to the system and creates a practical motion such as air guns, sprayers, or a picking and placing system in factory automation.

In this blog, we explain some key components that drive pneumatic rams, and share some typical applications where you can find pneumatic rams doing the hard work for us.

How Do They Actually Work?

A pneumatic ram is made up of a piston, a piston rod, a cylinder barrel, a wiper seal, an end cap, a cushion sleeve and seal. The purpose of pneumatic systems is to use compressed air to create linear mechanical motion and power applications that go to ‘work’. The pneumatic ram will use the compressed air to act on a piston inside the cylinder and create a motion, like clamping.

Pneumatic rams can come in both single and double acting models. A single acting cylinder has one port, where the air enters and then pushes the piston in one direction only. A spring then returns the piston to its original position where the motion can be repeated. These pneumatic cylinders have limited stroke length so are useful for slower operations. They also use less air which gives optimum efficiency and lower operating costs.

On the other hand, a double acting pneumatic ram has two ports which allow for force to be applied in order to pull the piston in the two directions – also known as an instroke and an outstroke.

Where Can You Find Pneumatic Rams?

Pneumatic rams can be used in a range of applications and are especially common among factory automation systems. This includes manufacturing and packaging, where they are used to move parts and perform ‘pick and place’ tasks, opening valves, doors, and lifting heavy objects. In the automotive industry, pneumatic cylinders have a different role where they’re used in cars and trucks to be used for suspension and brakes.

Contact Motus Today

Knowing the difference between a single and double acting cylinder is important when considering the kind of equipment or machinery that will be running and operating – no matter what the application may be.

Motus has been trusted for its commitment to understand the needs of our diverse range of valued customers.

Get in touch with Motus if you’re searching for the ideal single or double acting ram, or any other hydraulic system for domestic or industrial use. We’ll have you fitted with state-of-the-art technology and service to match.


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