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Minimizing Friction in Pneumatic Cylinders

Damp & Seal in a pneumatic cylinder.
Damp & Seal in a pneumatic cylinder.

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Minimizing Friction
apresher   1/16/2013 9:34:46 AM
Excellent article.  It's always great to see engineering refinements that end up tackling difficult issues such as reducing friction, lowering energy consumption and reducing in traditional products like pneumatic cylinders. These improvements have a very positive effect on new product designs.

Charles Murray
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Re: Minimizing Friction
Charles Murray   1/16/2013 7:35:55 PM
I agree, Al. I presume a 40% reduction in starting friction would be important, especially with regard to precise positioning.

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reducing friction in seals
EricMJones   1/17/2013 9:30:37 AM
There is a ~75-year-old patent on this subject...my Dad's (Wallace M. Jones, Westinghouse Corp), regarding stick-slip reduction of piston O-rings. This allows the O-ring to rotate 1/4 turn in its groove. This was used in radar-controlled anti-aircraft guns.


I would be surprised if this problem was not solved by others decades ago. The USPTO should be an important tool for every design engineer.


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Re: Minimizing Friction
RichardS   1/17/2013 9:48:41 AM
I always thought that the glass body lined air cylinder with the soft carbon piston was a great patent. Stiction in the Airpel cylinders I used was extrordinarily better than traditional actuator seals. 

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Minimizing Friction
Cabe Atwell   1/17/2013 3:42:48 PM
A floating pneumatic seal is pretty standard these days. Though, I imagine if the pressure was high enough it wouldn't be good.

I drop friction in a air piston 95% (or so) by switching to floating seals.

Just a thought.


Scott Orlosky
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Re: Minimizing Friction
Scott Orlosky   1/26/2013 11:43:07 PM
It just goes to show that paying close attention to the details in design makes a difference.  Good to see some clever engineering to solve several issues simultaneously.

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Pneumatic Cylinders
Hannah   6/6/2013 2:09:17 AM
The pneumatic cylinder shown is well equipped. The ideas to minimize noise and friction are useful. Good manufacturers use testing methods to monitor performance of pneumatic cylinders.


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