Known for their low noise levels, linear air power cylinders address unique applications in industries such as semiconductor manufacturing, especially in clean room processing. However, emergency stopping and material handling also benefit from these designs, as well as approaches that use rodless cylinder designs. Two air-powered and one rodless cylinder examples show the unique capabilities of some of the newest products.
FRICTIONLESS AIR CYLINDER
Using a new design approach, Airpot Airpel-AB pneumatic actuators promise very long piston cycle life that maintains extremely clean operation without any lubrication. The company's Force Without Friction air bearing technology provides a precision fit of a specially shaped piston, so the air used for the actuation force also produces the air bearing effect. Metric models with four bore diameters (9.3, 15.9, 24.0 and 32.5 mm) and 10 strokes (in the 10 to 300-mm range) provide driving or supporting forces from 2g to 58kg. Custom strokes and rod lengths are also available. The units operate at temperatures as low as -20C. The actuator targets applications in clean room environments and semiconductor processing equipment as well as precision laboratory test equipment, among others.
PNEUMATIC CYLINDER WITH LOCKING MECHANISM
SMC Corp. of America's RLQ series has a short overall length, while integrating a compact cylinder with a lock and air cushion. Using the same extrusion as the cylinder produces a lock unit with a simple design that avoids unnecessary projections. Compared to traditional air cushion designs, construction that avoids the use of a cushion ring reduces the overall length of the cylinder. As a result, the lightweight and compact one-way lock mechanism can be installed in applications with restricted space. Available in bore sizes of 32, 40, 50 and 63 mm, the units target applications that include drop prevention, workpiece clamping and emergency stopping.
RODLESS BAND CYLINDER
Bimba Mfg.'s Ultran Band rodless cylinders address the unique sealing challenge of a mechanical piston to yoke connection. According to the company, the cylinder's sealing performance exceeds available units by 75 percent or more. The cylinder has a stainless steel cover strip that protects the sealed area providing increased life.
The unit's five-parted endcaps provide maximum flexibility. With standard features such as switch-ready with finely adjustable cushioning and position-sensing capabilities, an optional side-guiding attachment provides increased load capacity. Available in a large variety of bore sizes, in both inch and metric versions and with a standard stroke length of up to 3m (10 ft), the cylinder targets a variety of applications, including door opening, material handling/conveying, packaging and palletizing.