Double Up: The Air-toAir Cylinder uses a direct acting main spool valve and check valves integrated into the main body to double line input pressure without need for control electronics.
Electronics are everywhere today. So when a control product comes out without incorporating any electronics, it certainly is news. A direct-acting valving configuration is all that the Bimba Air-to-Air Booster Cylinder uses to double incoming line pressure to furnish, for example, air tools in an area where supply is uncertain.
The device is based on a system developed for on-board inflation of truck tires. The concept is now incorporated into the Booster for machine builders who are shipping their products overseas. It can also be used in-plant, for instance, to augment tool-station or paint spray-booth air pressure. In such cases, pressure some distance from a compressor could be less than system-designed levels.
The inlet air pressure governs the Booster, taking up to 125 psi input and doubling it, typically feeding a reservoir tank to prevent the device from running constantly. The dual piston Booster (see figure) will start running by valving input air behind the cylinder on the left and on the outside of the cylinder on the right (blue). This doubled force compresses the inlet-pressure air on the inside of the right hand piston (purple). After full piston travel, the pressurized air is exhausted and the valving and action of the pistons is reversed left-to-right. "At a maximum output pressure, the Booster stalls and shuts down. When backpressure drops 10-15 psi, the booster will restart," notes engineer Bill Kokum. "
He says highlights of the device not only include lacking electronics but also no external plumbing. "Optimizing areas and orifice sizes to stall by simple physics are keys to reliable operation," he adds.