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Chapter 7 Pneumatic and Hydraulic Systems Pneumatic Systems
Pneumatic systems are designed to move loads by controlling pressurized air in distribution lines and pistons with mechanical or electronic valves. Air under pressure possesses energy which can be released to do useful work. Examples of pneumatic systems: dentist’s drill, pneumatic road drill, automated production systems.

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Components of a Pneumatic System
reservoir compressor motor distribution lines air treatment cylinders and valves

Compressor is the power source of a pneumatic system. It is usually driven by a motor or an internal combustion engine. The compressed air is first stored in a strong metal tank called reservoir. Before entering the cylinders and valves, the compressed air has to pass through the air treatment devices, including air filter to remove dust and moisture, pressure regulator to adjust pressure, and lubricator to spray lubrication oil.

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Air Filter -- to remove dust and moisture

air

filter

condensed water water release valve

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Pressure Regulator -- to adjust pressure
adjust screw ventilation hole spring diaphragm

valve

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Lubricator -- to spray lubrication oil

siphon tube lubrication oil

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Pneumatic Actuator -- Cylinder
Cylinder is the actuator in the pneumatic system. When compressed air flows into a cylinder, energy stored in the air will release, transferring into kinetic energy to do work.

compressed air

exhaust

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Example 1. Calculating the force produced by a cylinder
The input air pressure is 0.5 MPa, which means the air would exert a force of 0.5N on each square millimeters. If the area of the piston is 300mm2, then the total force produced by the cylinder will be: force = pressure × piston area = 0.5 N/mm2 × 300mm2 = 150 N
300mm 2

壓縮氣體 0.5MPa compressed air 0.5MPa

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Pneumatic Motor – Piston Type and Vane Type
output shaft piston rod piston

inlet

outlet

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Example 2. Pneumatic Drill
control lever disk valve air duct air flow air flow

air inlet piston air outlet anvil spring blade

(a)

(b)

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Pressure Control Valve – Relieve Valve
adjust screw

Relief valve, also known as safety valve, is used to maintain the desired pressure.

spring

ball valve

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Pressure Control Valve—Reduce Valve
adjust screw spring diaphragm

減壓閥表示符號

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Directional Control Valve – Two Port Valve (2/2)
IN IN

OUT

OUT

Directional control valves are commonly described by an x/y designation, where x is the number of ports and y is the number of positions. 2/2 valve: 2 ports, 2 positions. The two port valve is similar to the single pole single throw switch in electric circuits.

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Directional Control Valve – Three Port Valve (3/2)

The three port valve is similar to the single pole double throw switch in electric circuits.
3 2 1

出氣口 exhaust

3

2

air氣壓源 1 supply

spring 彈簧

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Example 3. Pneumatic Punching Machine (I)

single acting cylinder 氣壓缸

方向控制閥 three port valve (3/2)

沖壓模 mold punching

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Example 3. Pneumatic Punching Machine (II)

3 1 3 1 2

2

(a)

(b)

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Directional Control Valve – One Way Valve
The one way valve allows air flow from only one direction. It is similar to the diode in electric circuits.

ball valve 球閥

止回閥表示符號

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Directional Control Valve – Shuttle Valve
A shuttle valve has three ports and contains a small rubber piston which is free to move between port 1A and 1B within the valve. If air enters the valve through port 1 A or 1B, the piston is pushed to the other side and air can only escape through port 2.
2 閥 valve 2

1A

1B

1A

1B

2 1 1

梭動閥氣壓表示符號

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Example 4: Dual Control Pneumatic Punching Machine

A
D

3 1
a

2 B
b C

3

2 1

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Flow Control Valve – the Flow Regulator
調整螺栓 finger screw

Air can pass through the regulator in either direction. If air enters from left, the ball valve is pushed open and air can flow through the valve unrestricted. If air enters from right, the ball valve is closed so that air can only pass through the regulator. The flow of air can be controlled by turning a finger screw.
IN

針形閥 needle valve

OUT

ball 球閥 valve

彈簧 spring

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Control of Double Acting Cylinders (I)
五口二位置方向閥 five port valve (5/2)

流量控制閥 flow control valve

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Control of Double Acting Cylinders (II)
Unlike a single acting cylinder, a double acting cylinder does not contain a return spring. Movements in both directions are powered by compressed air. The flow control valve makes the downward movement of piston 2 slower than that of piston 1. However, both pistons move upward at the same speed.
1 2

3 1 5

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Air Operated Valves
In the valves described so far, the spool which controls the flow of air is moved mechanically, by a button or lever. In order to be automated, direction control valves in the pneumatic systems have to be controlled by air pressure or electrical signals. In air operated valves, the spool is moved by air pressure.

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2

2

5 1 3

3

1

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Example 5: Application of Air Operated Valves

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4

2

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51 3 安全區域 safe region

2

3 1

3 1

2

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Pneumatic Solenoid Valves
The spool position is moved by an electrical solenoid, and can controlled electronically.
+V +V

electrical solenoid 電磁線圈

閥 spool

(a)

(b)

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Hydraulics
The working fluid in a hydraulic system is incompressible. Thus a hydraulic system can move large loads.
50N 400N

Pascal’s Law

100mm2 800mm2

A

B

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Hydraulic Systems
Pneumatic systems are open systems, always processing new air, and air is simply exhausted to the atmosphere. Hydraulic systems are closed systems, always recirculating the same oil.
cylinder hydraulic valves oil pump motor oil reservoir

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Example 6. Hydraulic Jack
Only a small force is required by the operator to raise the heavy load. The large piston can be stopped at any point because the oil cannot be compressed.

handle

small piston one-way valve valve release screw

large piston

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Hydraulic Actuators
In a hydraulic system, the actuators transferring hydraulic energy into mechanical motion are hydraulic cylinders and hydraulic motors. There are 3 types of hydraulic motors : gear pump, vane pump and axial piston pump.
low pressure oil

high pressure oil

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Example 7. Hydraulic Brakes
brake fluid disc master cylinder brake pedal brake pads brake fluid wheel cylinder

caliper piston disc

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Example 8. Hydraulic Control loop
filter

control valve oil reservoir

cylinder

relief valve

pump

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Comparison between Pneumatic and Hydraulic Systems Advantages
Pneumatic System Air is easily available Fast response Air is non-flammable Continuous variable transmission Hydraulic System High output force Accurate hydraulic pressure No corrosion Continuous variable transmission

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Comparison between Pneumatic and Hydraulic Systems Disadvantages
Pneumatic System Output force is limited Compressibility of air Corrosion may occur Pipe length is limited Hydraulic System Fluid might leak out Fluid will degrade due to heat Fluid flow speed is limited Pipes are complicated Working fluid is often flammable. Electrical Linear Actuator

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