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Pneumatics Technology

PNEUMATICS
It is a branch of physics that deals with
the study of gases especially air, its mechanical
properties and applications at pressures higher
(compressed) or lower (vacuum) than the
atmospheric pressure.
It comes from the
Pneuma meaning breath.

Greek

word

It is the industrial implementation and


application of air powered actuators (cylinders
and motors) and their control devices (valves)
needed in their operations.
Recall:
Pressure = Force / Area ;
Newton / meter2 = Pascal
Pneumatic pressures
= 4 to 6 Bars (normal)
= 10 Bars (maximum)
Force < 3 tons for Pneumatics
Force > 3 tons for Hydraulics
Conversions:
1 Bar 100 kPa = 14.5 psi
1 Atmospheric Pressure
= 1.01325 Bar
= 14.7 psi

Another significant advance was the invention


of the pneumatic railroad air brake by the American
inventor,
engineer,
and
industrialist
George
Westinghouse about 1868.

APPLICATIONS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.

Transportation
Feeder
Supply
Positioning
Clamping
Turning
Stamping
Bending
Hole boring
Handling
Assembly
Measuring
Service life testing

DESIGN AND STRUCTURE OF A


PNEUMATIC CONTROL
Pneumatic
controls
are
designed
and
represented in the form of control loops. The two basic
forms of representation or basic functional groups for
pneumatic controls are:
1.
2.

Signal-flow representation
Energy flow representation

HISTORY
The earliest pneumatic transmission
dates from 1700, when the French physicist
Denis Papin used power from a waterwheel to
compress air that was transmitted through
tubes.
About a century later the British
inventor George Medhurst received a patent to
use compressed air to drive a motor, although
credit for the first practical application was
given to the British inventor George Law, who
in 1865 devised the rock drill, in which an airdriven piston operated a hammer tool. The rock
drill was widely adopted and used in the
drilling of the Mont Cenis railroad tunnel in the
Swiss Alps, which opened in 1871, and for the
Hoosac tunnel in western Massachusetts, which
opened in 1875.

SIGNAL OUTPUT
Actuator Engineering

SIGNAL PROCESSING
Processor Techniques

SIGNAL INPUT
Sensory Analysis

Signal-Flow Diagram

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ACTUATOR
Cylinder

DRIVE ELEMENT
Cylinder

SENSOR
Push-button
PROCESSOR
Directional
Control Valve

CONTROL
ELEMENT

SIGNALING
ELEMENT

Directional
Control Valve

Push-button

Pressure
Line

Pilot
Line

Practical Signal-Flow Pneumatic Setup

Air
Compressor
Electric
Motor
Practical Energy-Flow Pneumatic Setup
ENERGY
CONVERSION

Drive
Element

Energy Transfer
Controlling
Element

Actuator
Output

ENERGY
CONTROL

Signal
Input
Energy Transfer

Signaling
Element

ENERGY
CONVERSION

CONTROL ENERGY
( Pneumatic or Electrical )

WORKING ENERGY
( Electrical )

Energy- Flow Diagram

Pneumatic /
Mechanical

Compressed air is generated and conditioned in


a central compressed-air unit and is then
distributed in the installation through the
compressed-air network.

MACHINE, INSTALLATION
Drive Elements
Cylinders
Rotary actuators
Pneumatic
Compressed-Air Motors
Sub-assemblies
Actuators, Controlling Elements
and Signaling Elements
Directional-control valves
Flow-control valves
Check valves
Mechanical /
Pressure-control valves
Pneumatic
Air-service Units
Filters
Regulators
Lubricators

CENTRAL COMPRESSED-AIR UNIT

Drive assembly and Compressor


Reservoir
Compressed-air Drier and Cooler
Conditioning equipment

Pneumatics Technology
PNEUMATIC POWER SUPPLY
Pneumatic systems are powered with
compressed air. The source of compressed air is
the central compressed-air unit also known as
pneumatic power supply. The main devices
included in the pneumatic power supply are:
Compressor(s)
Suction Filter
Check Valve
Cooler
Filter with water trap
Reservoir
Pressure switch
Pressure relief valve
Pressure gauges
Thermometers
Hand-slide valve

Flow-type compressors convert the kinetic


energy of flowing air into pressure energy.
Diaphragm-type compressors
suitable for small-size installations
applications and they deliver oil-free air.
Suction
Filter

Compressor head,
first stage

are
and

highly
mobile

Compressor head,
second stage

COMPRESSOR
The device that generates compressed air is
the compressor. It converts mechanical energy
to pneumatic energy of the compressed air.
Different types of compressors are known,
depending on their construction, as follows:
Piston compressors (single/two stages)
Screw-type (worm) compressors
Diaphragm-type compressors
Membrane compressors
Sliding-Vane rotary compressors
Helical compressors
Root compressors
Turbo (axial or radial flow) compressors
The most frequently used compressors are
piston
compressors
and
screw-type
compressors and both operate according to the
displacement principle. They are suitable for
pneumatic systems, where low, middle or high
air pressure is needed. Both compressor types
are designed for maximum delivery quantities
(volumetric flow) in the range from
approximately 30,000 to 40,000 m3 / h

Compressor
Cooler
Check Valve
Block
Typical picture of a Piston Compressor

Suction
Port

Suction
Valve

Pressure
Valve

Pressure
Port

Cooling
Ribs

Piston
Crank Shaft
Mechanism

Compressor
Block

Cross-sectional view of the components construction

The piston compressor generates


pressure up to a maximum of 1000 bar.
The screw-type compressor generates
pressure of about 25 bars.

Piston Compressor
( Standardized Symbol according to DIN ISO 1219 )

Pneumatics Technology
Mode of Operation
Suction
Port

Piston

Cylinder

Pressure
Port

One of the main parts that convert


mechanical to pneumatic energy in piston
compressors is the piston. The piston performs
linear reversible motion in the compressor
cylinder. This is achieved by converting the
rotary motion of a drive shaft by a counterbalanced crankshaft, to which the piston is
mechanically connected. The drive shaft of the
compressor is normally powered by an electrical
motor, which is the source of mechanical energy.
A specific construction characteristic in
piston compressors is the fact, that the suction
port and the pressure port are physically
disconnected by the respective suction or
pressure valves.
Suction
Valve

Pressure
Valve

Suction
Valve

Compressed
Air

Drive
Shaft
Crank
Shaft

Pressure
Valve

Suction
Stroke
The top-most position, which the piston
may reach in the cylinder, is called the top dead
center (TDC). Similarly, the lower-most position
is called the bottom dead center (BDC). When
the piston moves from the TDC to the BDC the
pressure valve is closed. The atmospheric air
flows through the inlet suction valve into the
piston area. This motion of the piston is called
the suction stroke.

When the piston moves from the BDC to the


TDC, the suction valve closes. The air trapped in the
cylinder volume is compressed by the piston. The
compressed air opens the outlet pressure valve and
flows in the subsequent component of the pneumatic
power supply. This motion of the piston is called the
compressing motion.

SUCTION FILTER
The suction filter partially cleans the air driven
in a pneumatic system. The suction filter is normally
place on the suction port of pneumatic compressors.

Suction Filter

CHECK VALVE
The check valve, also known as non-return
valve allows the compressed air to flow in only one
direction. It is normally fitted after the piston
compressor to protect the latter from receiving backflow
of compressed air.

Typical picture of a Check Valve


Check Valve

Pneumatics Technology

COOLER
The cooler is a device which brings
down the temperature of the compressed air in
pneumatic systems. This is needed for the
normal operation of pneumatic systems.

Cooler

FILTER WITH WATER TRAP


The purpose of this component is to
clean the air form solid and liquid contaminants.
These contaminants flow down to the base of
the filter unit and can be drained off by opening
the draining screw at the bottom.

Typical picture of a Reservoir

Reservoir

PRESSURE SWITCH
The pressure switch is an example of PE converter
because it controls the on and off switching state of the
electric motor that drives the piston compressor. It is
used to establish and maintain pressure in pneumatic
systems at a specified level by turning the electrical
motor off once the specified accumulated pressure is
achieved.

Typical picture of a Filter with Water Trap

Filter with Water Trap

RESERVOIR
The reservoir also known as a pneumatic
capacitor or a pressure accumulator is a specific
accumulator of pneumatic energy. It is placed in
pneumatic systems to perform the following
basic functions:

accumulates pneumatic energy


provides back-up pneumatic energy to
balance the changes in the pressure of
the system

Typical picture of a Pressure Switch

Pressure Switch

Pneumatics Technology

PRESSURE RELIEF VALVE


The pressure relief valve is used to establish
and maintain pressure in pneumatic systems at
a specified level. This enables the simultaneous
achievement of the following aims:

maintain the pressure level at a value


needed for the normal operation of the
pneumatic system
protects the pneumatic system from a
dangerous pressure overload which
may lead to accidents

Typical picture of a Pressure Gauge

Pressure Gauge

THERMOMETERS
Thermometers are devices that are inserted in
the pneumatic power supply to monitor the temperature
of the compressed air in pneumatic systems. This is
needed for maintaining the normal operation of
pneumatic systems.

Typical picture of a Pressure Relief Valve


Thermometer

HAND-SLIDE VALVE
Pressure Relief Valve

It acts as the main pneumatic switch of the


pneumatic power supply for the pneumatic installation.

PRESSURE GAUGES
The pressure gauge is a device which
measures and indicates the operating pressure
at certain points in the pneumatic system. It is
used for the following main purposes:

to monitor the pressure level at a


specific point in the pneumatic system;
to pre-set the pressure level to a certain
point in the pneumatic system.

Typical picture of a Hand-slide Valve

Hand-slide Valve

Pneumatics Technology
PNEUMATIC POWER SUPPLY
DIAGRAM
Thermometer

Pressure
Gauge

Pressure-Relief
Valve

COMPRESSED-AIR ENERGY

Reservoir

Shut-off
Valve

Compressed air is generated and conditioned in


a central compressed-air unit and is then distributed in
the installation through the compressed-air network.
Compressed air represents one of the oldest
known forms of energy. This pneumatic energy is
generated by the compression of air in the pressure tank
and which is subject to atmospheric pressure.
PABS = PAMB + PE
Where:
PABS
PAMB

Pressure
Switch

PE

Check
Valve
Cooler
Filter with
Water Trap

Compressor
Suction
Filter

Typical Pneumatic Power Supply

= Absolute Pressure
= Ambient / Atmospheric
Pressure
= Gauge / Operating
/ Working Pressure

Normal operating pressure of a pneumatic


installation is between
PE = 4 to 10 bar.
Pneumatic elements operating in the lowpressure area is between
PE = 0.2 to 0.5 bar.
Vacuum devices operate with a negative gauge
pressure between
PE = -0.6 to -0.8 bar.

INHERENT PROPERTIES
IN PNEUMATIC ENERGY

Availability
Transportability
Storability
Environmental influences like dust, dampness
and temperature
Explosion hazard
Cleanliness
Working speed
Overload capacity
Working speed control
Energy cost
Energy preparation
Signal speed
Constant working movements
Forces and torques
Noise

Pneumatics Technology
COMPRESSEDAIR PREPARATION
AIR COMPRESSION

Dew is moisture from the air that has condensed


as tiny drops on outdoor objects and surfaces that have
cooled.
g/m3

110
PRESSURE
INCREASES

TEMPERATURE
INCREASES

90
70

COOLING

WATER
VAPOR

DRYING

50
30

WATER
REMOVAL

When air is compressed, compressed-air


energy
is
generated
and
the
compressed-air temperature rises.
Due to the law of physics, the
compressed air can also absorb a certain
amount of water vapor. The higher the
temperature and the larger the volume,
the more vapor is in the compressed-air.
This means that water collects naturally
in the reservoir.
Water vapor and the attendant of
contamination phenomenon impair the
correct functioning of the pneumatic
control, among of which are corrosion
and freeze-up, and danger of seizure.
The compressed-air is therefore always
dried or cooled downstream of the
compressor.

DEW-POINT CURVE
The dew-point curve shows the airs
capacity for absorbing water in g/m3 as a
function of the air temperature.
The temperature at which the air cannot
hold all the moisture in it and dew begins to
form. If objects and surfaces have cooled to
below freezing point when the moisture in the
air begins to condense, frost is formed instead.

20

40

60

80

Degrees
Celsius

Dew-point Curve

COMPRESSEDAIR DRYING
AND COOLING METHODS
ABSORPTION DRYING
It is the chemical process in which the air flows
over a desiccant which binds the air and dissolves in the
process. A desiccant is a substance that absorbs water
and can be used to remove moisture.
The resulting condensate must be removed at
regular intervals and the desiccant renewed.
ADSORPTION DRYING
Adsorption is the process by which a layer of
atoms or molecules of a substance, usually a gas, is
formed on the surface of a solid or liquid.
In this process, the air is alternately switched
back and forth by means of check valve control between
two containers which are filled with a desiccant which
absorbs the water vapor. Hot air is then blown through
the wt desiccant to dry it.
COMPRESSED-AIR COLD DRYING
The temperature of the compressed air is
reduced to 2 degrees Celsius by a refrigerating plant.
The water which forms is then removed.

Pneumatics Technology
COMPRESSED-AIR DISTRIBUTION
The input of pneumatic energy takes
place through the main line through the use of
pipes.
At the machine itself, distribution is
usually through plastic hoses.
Correct dimensioning and
pipeline network and of the hose
important factor in the provision of
and non-fluctuating supply of
energy.

routing of
lines is an
an efficient
pneumatic

FACTORS
WHICH
DETERMINE
THE
CORRECT DIMENSIONING OF PIPES AND
HOSES ARE:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Flow quantity
Length of the line
Permissible pressure loss
Operating pressure

MAIN PIPELINE LAYOUT


FOR PNEUMATIC SYSTEMS
BRANCH LINE
This is the simplest form of pipeline

DE-CENTRALIZED COMPRESSEDAIR PREPARATION


Due to the fact that the water and the other
contamination are to be expected in the line network, an
Air-service Unit should be located directly in the
installation for renewed conditioning of the air.
As a rule the air service unit is placed between
the compressor and the rest of the pneumatic system.
The air service unit is an integral part of all
pneumatic systems. It is a device incorporating an air
filter with water trap, a pressure regulator (pressure
reducing valve) as a minimum configuration and in
some cases with pressure gauge and oil-fog lubricator.
THE PURPOSE OF AIR SERVICE UNIT

To clean the compressed air from dust/dirt and


particles that might reach the cylinders and
valves of the system. This will increase the life of
the components in the system.
To separate the moisture/water from the
compressed air. This avoids rust of the
pneumatic components.
To regulate and maintain a constant air pressure
in the system.
To lubricate the compressed air with oil.

layout.
RING MAIN

3/2 way
Shut-off Valve

Pressure
Regulator

Filling
Valve

3/2 way
Shut-off Valve

This is the most common line layout


having the advantage of providing uniform
supply of compressed air due to the input of air
from both directions.
COMPOUND NETWORK
This is a form of ring main layout which
is expanded by the addition of longitudinal and
transverse connection lines. This method
permits connections to be made over a large
area. Shut-off valves can be installed to permit
sections of the network to be isolated for repair
or servicing.

Note that the pipes and hoses are


commonly connected together using fittings
and couplings.

Filter with
Water Trap

Pressure
Gauge

Lubricator

Typical picture of an Air-service Unit

Pneumatics Technology
Dosing
Screw

Pressure
Regulator
Deflector
Tunnel

Filler Plug

Sinter
Filter
Element

Atomizer
Nozzle

Condensate
Drain

Deflector
Plate

10

Compressors
normally
supply
unclean
compressed air to pneumatic systems. This air is fed into
the inlet of the air-service unit and will pass through the
filter with water trap where it is caused to rotate
through the deflector tunnel by a vortex insert (a
whirling mass of air that draws everything near it
towards the center). The centrifugal force flings the
water held by the compressed air to the outside and it
then collects in the base of the water trap.
The filter will separate the solid and liquid
contaminants from the air. Solid contaminants
(dust/dirt) may block the normal operation of a number
of pneumatic components. Liquid contaminants
(mainly water) lead to internal corrosion of pneumatic
components.

Cross-sectional view of the components


construction

Air-service Unit
Filter
Reservoir

Air-service Unit
Mode of Operation
Unclean
Compressed Air

Inlet

Draining
Screw

Deflector
Plate

The contaminants flow down below the


deflector plate, which will prevent them from being
sucked back up into the vortex. The contaminants will
collect in the bottom of the filter reservoir for proper
disposal. Any remaining fine particles will be trapped in
the filter element as the air passes through and the
cleansed air exits the filter through the outlet port.
The contaminants and condensed liquids,
collected in the bottom of the filter unit should be
drained regularly by manually opening the draining
screw or by means of an automatic condensate drain
valve. This maintenance action would guarantee the
continuous supply of clean compressed air in the
system.

Sinter
Filter

Pneumatics Technology
Main
Pressure

Pressure
Regulator

Compressed
Air

11

From the regulator the clean regulated air will


pass into the lubricator.
Note that all pneumatic systems need
lubrication so we should refer to the individual
component specifications.
In the lubricator the compressed air flows
through an atomizer nozzle (a device that converts a
liquid into a fine spray), where the air and lubricating oil
are combined. The amount of lubricating oil the system
requires is regulated by the dosing screw. Regular
maintenance of the oil-mist lubricator requires the
control of lubricating oil in the oil reservoir. If a
lubricator is used, the oil level must be maintained
otherwise the system components can fail.

Operating
Pressure
The cleaned compressed air is then
passed through a fine-pored sinter filter to the
filter-units outlet.
When the compressed air enters the
regulator, the cleansed supply air (primary
pressure) will be regulated to the desired
secondary pressure (operating pressure). The
secondary pressure (operating pressure) will
exit the regulator through the outlet port.

FILTER WITH WATER TRAP


The purpose of this component is to clean the air
form solid and liquid contaminants. These contaminants
flow down to the base of the filter unit and can be
drained off by opening the draining screw at the bottom.

Note that the supply pressure (primary


pressure) must be higher than the system
pressure (secondary pressure).
Normally there is a pressure gauge
inserted to indicate the operating pressure.
Atomizer
Nozzle

Dosing
Screw

Typical picture of a Filter with Water Trap

Filter with Water Trap

Oil-mist
Lubricator

Oil
Reservoir

Pneumatics Technology

12

PRESSURE REGULATOR
The pressure regulator (known also as
pressure reducing valve) is a component having
two ports - an inlet and an outlet port. It
maintains s constant pressure at the outlet port,
which is lower than the pressure at the inlet
port. It reduces the main pressure to a given
(adjustable) operating pressure, and maintains it
at this level even when the loads and mains
pressure fluctuate.

Pressure Regulator
Mode of Operation

Diaphragm
Outlet Port

Inlet Port

The outlet pressure does not depend on


the inlet pressure, as well as on the air flow rate.
The outlet pressure depends only on the setting
of the pressure regulator. Additionally, in cases
of overloading of the outlet line by external
sources of energy, the pressure regulator limits
the value of the outlet pressure
Adjustment
Knob

Pressure Regulator
Housing

Inlet
Pressure
Port

Gap 1

Gap 2

The pressure regulator is in initial position,


when the pressure at its inlet and outlet ports is equal to
the atmospheric pressure. The diaphragm and the valve
are counterbalanced under the action of the forces of the
atmospheric pressure and the compression of both
springs.
The gap 1 is open and gap 2 is closed. There is
not air flow through the regulator.

Outlet
Pressure
Port

Pressure
Gauge

Outlet Port

Inlet Port

Typical picture of a Pressure Regulator


Adjustment
Knob

Big Spring
Diaphragm

Gap 2
Outlet
Pressure Port

Inlet
Pressure Port

Small Spring

Gap 1
Valve

Housing

Cross-sectional view of the components


construction

Gap 1

Valve

Diaphragm

When the inlet pressure increases to a level,


higher than the atmospheric pressure but lower than the
pressure, at which the regulator is pre-set, the
compressed air flows from the inlet port through gap 1
towards the outlet port.
The diaphragm and the valve are again in initial
position. The outlet pressure is equal to the inlet
pressure.

Pneumatics Technology
Large Spring
Inlet
Pressure

Gap 1

Adjustment Knob
Outlet
Pressure

Valve

Consequently, the size of gap 1 is


reduced. This creates a pressure drop in the
regulator. As a result, the outlet pressure is
lower than the inlet pressure.

Constant
Outlet
Pressure

Narrowing of Gap 1
A further increase of the inlet pressure
or a decrease in the air flow rate will lead to the
same reaction of the parts of the regulator. The
result is the further narrowing of gap 1 which
creates a bigger pressure drop in the regulator.
This is the way a constant outlet pressure is
ensured.

Large
Spring

Inlet
Pressure

Gap 1

Diaphragm

When the inlet pressure rises to a level,


higher than the pressure, at which the regulator
is pre-set, the diaphragm and the valve move in
a direction which compresses the large spring.
This movement will stop at the position, when
both the valve and the diaphragm are again
counterbalanced. This position is determined
under the action of the forces of the inlet
pressure, the atmospheric pressure and the
deformation of both springs.

Inlet
Pressure

13

Valve

Outlet
Pressure

When the inlet pressure decreases or when the


air flow rate increases, the diaphragm and the valve
move in a direction towards decompressing the large
springs and the pressure. As a result, gap 1 increases
and the value of the pressure drop in the regulator will
decrease. Again, this movement will continue, until the
valve and the diaphragm are counterbalanced by the
forces, thus maintaining a constant value of the outlet
pressure.
The adjustment knob of the pressure regulator
pre-sets the value of the outlet pressure. By turning it
clockwise the outlet pressure will increase and vice
versa.
Orifice in Regulator
Housing
Inlet Port

Gap 1

Diaphragm
Higher Pressure
at Outlet Port

Valve Pin

Gap 2

Sometimes an external source of energy creates


very high pressure value in the outlet line of the
regulator. In cases like these, the diaphragm deforms to
an extent, where it shrinks the large spring and gets
detached from the valve pin. This opens gap 2, which
connects the outlet port to the atmosphere through the
orifice (opening) of the diaphragm and the orifice in the
regulator housing. Hence, the excessive pressure starts
discharging.

Pneumatics Technology
In the same time, the big spring no
longer counterbalances the valve against the
force of the small spring. Consequently, the vale
moves to the position, when the valve disk
closes gap 1 and no further pressure is provided
to the system for the inlet of the regulator.
This state of the regulator will be
maintained, until the high pressure on the outlet
port drops to a level, lower that the presetting of
the regulator. When that happens, the
diaphragm moves back to the point, when gap 2
is closed and the pressure regulator starts to
operate as described in the initial pages.

OIL-FOG LUBRICATOR OR
OIL-MIST LUBRICATOR
The oil-fog lubricator operates according to the
Venturi principle (a constriction in a tube designed to
cause a pressure drop when a liquid or gas flows
through it) by which the vacuum resulting from a
reduction in area, oil is drawn up through a narrow pipe
which reaches into the lubricators oil reservoir. The oil
then dips into the compressed air as it passes through
and forms as a fine fog.

PRESSURE GAUGE OF THE


PRESSURE REGULATOR
A typical pressure regulator is normally
fitted with a pressure gauge to indicate the
operating pressure at the outlet port.
Adjustment
Knob

Pressure Regulator
Housing
Typical picture of an Oil-fog Lubricator

Inlet
Pressure
Port
Oil-fog Lubricator
Pressure
Gauge

Outlet
Pressure
Port

Typical picture of a Pressure Gauge

Pressure Gauge

14

Pneumatics Technology

15

SUPPLEMENTARY COMPONENTS
FOR THE AIR-SERVICE UNIT

PRESSURE DISTRIBUTOR WITH


NON-RETURN VALVES

FILLING VALVE

They are inserted between the pressure


regulator and the oil-fog lubricator to ensure that the
signaling elements are supplied with oil-free air.

A filling valve prevents a sudden


increase in pressure when the system is
switched on.
MICRO-FILTER

Relief and
Sequence Valve
Additional
Micro-Filter

A supplementary micro-filter is added


to further remove the contaminants.

Oil-Free
Compressed Air
Rapid-Exhaust
Valve
RELIEF VALVES
They are used to relieve the air-service
unit from excessive pressure fluctuations. They
are inserted in the upstream and downstream of
the air-service unit or between the individual
items of equipment.

SEQUENCE VALVES
The sequence valve is usually located on
the supply line of a cylinder or on a branch of a
pneumatic circuit that is isolated from the main
circuit. When the pressure in the main circuit
reaches the set pressure of the sequence valve, it
opens and lets air flow to the cylinder or to the
branch of the circuit.

RAPID-EXHAUST VALVES
They are used to stipulate that cylinder
movements are to take place as quickly as
possible.

Supplementary Components
For the Air-service Unit

Lubricated
Compressed Air

Pneumatics Technology
DRIVE ELEMENTS

3.

Pneumatic drive elements convert the


energy in the compressed air into force and
motion. The pneumatic drive elements can move
in a linear, reciprocating or rotating motion.

SINGLE-ACTING CYLINDERS
The single-acting cylinder converts the
compressed air energy into mechanical energy
in the form of force and linear movement in one
direction only.

16

Bellows-type Cylinders
Note that bellows is a device or piece of
equipment with a compressible chamber
with flexible sides that can be expanded to
draw air in and compressed to force the air
out.
Diaphragm or bellows-type cylinders can
have diameters of up to 710 mm.
They can generate forces of up to 190 kN at
pressures of 7 bars.

Pressure Port

Cylinder Tube

Cylinder Rod

The cylinder has two ports - a pressure


inlet port and an exhaust port. The annular area
(shaped like or forming a ring) of the cylinder is
connected to the atmosphere
The compressed air is applied only on
the bottom side of the piston that is why the
cylinder can move loads or perform mechanical
work in a forward motion only and that the
effective force is reduced by the return spring.
Single-acting cylinders are used in the
assembling and packing automated lines to
move, lift, feed, eject, press or push objects or to
clamp parts. Practically, they are suitable for oilfree operation.

Exhaust Port
Cylinder Cover

Cylinder Bottom

Typical picture of a Single-Acting Cylinder

Pressure Port

Exhaust Port
Piston

Rod

Spring

Types of Single-Acting Cylinders


1.

2.

Piston cylinders
Note that a piston is a metal
cylinder that slides up and down
inside a tubular housing, receiving
pressure from or exerting pressure
on a fluid.
Typically, the piston can have
diameters of as much as 100 mm.
The working speed is in the range of
50 to 500 mm/s.
Cylinder forces are about 4 kN.
Short-stroke Cylinders
Note that the length of stroke is the
actual working movement. The
shorter stroke enables the cylinder
to lift heavy loads. They can also be
equipped with an anti-rotation
anchor, external guidance and a
magnetic ring for triggering noncontact signaling elements.

Piston
Area

Bush & Sealing


Element

Base end
Cover

Tube
Annular Area

Head end
Cover

Cross-sectional view of the components construction

Single-Acting Cylinder, Spring Return

Pneumatics Technology

17

Piston Area

Mode of Operation
Piston Area

Piston

Spring

Cylinder Bottom

When the piston area of the cylinder is


connected to the atmosphere, the piston of the
single-acting cylinder is pressed by the spring to
the cylinder bottom.

Spring

When the piston area of the cylinder is again


connected to the atmosphere, the piston of the singleacting cylinder is pressed by the spring to the cylinder
bottom (return stroke) thereby generating a vacuum at
its rod side which draws in air through the vent hole.
The vent hole is provided with filter if the working
surroundings are not dust free.
Special versions of the Single-acting cylinder
An alternative construction is a single-acting
cylinder, spring extend with a spring in the piston area
causing the piston to extend. Such pistons are used in
the automotive industry and these are mounted in the
air brakes for vehicles and trains.

Piston Area

Single-Acting Cylinder, Spring Extend

Piston

Spring

Another special form of single-acting cylinders


is single-acting cylinder, without return spring in
which the pistons return stroke is caused by external
forces or by its own weight.
Load

When the piston area is connected to the


pressure line, the piston of the single-acting
cylinder will move forward (outward stroke)
against the force of the return spring. The air on
the rod side is forced out through the vent hole
which must always be open.

Single-Acting Cylinder, without Return Spring

Pneumatics Technology
DOUBLE-ACTING CYLINDERS

Cover

Port

Tube

18

Port

The double-acting cylinder converts the


compressed air energy into mechanical energy
in the form of force and linear movement in both
directions.
This type of cylinder has two ports. The
compressed air is applied at one of the working
ports while the other working port is vented.
They are used when the piston rod must
perform work during its return stroke and when
longer strokes are needed.
When large loads are moved, double
acting cylinders with adjustable stroke
cushioning are to be used in order to avoid
shocks at the cylinder bottom or cover. Such
cylinders have two plungers (part of the device
that thrusts or drops downward) on both sides
of the piston. By means of two damping pistons
and cap seals, an air cushion is formed which is
then exhausted through the adjustable throttle.
The air which flows in quickly becomes effective
due to the fact that the caps seals open up.
Double acting cylinders are used for
moving, pressing and lifting in pneumatic
manipulators
and
automatic
packaging
machines.
Types of Double-Acting Cylinders
1.

Piston cylinders
Stroke lengths are up to 500 mm.
The working speed is in the range of
30 to 2000 mm/s.
Cylinder forces are about 40 kN.

2.

Short-stroke Cylinders
Short-stroke cylinders are used
when short strokes are required
together with high forces.

Piston

Adjustable
Throttle

Rod

Typical picture of a Double-Acting Cylinder

Cushion /
Bottom Cap Seal

Plunger

Adjustable
Throttle

Tube

Piston
Area

Piston

Port

Cover

Annular Area
Cross-sectional view of the components construction

Double-Acting Cylinder
Typical picture of Short-stroke Cylinders
Double-Acting Cylinder
with Adjustable Stroke Cushioning

Rod

Pneumatics Technology

19

Mode of Operation

Piston Area

Piston

Piston Area

Annular Area

When the piston area is connected to the


pressure line and in the same time the annular
area is connected to the atmosphere, the piston
of the double acting cylinder moves forwards.

Piston Area

Piston

Rod-cushioning
Plunger

Forward cushion
Throttle

Cushion Seal

At the end of the forward stroke the


rod-cushioning plunger will engage the cushion
seal and this will trap the exhausting air in the
annular area. The exhausting air is forced
through
the
forward
cushion
throttle,
decelerating the forward movement of the
piston to a stop. The purpose of the cushion is to
avoid on uncontrolled shock caused by the
piston hitting the cylinder end-head at the end
of the stroke.

Piston
When the annular area is connected to the
pressure line and in the same time the piston area is
connected to the atmosphere, the piston of the double
acting cylinder moves backwards.

Backward cushion
Throttle

Rod-cushioning
Plunger

Cushion Seal
When the piston reaches the end of the
backward stroke, the rod cushioning plunger will
engage the cushion seal and this will trap the exhausting
air in the piston area. The air is forced through the
backward cushion throttle, decelerating the backward
movement of the piston to a stop. As with the forward
cushion, the purpose is to avoid an uncontrolled shock
at the end of the stroke.

Pneumatics Technology

20

ROTARY ACTUATORS
The rotary actuators transform the
power of compressed air that generates linear
piston movement into a reversible rotary
movement. The piston rod of the actuator is
designed in the form of a toothed rack with two
pistons connected at each end.
The
linear
motion
created
by
introducing an air pressure to the piston/rack
assembly is transmitted through a pinion (small
gear wheel that engages with a larger gear or
with a rack) to create a rotary motion. The
rotation angle could reach and even overcome
360 depending on the cylinder stroke and on
the gear ratio. The chamber between the two
pistons is connected to the atmosphere, to avoid
any trapped air from impeding any motion of
the actuator. Available torque at the shaft is
directly proportional to the difference in air
pressure between the input and output ports.
Rotary actuators are used for turning
details, bending pipes and bars, or for driving
butterfly valves in pneumatic control systems.
Port

Tube

Rotary Actuator
Mode of Operation
Left Piston

Left Piston Area

Right Piston Area

Left Cylinder Cover

When the left piston area is connected to the


atmosphere and in the same time the right piston area is
connected to the pressure line, the left piston is pressed
to the left cylinder cover.

Left Piston Area

Rack

Port

Pinion

Cover

Shaft with Pinion

Cover

Right Piston Area

Similarly, when the left piston area is connected


to the pressure line and the right one is connected to the
atmosphere the two pistons with the rack move to the
right and the rack turns the pinion clockwise.

Typical picture of a Rotary Actuator


Left Piston
Cover

Piston

Rack

Tube

Piston

Pinion

Cross-sectional view of the components


construction

Left Piston Area

Cover

Port

Left Cylinder Cover

Right Piston Area

Again, when the left piston area is connected to


the atmosphere and the right one is connected to the
pressure line the two pistons with the rack move to the
left and the rack turns the pinion counter clockwise.

Pneumatics Technology

21

OTHER SPECIAL ACTUATORS


SLIDE UNITS
A slide unit is a precision linear
actuator of compact dimensions which can be
used on manufacturing and assembly robotic
machines. Precise machine work mounting
surfaces and parallel piston guide rods ensure
accurate straight line movement when built as
part of the construction of a transfer and
position machine.

In one position, the body can be fixed


and the rods with end bars can move.
Upside down, the end bars can touch
the mounting surface and the body can
move.

Typical picture of a Rodless Cylinder

Rodless Cylinder

HOLLOW ROD CYLINDER


The hollow rod cylinder provides a direct
connection between vacuum generating equipment and
a vacuum pad attached to the rod working end. The
connecting tube at the rear end of the cylinder remains
static, while the rod extends and retracts. They are
specifically designed for pick and place applications.

AIR CHUCK OR FULCRUM-TYPE GRIPPER


Typical picture of Slide Units

An actuator designed to grip components and


workpieces in robotic-type applications

RODLESS CYLINDER
The Rodless cylinders are particularly
suitable for very long piston strokes. A carriage
is magnetically attached to the cylinder which
was made of a non-magnetic material like brass,
by way of the magnetic piston.

Typical picture of a Pneumatic Gripper


Typical picture of a Rodless Cylinder

Pneumatics Technology

22

DOUBLE-ENDED ROD CYLINDERS

DIFFERENTIAL CYLINDERS

The double rod cylinder can be used to


drive a long stroking workpiece attached to the
cylinder housing. Guiding and rigidity is
obtained by the piston rod ends when they fixed
on side walls thus the cylinder moves with
attached workpiece.

The differential cylinder has a larger piston


diameter compared to its linear counterparts.

BELLOW CYLINDER

TANDEM CYLINDERS
A tandem cylinder is two double acting
cylinders joined together with a common piston
rod, to form a single unit. By simultaneously
pressurizing both cylinder chambers, the output
force is almost double that of a standard
cylinder of the same diameter. It offers a higher
force where installation spaces are restricted.

A bellows is a device or piece of equipment


with a compressible chamber with flexible sides that can
be expanded to draw air in and compressed to force the
air out. For the bellow cylinder to inflate, the input
pressure must be greater than the trigger pressure.
When the input pressure is less than the trigger
pressure, the bellow cylinder begins to deflate and
return to its initial state. Two proximity sensors can be
used to detect the cylinder's expansion.

Bellows-type Cylinder

VANE-TYPE ROTARY ACTUATOR


MULTI-POSITION CYLINDERS
The two ends of a standard cylinder
provide only two fixed positions. If more than
two fixed positions are required, a combination
of two double-acting cylinders may be used.
For three positions, it is still possible to
fix the cylinder. They are however suitable for
vertical movements such as in handling devices.

LOCKING CYLINDERS
A cylinder can be fitted with a locking
head in place of the standard end cover. It will
hold the position of the rod in any position. The
locking action is mechanical ensuring the piston
rod is securely held even under full load.

This type of cylinder also converts the


compressed-air energy into rotational or back and forth
movement.
Air pressure acts on a vane (flat blade mounted
as part of a set in a circle so as to rotate under
the action of air pressure) which is attached to
the output shaft. The vane is sealed against
leakage by a fitted rubber seal or elastomer
coating.
A special three-dimensional seal seals the
stopper against the shaft and the housing. The
size of the stopper defines the rotation angle of
90, 180 or 270 degrees. Adjustable stops may be
provided to adjust any angle of rotation of the
unit.

COMPRESSED-AIR MOTOR
The compressed-air motor converts the
compressed-air energy into rotational movement.
Available torque for the shaft is directly proportional to
the difference in air pressure between the input and
output ports. The output port of a one direction motor is
usually connected to the exhaust and is fitted with a
muffler.

Pneumatics Technology
ACTUATORS, CONTROLLING
ELEMENTS AND SIGNALING
ELEMENTS

Valves are devices that controls the


flow or movements of fluids like liquids or
gases through piping or other passages by
opening or closing ports and channels

DIRECTIONAL CONTROL VALVES


In pneumatic controls, directional
control valves determine the flow of air between
its ports by opening, closing or changing its
internal connections. They are used as signaling
elements, controlling elements and actuators to
perform functions like:

23

Direct Exhausts are called open-air exit but it


does not accept any connection to a distributor.
Exhausts are called restricted-air exit The
exhaust acts as a pressure reducer and are
inserted in the circuit wherever there is an
exhaust port. It allows the evacuation of
compressed air so that pressure will be null in
all the parts of the circuit to which they are
attached.
Switching positions and their respective control
methods can be identified using lower case
letters.
a

Normal Position of the valve is defined as the


switching position assumed by the valve when
it is not operated, say for instance due to the
force of the spring.

Initial Position of the valve is defined as the


switching position assumed by the valve for
instance to mechanical detent or due to the
switching-in of supply energy.

stopping the flow of compressed air


controlling the through-flow of air
controlling the direction of flow of air

CLASSIFICATION OF
DIRECTIONAL CONTROL VALVES

type of control
type of the distributing element
number of pneumatic connections or
ports
condition at neutral position whether
normally closed and normally open
valve

REPRESENTATION OF
DIRECTIONAL CONTROL VALVES
Pneumatic elements are shown as
standardized symbols as stipulated in DIN ISO
1219.
Switching
Position

Fittings

Line
Connections

Exhaust
or Vent

Pneumatic
Pressure Source

Internal
Direction
of Flow Connections

Direct
Exhaust

Blocks

PORT OR CONNECTION DESIGNATION


OF DIRECTIONAL CONTROL VALVES
PORT

DESIGNATION
LETTERS

ISO 5599

INPUTS (Supply)

OUTPUTS (Working Ports)

A, B

4, 2

VENTS (Exhaust Ports)

R, S

5, 3

PILOT (Control Ports)


For 3/2 DCVs

Z, Y

12, 10

PILOT (Control Ports)


For 4/2 and 5/2 DCVs

Z, Y

14, 12

Pneumatics Technology
DESIGNATION OF
DIRECTIONAL CONTROL VALVES
2/2 way On/Off DCV
without exhaust
2/2 way Normally Open DCV
3/2 way Normally Closed DCV

CONTROL OR ACTUATION METHODS


OF DIRECTIONAL CONTROL VALVES
The control or actuation methods are used to
switch-over between the valves various switching
positions. They are drawn directly at the side of the
square as it represents the directional control valves
switching position to which it applies. The following are
the common valve operators:
1.

MANUAL / MUSCULAR CONTROL


Generally obtained by attaching an operator
head, suitable for manual control, onto a
mechanically-operated valve.
Manually-operated, monostable valves
(spring return valves) are generally used for
starting, stopping and otherwise controlling
a pneumatic circuit.
In circumstances where it is more
convenient if the valve maintains its
position, manually-operated bistable valves
(with detent or impulse) should be used.

2.

MECHANICAL CONTROL
On an automated machine, these valves can
detect moving machine parts to provide
signals for the automatic control of the
working cycle.

3.

PNEUMATIC / PRESSURE CONTROL


Normally, air-operated valves are the main
valves which are located close to a cylinder
or other actuator, and are switched by
remote control from signal input valves or
switches.
A monostable air-piloted valve is switched
by air pressure acting on a piston and
returned to its normal position by an airspring, mechanical spring, or a combination
of both, when the signal pressure is
removed.

4.

ELECTRICAL CONTROL
The electrical operation is effected by a
solenoid and a plunger, and therefore the
units are generally known as solenoid
valves.
Direct acting solenoid valves rely on the
electromagnetic force of the solenoid valve
to move a poppet or spool.
To limit the size of the solenoid, larger
valves have indirect solenoid pilot
operation.

3/2 way Normally Open DCV


4/2 way DCV (14) with a
common exhaust
4/2 way DCV (12) with a
common exhaust
5/2 way DCV (14) with
separate exhausts
5/2 way DCV (12) with
separate exhausts
3/3 way DCV with a
closed-center position
4/3 way DCV with an
open-center position
5/3 way DCV with an
open-center position
5/3 way DCV with a
closed-center position
5/3 way DCV with a
pressurized-center
position

The 1st digit = Number of Ports


The 2nd digit = Number of Switching
Positions

24

Pneumatics Technology
MANUAL CONTROLS

MECHANICAL CONTROLS

PNEUMATIC CONTROLS

ELECTRICAL CONTROLS

NAMING DIRECTIONAL
CONTROL VALVES

25

Pneumatics Technology
2

3/2 MANUALLY OPERATED


DIRECTIONAL CONTROL VALVES
The 3/2 directional control valve (DCV),
manually operated, is used to control the
direction of the air flow in a single line of a
pneumatic system. It connects the outlet port of
the valve to its pressure inlet or exhaust port.
3/2 DCV allows manual or mechanical control
of the pneumatic air flow in the circuit.

26

12

10
3 1

3/2 way Normally Closed Directional Control Valve,


Push-button Actuated, Spring Return

They are used to provide input control


of power signals given by an operator or by
moving mechanisms of the system.
The 3/2 directional control valves are
also used for the direct for the direct actuation of
single-acting cylinders.
Port 2

Housing

Typical picture of a 3/2 way Normally Open


Directional Control Valve, Push-button
Actuated, Spring Return

Outlet Port

Distributing
Spool
Port 3

Port 1

Spring

Push-button

Typical picture of a 3/2 way Normally Closed


Directional Control Valve, Push-button
Actuated, Spring Return

Distributing
Spool

Outlet Port

Spring
Pressure
Inlet Port

Air under
Pressure

Exhaust
Port

Cross-sectional view of the components construction


2
Housing

Exhaust
Port

Pressure
Inlet Port

12

10
1 3

Cross-sectional view of the components


construction

3/2 way Normally Open Directional Control Valve,


Push-button Actuated, Spring Return

Pneumatics Technology

27

Mode of Operation
3/2 way Normally Closed Directional Control
Valve, Push-button Actuated, Spring Return
Outlet Port

Outlet Port
Spool

Spool

Pressure
Inlet Port

Exhaust
Port

The return spring will maintain the


normal position (unactuated) of the spool. The
normally closed valve in the normal
(unactuated) position, air can pass from port 2 to
port 3 and port 1 is isolated.
Outlet Port
Spool

Exhaust
Port

Pressure
Inlet Port

When the button is actuated (the button


is pushed), the spool changes position. This
opens the connection between port 1 and port 2
and isolates port 3 from the other ports. The
spool will remain in this position until the
button is released.

Exhaust
Port

Pressure
Inlet Port

When the button is released the return spring


will reposition the spool to the normal position.

Pneumatics Technology

28

3/2 way Normally Open Directional Control


Valve, Push-button Actuated, Spring Return
Outlet Port

Outlet Port

Spring
Spool

Spool

Pressure
Inlet Port

Air under
Pressure

Exhaust
Port

The return spring will maintain the


normal position (unactuated) of the spool. In
this condition air can pass from port 1 to port 2
and port 3 is isolated from the other ports.
Outlet Port

Spool

Pressure
Inlet Port

Exhaust
Port

When the button is pressed (actuated)


the spool changes position. In the actuated state,
air can pass from port 2 to port 3 and port 1 is
isolated from the other ports. The spool will
remain in the position until the button is
released.

Pressure
Inlet Port

Air under
Pressure

Exhaust
Port

When the button is released, the return spring


will push the spool back to the normal position and air
can pass from port 1 and port 2, and port 3 is isolated
from the other ports again.

Pneumatics Technology
5/2 PNEUMATICALLY OPERATED
DIRECTIONAL CONTROL VALVES
Basically, the 5/2 directional control
valve functions the same as the 4/2 version. The
only difference being that due to its design as a
spool valve, the 5/2 has an additional exhaust
port (5). In practically all applications, it is just
as suitable as the 4/2 version but because of its
outstanding features in terms of size, easy
actuation and air passage being possible in
both directions, the 5/2 is sometimes actually
preferable to the 4/2 version.
The principles of operation of the
pneumatically operated 5/2 directional control
valve is dependent upon the movement of the
spool inside the valve. The component shifts the
connection between two outlet ports with a
pressure inlet port and an exhaust port. By this
means, pneumatic control of the system is
achieved. In such valves, normally outlet ports
are indicated as 2 and 4, pressure port 1, and
exhaust ports 3 and 5.

Control
Input

Housing

Valve
Spool

Exhaust
Port

Outlet Ports

Pressure
Inlet Port

5/2 way Pneumatic Impulse Valve

The 5/2 directional control valve,


operated by pneumatic impulse, is applied in
various practical solutions such as pushing off
details, applying tools for performing
operations,
opening/closing
doors
and
windows, stretch/bend robot/manipulator
arms.
Housing

Side Cover

Typical picture of another version a


5/2 way Pneumatic Impulse Valve

Exhaust
Port 3

Outlet
Port 2

Pressure
Port 1

Outlet
Port 4

Exhaust
Port 5

Typical picture of a 5/2 way Directional Control


Valve, Pneumatically Actuated Both Ways

Control
Input

Exhaust
Port

Cross-sectional view of the components construction

The position of the valve spool is


retained until a short pneumatic control signal
is applied to any of the control ports.

Side Cover

29

Pneumatics Technology
PNEUMATIC IMPULSE VALVES

30

Mode of Operation

Impulse valves have two switching


positions and compressed-air control from
both ends is used for storage of pneumatic
signals (commands).
Such valves have no normal position
and are controlled by pneumatic pulses (brief
signals). They are often called as pneumatic
memories or pneumatic memory valves or flipflop valves.
Regarding the design principle, impulse
valves are usually of the spool type. There are a
number of special versions available though in
the form of floating plate and the sliding
spool valves.
Using a pneumatic control impulse,
pressure is applied to the impulse valve through
one of the pilot ports 12 and 14. The valve
switches to the required position.
When the control pulse is removed, the
valve remains in the given switching position
until a second counter-control impulse is
applied at the other pilot port. Normally, the
valve switching position (spool position) is
retained when the control pulse is removed due
to the inherent sticking friction of the spool or
the O-rings.

The 5/2 directional control valve does not have


a neutral position. Switching the spool from one
position to the other requires only a short pneumatic
control impulse at the respective control port (pilot
port).
When applying a control impulse signal to pilot
port 12, the spool is shifted to the position as shown
on the figure above. The pressure inlet port 1 is
connected to the outlet port 2 at the same time that the
outlet port 4 is connected to the exhaust port 5. There is
no connection to the exhaust port 3. The position of the
spool is retained even when the control signal is no
longer applied.

PNEUMATICALLY CONTROLLED
DIRECTIONAL CONTROL VALVES
In general, pneumatically controlled
directional control valves are always used in the
following applications:
1.

2.

3.

When a small signaling element


(hand-operated valve) is to be used
to control a large-volume drive
element such as a cylinder with
large piston diameter.
When the signaling element and the
actuator are a long distance apart. In
practice, the pneumatic engineering
maximum permitted separation is
10 meters.
When a holding-element control is
installed and that they must be
controlled by pneumatic pulses.

When applying a control impulse signal to pilot


port 14, the spool is shifted to the opposite position. The
pressure inlet port 1 is now connected to the outlet port
4 at the same time that the outlet port 2 is connected to
the exhaust port 3. There is no connection to the exhaust
port 5. Again the position of the spool is retained even
when the control signal is no longer applied.

Pneumatics Technology
5/2 ELECTRICALLY OPERATED
DIRECTIONAL CONTROL VALVES

Electric
Control

The principles of operation of the


electrically operated 5/2 directional control
valve is dependent upon the movement of the
spool inside the valve. The component shifts the
connection between two outlet ports with a
pressure inlet port and an exhaust port using an
electric control signal. By this means electric
control of the pneumatic system is achieved. In
such valves normally outlet ports are indicated
as 2 and 4, pressure port 1, and exhaust ports 3
and 5. The position of the valve spool is retained
until a subsequent electric control signal is
applied to any of the control solenoids.

Housing

Outlet
Ports

Spring

Magnet

Slug

Exhaust
Port

Pressure
Inlet Port

Exhaust
Port

Cross-sectional view of the components construction

The solenoid-controlled impulse valves


are controlled by electrical pulses and are
normally provided with pneumatic pilot control
at both ends.
Usually, these valves are equipped with
manual override at each end so that the valve
can be switched even without electrical energy,
say for instance during servicing and troubleshooting.

5/2 way Solenoid-Controlled Impulse Valve

Electrically operated directional control


valves are used in electro-pneumatic systems
included
in
material-handling
systems,
assembly process, opening and closing doors
and windows; stretching and retracting robot
arms.

Solenoid

Exhaust
Port 5

Pressure
Port 1

Exhaust
Port 3
Typical picture of another version of a 5/2 way
Solenoid-Controlled Impulse Valve

Solenoid
Housing

Outlet
Port 4

Outlet
Port 2

Typical picture of a 5/2 way Directional Control


Valve, Electrically Actuated Both Ways

31

Pneumatics Technology

32

Mode of Operation

The electrically operated 5/2 directional


control valve does not have a neutral position.
A changeover from one position of the spool to
the other requires only a short control electrical
impulse towards one of the control solenoids.
When this happens, the solenoid slug is shifted
and the air from the pressure inlet port 1 is
applied to the spool head. The spool is then
shifted to the opposite end position.

For example, when applying a control


electric impulse signal to the solenoid 12, the
pressure from the pressure port 1 shifts the
distribution element in the position as shown
on the figure above. The pressure inlet port 1 is
connected to the outlet port 2, and the outlet
port 4 is connected to the exhaust port 5. There
is no connection to the exhaust port 3. The
position of the spool is retained even when the
electrical control signal is stopped.

Similarly, when applying a control electric


impulse signal to solenoid 14, the spool is shifted to the
position as shown on the figure above. The pressure
inlet port 1 is connected to the outlet port 4, and the
outlet port 2 is connected to the exhaust port 3. There is
no connection to the exhaust port 5. The position of the
spool is retained even when the electrical control signal
is stopped.

Pneumatics Technology
DESIGN PRINCIPLES OF
DIRECTIONAL CONTROL VALVES
The following valve features all depend
upon the design principle used for the valve:
service life
size
actuating force
type of actuation
porting or connection type
flow direction
switching travel
switching
sealing-element wear

33

Poppet valves can be two or three-port valves.


For a four or five-port valve, two or more poppet valves
have to be integrated into one valve.

Seat

Elastic seal
2

TYPES OF DIRECTIONAL
CONTROL VALVES

The two principal methods of


construction are poppet and slide with either
elastic or metal seal

Mechanically-Operated Poppet Valve


For the mechanically-operated poppet valve
above, the inlet pressure assists the return spring
holding the valve closed.

DIRECTIONAL CONTROL VALVES

Slide
Valves

Plane Slide
Valves

Rotary
Valves

Poppet
Valves

Spool
Valves

Elastic seal

1
Seat

Metal Seal

Elastic Seal

2
3

Valve types and Sealing Methods

POPPET VALVES
A poppet is valve with vertical guide
and that it is raised and lowered by a vertical
guide, for example, the intake and exhaust
valves of the cylinders in an internal-combustion
engine is also called poppet
The flow through a poppet valve is
controlled by a disc or plug lifting at right
angles to a seat, with an elastic seal.

Balanced Poppet Valve


For the balanced poppet valve above, the inlet
pressure acts on equal opposing piston areas. This
feature allows valves to be connected up normally
closed or normally open. Normally open valves can be
used to lower or return pressurized actuators, but are
commonly used in safety or sequence circuits.

Pneumatics Technology
SLIDE VALVES

3.

ROTARY VALVES

A metal-ported disc is manually rotated to


interconnect the ports in the valve body. Pressure
imbalance is employed to force the disc against its
mating surface to minimize leakage. The pressure
supply is above the disc.

Spool, plane slide and rotary valves use


a sliding action to open and close ports.
1.

SPOOL VALVES

A spool is a cylinder on which thread,


tape, or film is wound around.
A cylindrical spool slides longitudinally
in the valve body with the air flowing at right
angles to the spool movement. Spools have
equal sealing areas and are pressure-balanced.

1
Spool Valve

2.

PLANE SLIDE VALVE

The flow through the ports is controlled


by the position of the slide made of metal, nylon
or other plastic materials. The slide is moved by
an elastomer sealed air operated spool.

14

12

3
5
Plane Slide Valve

34

Section through a Rotary Actuator and a Disc for a


4/3 function with closed center / exhausted center

Pneumatics Technology

35

VALVE SEALING METHODS


Spool valves with metallic seals

Spool valves with elastic seals

The metal spool valve design means


that the sealing is metal-to-metal. This
necessitates the spool being precisely ground
into the housing bore. This valve design needs
very low actuating forces as well as having very
long service life.

With this version of the spool valve, the pilot


spool is sealed by low friction elastic sealing element
called elastomer seal.
The seals are held in their correct position by
plastic rings or O-rings which are fitted in the grooves
of the spool and move in a metal sleeve. Typically, the
spool grooves have rounded edges so that wear is
reduced when the spool passes over the seals. This valve
version can be produced at a very reasonable price by
using glass-fiber-reinforced plastic housings, and is also
suitable for oil-free operation. Being a spool valve, it is
free from overlap and through flow is possible in both
directions.

These valves are overlap-free and air


passage is in both directions.
Lapped and matched metal spool and
sleeve valves (a valve for and internal
combustion engine, fitted and reciprocating
inside a cylinder) have very low frictional
resistance, rapid cycling and exceptionally long
working life. But even with a minimum
clearance of 0.003 mm, a small internal leakage
occurs.

14

12

Spool Valve with Metallic Seals

Spool Valve with Elastic Seals

Pneumatics Technology

36

FREE-OF-OVERLAP FEATURE
The poppet valve below switches due to
the control plunger being forced down against
the force of the spring, and due to the force
acting on the pilot-piston area or the pressure
area.

The connection between 1 and 2 and is


open before the connection between 2 and 3 has
closed. In other words, the valve is not free of
overlap because all the connections are briefly
joined with each other and pressure can collapse
through the vent port.

Normally Closed Poppet Valve with Plunger Actuation


and Free of Overlap

REVERSE-FLOW FEATURE
2

Normally Closed Poppet Valve with Plunger


Actuation and not Free of Overlap

Being as it can be flowed through in both


directions, this valve can be employed in either the
through-flow normal position or the closed normal
position.
To do so, it is only necessary to interchange the
connections 1 and 3. However, the through-flow crosssectional area can differ in the two directions.
2

The next poppet valve is vented from


port 2, through the open air exit port 3 via the
passage in the pilot piston.

1 3

When the pilot piston is pressed down,


it closes off the vent at the lower sealing
element before the connection between 1 and 2
opens. In other words, the valve is free of
overlap.

The force of the spring returns the


piston to its normal position.
The disk valve design permits small
valves, and therefore relatively low actuating
forces.

Poppet Valve with Plunger Actuation, Free of Overlap


and with Reverse-Flow Feature

Pneumatics Technology

37

DETENT FOR HAND SLIDE

AIR SPRINGS

This valve is used to switch the


compressed-air supply on and off by means of
elastic seals. Its low profile design enables it to
be easily fitted to other elements like
distributors.

A so-called air-spring can be fitted in place of


the mechanical spring for returning the control spools of
directional control valves to their normal position.

Hand-Slide Valve with Detent in both


Switching Positions

MECHANICAL DETENT
Metal spool valves inherently have very
low levels of sticking friction due to them not
using seals. In order to ensure that the spool
remains in position even when it is fitted
vertically and when vibration and impacts
occur, the valve is provided with a detent
facility.
A spring-loaded ball engages in two
grooves, and the force it exerts maintains the
valves switching position.

This valves pilot piston is a differential piston


which has two different piston-face areas. Pressure is
applied to the smaller of the piston areas from inside the
valve and is permanently subjected to the mains
pressure through the branch passage from port 1.
Pressure is applied on the larger piston area from the
outside by the incoming compressed-air signal from
pilot control 14. As compared to ordinary pilotcontrolled valves, it only behaves differently when the
2 pilot control signal is applied to both ports 12 and 14
where the signal applied to the larger piston area
dominates the switching position.
The symbol for the differential piston valve, the
side view with the smaller piston area is identified with
a square. The arrow in the symbol represents the
internal air actuation. It must be pointed out that when
no air is applied to these valves, they assume as
arbitrary, undefined position.
4

14

3
1
Internal Air Spring

The valve design below necessitates external


control which can be connected using tubing and/or
hose. Subplates are also available which already
incorporate the required connections.

12

14
14

12

Pneumatic Impulse Valve with Internal


Mechanical Detent

3
1
External Air Spring

Pneumatics Technology
PILOT CONTROL OF
DIRECTIONAL CONTROL VALVES
Pilot control of directional control
valves becomes necessary when the actuating
force required for the valve becomes excessive.
This applies especially to poppet valves, and in
particular to manually and mechanically
controlled valves. In other words, pilot control is
required when the valves must be frequently
operated by hand or triggered by lightweight
workpieces.

POSITIVE PILOT CONTROL


(WITH APPLIED PRESSURE)

The figure below shows another positive pilot


control of a 3/2 directional control valve by means of
closing the nozzle with any object or workpiece.
The compressed air flows out of the valve
through the branch passage of very small diameter and
the nozzle passage. It is also impossible for pressure on
the left of the piston to build up. So this nozzle must be
closed by an object or workpiece of some sort before the
pressure can build up in left-hand control chamber.
When the pressure has built up, it forces the pilot piston
to the right against the spring and then the valve
switches.
Filters are fitted in the inlet lines to prevent the
branch passage holes to be blocked by highly
contaminated air.

The figure below shows a positive pilot


control of a 3/2 directional control valve by
means of closing the nozzle with an integrated
ball actuator.
There is a branch passage in the pilot
piston through which the auxiliary air can enter
the control chamber of a pilot piston having the
same areas and spring return on the right side.
It is impossible though for the pressure
to build up in this control chamber because air
can escape through the small nozzle. So the
nozzle must be closed, whether with an object of
some sort or by an integrated ball actuator,
before the air pressure can build up in the
control chamber and reverse the valve.

12

Integrated Ball-Actuated Valve using


Positive Pilot Control

38

12

Pressure-Nozzle-Actuated Valve using


Positive Pilot Control

Pneumatics Technology

39

NEGATIVE PILOT CONTROL


(WITH PRESSURE RELEASE)
In the case of solenoid-operated valves,
pilot control also becomes necessary above a
given size in order that the magnetic actuating
forces (solenoid coil) can be kept to a low level.
The level of electric power required for the coils
is reduced and less heat is developed.
The figure below shows a negative pilot
control of a 3/2 directional control valve by
means of solenoid control.
Compressed air from port 1 reaches the
valve seat of a solenoid-operated plunger
through a branch passage.
When the solenoid is energized, the
plunger opens the valve seat and the auxiliary
air applies pressure to the valves pilot piston
thereby causing the spool to change the
switching position and compress the spring.
The pilot control valve is fitted with a
manually or mechanically controlled valve
which uses the auxiliary air from a branch
passage to switch the main piston.

Solenoid Valves using Negative Pilot Control

The figure below shows another negative pilot


control of a 3/2 directional control valve by means of
opening the nozzle with a spring rod.
There are two branch passages in the pilot
piston, both control chambers are filled with auxiliary
air. A spring on the left holds the pilot piston in the
initial position. There is a very small opening in the
control chamber which is sealed off by a spring rod.
As soon as the spring rod is actuated from the
outside the valve, it opens the valve vent hole and the
air in the left-hand control chamber can escape and the
air in the right-hand chamber can switch the valve.

2
12
12
2
3

Spring-Rod Actuated Valve using


Negative Pilot Control

Solenoid Valves using Negative Pilot Control

Pneumatics Technology
FLOW-CONTROL VALVES
SPEED REGULATION VALVES
SPEED CONTROLLER VALVES
An essential advantage inherent in
pneumatic control engineering is the fact that it
is an uncomplicated and inexpensive matter to
adjust the working speed of cylinders and
rotary actuators, as well as the speed of air
motors. Cylinder piston rod speeds depend
upon a number of factors:
The speed restriction due to throttle
valves and non-return valves with
restriction
Mechanical conditions, load and load
changes
Flow cross-sectional areas of actuators
Diameters of hosing and tubing and the
length involved
Amount of pressure and pressure
changes in the system.

THROTTLE VALVES
Throttle valves are members of the flow
control family. Fitting an adjustable throttle
valve to reduce the cross-sectional area enables
the compressed-air flow rate to be adjusted, and
with it the working speed.

ADJUSTABLE THROTTLE VALVE


The variable throttle valve controls or limits the
air flow by offering an adjustable restriction. The flow
cross-sectional area in the throttle valve is changed by
turning the throttling screw to adjust the position of the
flow body.
The air flow limit depends on the opening
percentage and the pressure differential between the
input and the output. At a constant opening percentage
of the variable throttle valve, air flow increases if the
pressure differential between the input and the output
increases. Also, if the restriction decreases, the flow
increases.
The reduction in flow cross-sectional area has
the same effect in both flow directions. The symbol for
the throttle valve represents a restriction. An arrow
passing obliquely through it indicates that the restriction
is adjustable.
Normally, speed-control of drive elements is
only required in one direction. If speed control is
stipulated in both directions, both speeds should be
adjustable and independent of each other.

Throttle valves are connected into the


line as close as possible to the element
concerned. Fixed-set throttles and throttle
valves are fitted to special-purpose subassemblies like pneumatic timers.

SCREW-INSERT THROTTLE VALVE

Typical Picture of an Adjustable Throttle Valve

Screw-insert throttle valves are screwed


directly into the ports of the directional control
valves.
1

2
Screw-Insert Throttle Valve

40

Adjustable Throttle Valve

Pneumatics Technology

41

FIXED THROTTLE VALVES


A fixed throttle valve restricts air flow.
The air flow going through a throttle valve
depends on the opening percentage and the
pressure differential between the input and the
output of the valve.
At a constant opening percentage of the
throttle valve, air flow increases if the pressure
differential between the input and the output
increases.
Throttling a Double-Acting Cylinder
Non-Adjustable Throttle Valve

REGULATING THE SPEED OF


PNEUMATIC CYLINDERS

When the pushbutton is pressed, pressure is


applied to the piston area of the double-acting cylinder
and its piston rod will extend at a speed slower than
normal. But when the button is released, the piston rod
will retract and will exhaust through the 5/2 directional
control valves exhaust port but at a much slower speed
as compared to the extending motion.

Throttling a Single-Acting Cylinder


When the pushbutton is pressed,
pressure is applied to the piston area of the
single-acting cylinder and its piston rod will
extend at a speed slower than normal. But
when the button is released, the piston rod will
retract due to the force of the spring and will
exhaust through the 3/2 directional control
valves exhaust port but at a much slower speed
as compared to the extending motion.

Throttling a Double-Acting Cylinder using Screw-Insert


Throttle Valves
Also, if 5/2 directional control valves are used
as actuators, screw-insert throttle valves can be fitted at
the vent ports of the valves to adjust the cylinder speed
in each direction independently.

Pneumatics Technology

42

One practical application of pilot-controlled


non-return valves is with stopping controls of cylinder
piston movements at any required position.

CHECK VALVE OR
NON-RETURN VALVE
A non-return valve allows air to flow in
one direction and seals it off in the the opposite
direction. Non-return valves are incorporated in
speed controllers such as one-way flow-control
valves and in seal fittings.

On the figure below, when the lever is actuated,


the cylinder rod will extend slowly until it reaches its
maximum extended position. Upon actuating the lever
again, the cylinder will not retract until pressure is
applied to the pilot-control port (21) to open the check
valve in the other direction to exhaust the air through
the lever-actuated valve. Note that the retracting motion
of the piston rod can be halted at any given position
whenever the pilot-control port (21) has no signal.

Typical Picture of a Non-Return Valve

Non-Return Valve

PILOT-CONTROLLED
NON-RETURN VALVE
The piloted operated check valve (open)
behaves like the conventional check valve when
there is no pressure applied at the pilot-control
port (21). The only difference is that when the
pilot pressure is positive (non-zero), the check
valve is opened and the fluid can flow from
port 2 to port 1.
21
2

Pilot-controlled Non-return Valve (Open)


The piloted operated check valve (close)
also behaves like the regular check valve. The
only difference is that when the pilot pressure
is positive (non-zero), the check valve is closed
preventing the fluid from flowing in any
direction.
21
2

Pilot-controlled Non-return Valve (Close)

On the figure below, when the normally-closed


valve is actuated, pressure is released from the pilotcontrol port (21) allowing air to flow through the check
valve slowly extending the cylinder. Removing this pilot
signal will stop the cylinder extension at any desired
position. Retracting the cylinder is function of the
middle valve.

Pneumatics Technology
ONE-WAY FLOW-CONTROL VALVE
THROTTLE CHECK VALVE
NON-RETURN VALVE WITH
RESTRICTION
If 4/2 directional control valves are used
as actuators, or when the cylinder and the 5/2
directional control valve acting as the actuator
are too far apart, screw-insert throttle valves
cannot be used for speed adjustments because
the distance involved make precise control
impossible.
Throttle valves cannot be used either
because in such cases, because otherwise the
restriction is effective in both directions.
Therefore, an assembly comprising of a throttle
valve and a non-return valve connected in
parallel is used.

43

In general, pneumatic throttles are used in


pneumatic systems as cylinder speed control elements.
When using flow-control valves as a speed control for an
actuator, there are two control possibilities:

mounted on the primary line (meter-in circuit),


directly "before" the load
mounted on the secondary line (meter-out
circuit), directly "after" the load

Typical applications of one-way flow control


valves are speed control of pneumatic cylinders in
highly automated production systems in packaging,
assembly, plastics and machine tool industries.
Regulating
Screw
Mounting
Screw

Mounting
Screw

Because the non-return valve blocks the


flow of air in one direction, while allowing it to
flow in the other, the restrictor can adjust the
actuator speed in only one direction.
The variable non-return throttle valve
controls air flow by offering an adjustable
restriction. A restriction limits the air flow.
At a constant opening percentage of the
variable throttle valve, air flow increases if the
pressure differential between the input and
the output increases. Also, if the restriction
decreases, the flow increases. The air flow
limit going through the valve is dependent on
the opening percentage and the pressure
differential between the input and output.
The pneumatic one-way flow control
valve is also referred to as a pneumatic throttle
valve. Throttle valves are used in many
pneumatic systems to control air flow. There are
two basic types of throttles - adjustable and
non-adjustable, the adjustable version is the
most commonly used. When using adjustable
flow-control valves the user can adjust the
effective throttling area to best suit the air flow
needs of the individual application. The
adjustable throttles are produced in various
different constructive forms, for example:
threaded throttle valves with or without
silencers
throttle valves (single)

Port 1

Housing

Port 2

Typical picture of a One-Way Flow-Control Valve


Regulating
Screw
Housing

Spring

Port 2

Port 1
Check Valve

Cross-sectional view of the components construction

One-Way Flow-Control Valve

Pneumatics Technology

44

Air under
Pressure

Outlet
Port

Inlet
Port

When the throttle of the one-way flow


control valve is fully closed which means that
the effective throttling area is equal to zero,
there is no flow of compressed air from the inlet
port of the valve towards the outlet port. The
non-return valve in this case is closed too.

Inlet
Port

Non-Return
Valve

Outlet
Port

The reverse flow from outlet port to inlet port is


not restricted. The air under pressure can flow freely
through the incorporated non-return valve.

Regulating Screw

NON-ADJUSTABLE
ONE-WAY FLOW-CONTROL VALVE
Another version of the one-way flow-control
valve is the screw-insert version which can be screwed
directly into the cylinder ports. This design shows that
the effective throttling area is not adjustable and is
dependent only on the opposing forces of incoming
pressure and the spring. Throttling is only effective from
port 1 to port 2 and absolutely no air flow in the
opposite direction.

Inlet
Port

Outlet
Port
Effective Throttling Area
By
turning
the
regulating
screw counterclockwise the throttle will open
which means that the effective throttling area
will be different from zero.
Now the compressed air flows under
pressure through the throttle from the inlet
towards the outlet port also known as port 1 to
port 2. The flow rate can be controlled in a
continuous manner by adjusting the effective
area of the throttle. This is achieved by turning
the regulating screw counterclockwise.

Non-Adjustable One-way Flow-control Valve

Pneumatics Technology
TYPES OF RESTRICTION OR
THROTTLING WITH
THROTTLE-CHECK VALVES

45

With single-acting cylinders, due to the inherent


cushioning provided by the return spring, the inlet-air
throttling method is usually applied.

When the non-return valves with


restriction are used, a distinction is made
between inlet-air throttling and exhaust-air
throttling.

INLET-AIR THROTTLING
USING METER-IN CIRCUIT
Due to the fact that the compressed-air
is compressible, uniform cylinder working
movements are impossible to achieve when
inlet-air throttling is employed.
The jerking (strong sudden movements)
cylinder piston movements depend upon the
cylinder diameter and the load fluctuations
which the cylinder is subjected to.

Inlet-Air Throttling of the Piston-Rod Extension

EXHAUST-AIR THROTTLING
USING METER-OUT CIRCUIT
When this method is employed, the piston of
the double-acting cylinder is virtually clamped
between two air cushions. Full pressure is applied at
the inlet-air side and the exhaust air is throttled. This
leads to uniform cylinder movement.
With double acting cylinders, therefore,
exhaust-air throttling is always applied. The smallest
cylinders, that is, the short-stroke cylinders are an
exemption to this rule, because not enough pressure can
build up in the inlet side of such cylinders.

Inlet-Air Throttling of the Piston-Rod


Extension

Exhaust-Air Throttling of the Piston-Rod Extension

Pneumatics Technology
QUICK EXHAUST VALVE OR
RAPID EXHAUST VALVE
Quick exhaust valves are used if it is
stipulated that the cylinder movements are to
take place as quickly as possible. The quick
exhaust valve is a member of the check valve
family and is always fitted directly to the
appropriate cylinder port.
This component permits a maximum
out-stroking piston speed by exhausting the
cylinder directly at its port with a great flow
capacity, instead of through the tube and valve.

46

When the compressed-air flows from the


actuator in the direction of the cylinder, the quickexhaust valves sealing element (rubber disc) closes the
exhaust port (R). As a result, the compressed-air can
flow via a relatively large cross-section with a negligible
resistance through the valve and into the cylinder.
If on the other hand, the compressed-air returns
from the cylinder to the quick-exhaust valve, the valves
sealing element closes the inlet port (A). The volume of
compressed-air can now escape rapidly through the
large cross-section at the valves wide exhaust port (3).

Quick-exhaust
valves
are
fitted
whenever it is necessary to bypass line
resistances, or when valves are concerned, the
through-flow resistance.
In combination with a given volume
(provided for instance by an adequately
dimensioned compressed-air reservoir), the
quick-exhaust effect can be utilized for blowingout or rejecting workpieces.

Typical picture of a Quick-Exhaust Valve


A

SILENCERS
The sudden venting or exhaust of the cylinder
chambers generates lots of noise especially to largevolume cylinders. As a result of regional noiseemission regulations, therefore, it is imperative that the
quick-exhaust valves are fitted with silencers. The speed
of the exhausted air is reduced sharply in the interior of
the silencer with the result that the decompression noise
is also reduced. Silencers are used to diminish the noise
and the carry over of particles produced by air exhausts
on the various pneumatic components. They are
installed at the exhaust port of most valves.

R
Typical picture of a Silencer

Cross-sectional view of the components


construction
A
P

Quick-Exhaust Valve

Some models have a variable throttle that can be


adjusted by a screw. The restriction at this port will
control the air flow going through the silencer so that it
can slow down the actuator from which the air escapes.

Pneumatics Technology

47

A1

SHUTTLE VALVES
OR OR VALVES

E1

This is a three-ported valve with two


signal-pressure inlets (E1 and E2) and one outlet
(A). The outlet is connected to either signal
input. If only one input is pressurized, the
shuttle prevents the signal pressure escaping
through the exhausted signal port on the
opposite side.

E2
Shuttle Valve

Being as the shuttle valve, it has no venting


facility of its own and venting must take place though
the signal element as shown in the figure below.

A shuttle valve is always employed


when two pneumatic signals are to be
interlinked with each other. Since a signal is
always present at the outlet when pressure is
applied at either inlet, this valve is regarded as a
Logical-OR-Valve.
If there is a signal present at both inlets,
the sealing element assumes an undefined
position, but air is nevertheless able to flow to
the outlet.
This valve incorporates a sealing
element or a ball which is fitted so that when a
signal is applied at one of the two inlets, the
other inlet is closed and no air can escape.

OR FUNCTION BLOCKS

E1

A3

A2

A1

If the two applied signal pressures are


unequal, it is always the higher pressure which
appears at the outlet.

E2

E3

E5

E4

E6

OR-Function Blocks for Multiple Logical Operations


A3
Typical picture of a Shuttle Valve
A

A2
A1

E1

E2
E1

E2

E3

E4

OR-Operation using 4 Signal Inputs


Cross-sectional view of the components
construction

Pneumatics Technology

48

PRESSURE-SHUTTLE VALVES
OR AND VALVES
The pressure-shuttle valve is also used
for logical operations using pneumatic signals.
The valve has two inlets (E1 and E2) and an
outlet (A).
Since a signal shall only be present at
the outlet until a signal is present at both inlets,
this valve is regarded as a Logical-AND-Valve.
The pressure-shuttle valve in itself is not
to be regarded as a safety-function valve, but
only as a logical-function valve in the
appropriated sub-assemblies.
If the two applied signal pressures are
unequal, it is always the lower pressure which
appears at the outlet.

Applications involving pressure fluctuations


and low signal pressures such as when long lines are
used, the equivalent circuit below is used where the
weaker signal is being fed to E1.
A1
2

12

E1

E2
Equivalent Circuit with Directional Control Valve
Typical picture of a Pressure Shuttle Valve

AND FUNCTION BLOCKS


A1

A3

A2

E1

E2

E1

E2

E3

E4

E5

E6

AND-Function Blocks for Multiple Logical Operations


A2

Cross-sectional view of the components


construction
A1

A3

A1
E1

E2

Pressure Shuttle Valve

E1

E2

E3

E4

AND-Operation using 4 Signal Inputs

Pneumatics Technology

49

GATE VALVES OR
SHUT OFF VALVES

STOP-CONTROL VALVES
USED IN LOCKING UNITS

It acts as the pneumatic On-Off Switch


of pneumatic installations such as the pneumatic
power supply system and in compound
network lines where isolation of branch lines is
needed.

Locking units are mechanical/pneumatic


solutions for stopping cylinder movements by clamping
or releasing the piston rods in any required position.
The clamping force, therefore, must exceed the
maximum output force of the cylinder.
However, the locking units are not provided
with a braking function for the complete stopping action
of the cylinders because the locking force is generated by
a spring or generated pneumatically. But the 5/3-way
directional control valve with a special-center position
is used for this purpose.

Typical picture of a Shut-Off Valve

The shut-off valves below can isolate 2


distinct lines in a pneumatic circuit.

Shut-Off Valve Normally-Closed


with Two Orifices

Shut-Off Valve Normally-Open


with Two Orifices

Typical picture of a 5/3-way Directional-Control Valve

5/3-way Directional-Control Valve

The shut-off valves below can isolate 3


distinct lines in a pneumatic circuit.

Shut-Off Valve Normally-Closed


with Three Orifices

Shut-Off Valve Normally Open


with Three Orifices

Locking Unit with a 5/3-way Directional-Control Valve

Pneumatics Technology

50

PRESSURE-CONTROL VALVES

PRESSURE-RELIEF VALVE

The members of the family of pressurecontrol valves are designed to control the level
of pressure in the system. Some reduce and
regulate the pressure levels and while others
sense the level of pressure at certain points in
the system to relieve excess pressure, or just to
allow air flow through them or trigger electrical
functions when certain levels of pressure has
been detected.

When the pressure in the system increases


above a preset value, the pressure relief valve opens
and lets air flow to atmosphere. This component acts
only in case of an emergency, to bring down the
pressure to its set value. Some models are adjustable
while others are sealed so that non authorized personnel
may not adjust them. These sealed pressure relief valves
are usually fitted on air receivers.

PRESSURE REGULATOR
The pressure regulator maintains the
pressure constant at its output, even if the
input pressure varies. An adjustment knob will
allow users to modify the output pressure of the
regulator.

Typical picture of a Pressure Relief Valve

Pressure Relief Valve,


Adjustable

Typical picture of a Pressure Regulator

Pressure Relief Valve


Non-Adjustable

Piloted Pressure Relief Valve

PRESSURE SWITCH / SENSOR

Pressure Regulator,
Adjustable,
Relieving type

Pressure Regulator,
Relieving type

Pressure Regulator,
Adjustable,
Non-Relieving type

Pressure Regulator,
Non-Relieving type

This sensor is switch activated once the


pneumatic input pressure at its connection port is
equal to or greater than its pressure setting. The
pressure setting is adjusted by a screw that will
compress a spring placed in the sensor.

Typical picture of a Pressure Switch

Piloted Pressure Regulator

Pressure Switch

Pneumatics Technology
SEQUENCE VALVE

PNEUMATIC ACCESSORIES

The sequence valve is usually located on


the supply line of a cylinder or on a branch of a
pneumatic circuit that is isolated from the main
circuit. When the pressure in the main circuit
reaches the set pressure of the sequence valve,
it opens and lets air flow to the cylinder or to
the branch of the circuit.

AIR DRYER
The air dryer is usually installed at the output of
compressors to extract the moisture contained in
compressed air, so that it does not damage pneumatic
components. Air dryers function by refrigeration or
chemical action. In both cases, the moisture transforms
into condensate and is extracted with a separator.

Sequence Valves, Adjustable,


With Pressure Relief
The sequence valve without check valve
allows air flow in only one direction. Its use is
therefore limited to places where air always
circulates in the same direction.
If the air has to circulate in both
directions, a sequence valve with a check valve
must be used.

Sequence Valves,
With Pressure Relief

Air Dryers

FILTERS
Filters purify the air by blocking the solid
contaminants. They are available in various filtration
grains and are used in various places in a pneumatic
circuit. Where air moisture condensation may form, a
filter with an automatic drain must be installed. The
condensate accumulates in the filter's bowl up to a
certain level. A floater then activates the opening of the
filter drain and the condensate is expelled. The drain
closes when the bowl is empty.

Sequence Valves,
With Check Valve

AIR-SERVICE UNIT
This component combines filtration,
pressure regulation and lubrication functions.

Typical Picture of a Filter

Filter

Typical picture of an Air-Service Unit

Air-service Unit

51

Filter
with Water Trap

Water Trap,
Manual

Filter
with Water Trap,
Automatic

Water Trap,
with Automatic Drain

Pneumatics Technology

52

LUBRICATOR

SILENCER

Almost all pneumatic components need


to be lubricated to work correctly and have a
satisfactory life span. The best way to achieve
this is to install a lubricator which will allow
constant and automatic lubrication to the correct
level.

Silencers are used to diminish the noise and the


carry over of particles produced by air exhausts on the
various pneumatic components. They are installed at
the exhaust port of most valves.

Oil is atomized into the compressed air


flow and the resulting oil mist is then
transported by the air flow to the component
requiring it. It is important to try and install the
lubricator as close as possible to the
component/system that requires lubrication so
that oil mist condensation is reduced to a
minimum.

Typical picture of a Silencer


Some models have a variable throttle that can be
adjusted by a screw. The restriction at this port will
control the air flow going through the silencer so that it
can slow down the actuator from which the air escapes.

Silencer

Silencer with Throttle Valve

PRESSURE INDICATOR

Typical Picture of a Lubricator

A pressure indicator has a window in which an


indicator changes color according to the presence or
the absence of pressure. A very light pressure is
sufficient to activate the pressure indicator.

Lubricator

COOLER
A cooler is used when you need to
lower the temperature of compressed air. A
cooler is usually located at the output of a
compressor, before the conditioning units.
Typical Picture of a Pressure Indicator
Green

Cooler

Pressure Indicator

Pneumatics Technology

53

DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE GAUGE

T-CONNECTORS

The differential pressure gauge makes it


possible to measure the relative pressure
between 2 points of a pneumatic system.

T-connectors allow interconnection between


three pneumatic hoses, giving two outputs for one input
of the connector.

Differential Pressure Gauge


Typical Picture of a T-Connector

COUPLER

PNEUMATIC DISTRIBUTORS

The coupler is used to easily plug or


unplug pneumatic components. It does not
have a check valve. This allows better air flow
since the restriction caused by this coupler is less
than the one offered by the coupler with check
valve. However, there is a potential hazard
inherent with exhausting large volumes of air to
atmosphere in an uncontrolled manner as the
coupler is unplugged, especially through a
flexible hose.

Coupler or
Quick Release Coupling
Uncoupled, Line open

Pneumatic distributors allow the pneumatic


supply energy from the pneumatic power supply to be
distributed to the pneumatic installation by providing
multiple output supply ports.

Coupler with
Check Valve
Uncoupled, Line open
Typical Picture of a Pneumatic Distributor

Quick Release
Coupling,
Coupled

Quick Release
Coupling, with
Mechanically-opened
Check Valve

PLUGS
Plugs are used to block fluid flow. The
two plugs on the left are used to plug
distributors' ports. The plug on the right is used
to prevent fluid to flow in a pressure line.

Plugs

Pneumatics Technology

54

SUB-ASSEMBLIES
When pneumatic drive elements are
combined with mechanical devices or with
valves and other elements to form a unit, and
are installed and used in this form, one refers to
such units as sub-assemblies. They are to drawn
inside a square to stipulate that they are subassembly units. Such examples are:

Guide units
Feed units
Force converters
Clamping units

Typical Picture of a Pneumatic Timer,


Sub-Assembly Type

And even when several different types


of valves are combined in a single block, they
are also referred to as sub-assemblies.

Non-return valve with restriction


Air-Service Unit
Sequence Valve with Check Valve
Silencer with Throttle Valve
Coupler with Check Valve
Pneumatic Timers
Two-hand control block

PNEUMATIC TIMERS

P/R

Depending on the timer size, the delay


time of pneumatic timers is infinitely adjustable
from 0.2 to 30 seconds. The setting accuracy of
about 10 % is relatively low and depends
u[on a number of factors but is sufficient though
for pneumatic applications. A pneumatic timer
subassembly comprises the following elements:

3/2 way DCV, with reverse-flow


feature, with rapid switching and
without overlap
Non-return valve with restriction,
finely adjustable
Compressed-air Reservoir

R/P

Cross-sectional view of the components construction

In the case of process-oriented


sequential controls, time-oriented switching
elements in the form of purely pneumatic timers
are used in the form of subassemblies or
pneumatic-mechanical timers.

PNEUMATIC TIMER,
SUB-ASSEMBLY TYPE

PR

Pneumatic Timer, Sub-Assembly Type

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55

DELAYED SWITCH-ON TIMERS


OR ON-DELAY TIMERS

DELAYED SWITCH-OFF TIMERS


OR OFF-DELAY TIMERS

If a continuous signal is applied to pilotcontrol port (Z), air flows into the reservoir
through the throttle point of the non-return
valve with restriction.

Pneumatic timers are also used when an applied


signal is only to be effective for a given period of time,
after which it is to be converted as a pulse.

The pneumatic valve switches abruptly


as soon as the required pilot pressure has built
up in the reservoir, and then the compressed air
flows from the inlet port (P) to the outlet port
(A).
The delay period is determined
primarily by the throttle setting. In the case of
miniature timers, the delay time can result from
adjusting the timers volume.
When the control signal at pilot-control
port (Z) is vented, the pressure in the reservoir
can escape very rapidly through the non-return
valve which is open in this direction, and then
the valve switches back again to its original
position.
A

Such sub-assemblies differ from the timers used


for normal time-delay insofar as the integral valve is in
the through-flow normal position.
With these timer versions, the continuous signal
which is to be switched off (due to an actuated position
switch) is applied simultaneously to inlet port (P) and
control-pilot port (Z). The compressed air can now flow
immediately to the outlet port (A).
The passage through the throttle results in the
valve switch-over being delayed.
After a given delay, the valve switches and the
signal at the output is switched off. It remains switched
off as long as the continuous signal is at ports P and Z.
A

Time-delayed Signal Switch-On

Time-delayed Signal Switch-Off

When the ON delay timer's input is


pressurized, the output is pressurized with this
same pressure but only after the specified delay.
The output pressure stops immediately when
the input pressure is stopped.

When the OFF delay timer's input is


pressurized, the output is simultaneously pressurized
with the same pressure level. The output pressure is
maintained only during the preset delay.

Input
Pressure (P)

Input
Pressure (R)

Output
Pressure (A)

Output
Pressure (A)

T
The output pressure is delayed
by the specified timer amount (T).

T
The output pressure is maintained only
within the specified timer amount (T).

Pneumatics Technology

56

A
Input
Pressure (P)

Output
Pressure (A)
T
The output pressure is delayed
by the specified timer amount (T).

Time-delayed Signal Switch-Off


When the OFF delay timer's input is
pressurized, the output is continuously
pressurized and maintained with the same
pressure level but only within the preset delay.
When the input pressure is stopped, the output
pressure returns immediately.

PNEUMATIC-MECHANICAL TIMER
If the accuracy of pneumatic timers is
inadequate because for instance if pressure fluctuations
are present or if very long delay time is required,
pneumatic-mechanical timers are used.
These so-called pre-setting timers feature time
delay settings of 0.3 second to 100 hours with an
accuracy of about 2 %.

Input
Pressure (R)
Output
Pressure (A)
T
The output pressure is maintained only
within the specified timer amount (T).

The analog time-to-go is displayed by means of


the knobs red pointer. The required time is set using the
white knob itself (white pointer). The start of the
pneumatic-mechanical rotor system is triggered by a
pneumatic signal applied at port a, X.
As soon as the time has expired, a 3/2 DCV
inside the unit switches, and a 200 ms pneumatic pulse
is outputted from port A.

A
a, X
t
Z

Time-delayed Signal Switch-Off


When the OFF delay timer's input is
pressurized, the output is almost simultaneously
pressurized with the same pressure level. When
the input pressure is stopped, the output
pressure is maintained during the preset delay.

Pneumatics Technology
PNEUMATIC TWO-HAND
CONTROL BLOCK
Stringent safety regulations apply when
controls are concerned in which operators can
reach into devices or installations and in doing
so, run the danger of injury.
As a mandatory safety requirement, two
manually-operated pushbuttons with recessed
knobs must be fitted to the installation in such a
manner that it is impossible for both knobs to
be depressed using only one hand or arm.

E2

If, within a period of 0.5 second, there is only a


signal at E1, valve 2 (bottom) switches, and the
compressed-air reservoir is slowly filled via compressedair port (P), valve 2, and the non-return valve with
restriction.
The same thing happens, without one of the
valves switching, when a signal is only present at E2
within the 0.5 sec period. The pressure in the reservoir
has increased to such an extent within the 0.5 second
that a blocking signal appears at the right-hand pilot
port and prevents valve 1 (top) from switching. And so
it is impossible for a signal to reach the output port (A).
Even if the second push-button is pressed after
the 0.5 second period has elapsed, valve 1 (top) still
cannot switch because the blocking signal still blocks it.
This is due to the fact that the first signal to arrive will
dominate.

E1

57

A further safety function is provided by the


spring actuation of the right-hand switching position.

If both signals do arrive within the 0.5 second


period (by virtue of the logical-AND-operation of E1 and
E2), first of all, a signal reaches the left-hand pilot port of
valve 1 and valve 2 switches and outlet A is pressurized.

Circuit Diagram of the Pneumatic


Two-Hand Control Block
A

A
S

E1

E2

E1

E2

Pneumatic Two-Hand Control Block


The two-hand control is a normally
closed shut-off valve. The air can only flow
through when both controls are pressed
simultaneously or one after the other in less than
half a second.

Two-Hand Safety Control using a


Pneumatic Two-Hand Control Block

Pneumatics Technology
VACUUM ENGINEERING
Vacuum engineering is employed in
applications
where
transportation
and
stopping functions must be performed with
very great care.
With holding forces of up to 350
Newton, flat, slanting or round workpieces with
rough, smooth or uneven surfaces can be safely
transported.
Suction Cup Diameter
In millimeter
10
20
40
60
95

The operating pressure is applied at input port


(P). The reduction in area in a jet nozzle causes the
compressed air to be accelerated. Vacuum is then
generated in the restricted space at the vacuum port (V)
where the suction cups are connected. The compressed
air escapes through the vent port (R). The operating
pressures should be 3 to 7 bars while the air
consumption depends upon the vacuum.

Holding Force
In Newton
3, 6
14, 3
57, 1
128, 5
350

Negative pressure is the working


medium employed by this equipment
technology. Vacuum is given in PE-Bar or in
%Vacuum. The ideal working (negative)
pressure is between -0.8 and -0.6 bar that is, 80%
to 60% vacuum.

58

Typical picture of a Vacuum Ejector

Two methods are used to generate


negative pressure, Mechanical Pumps or
Vacuum Ejectors.
V

MECHANICAL PUMPS
They are used when a large number of
suction cups are to be operated simultaneously,
or a range of applications must be supplied from
a central point.

VACUUM EJECTORS/GENERATORS
On the other hand, Ejectors can be
employed to generate vacuum. They are suited
for direct operation of up to as many as 3
suction cups.
The vacuum generator uses the Venturi
effect to create a vacuum. The air going through
the Venturi is accelerated because of the
decreasing diameter in the Venturi. As the air
flow increases, pressure decreases. The vacuum
cups function with this pressure drop.

Cross-sectional view of the components construction

Vacuum Generator

Pneumatics Technology
VACUUM / SUCTION CUP
The vacuum/suction cups are the
working elements employed in vacuum
engineering. They are handling devices for
objects presenting a flat surface. They are either
of the Flat-type or the Telescopic-type.

59

Suction cups are employed to hold workpieces


and are suitable for the mechanical transportation and
fixation of small to medium-sized objects. Cups can be
used in numbers to obtain a greater lifting force.

Simple Vacuum Set-up

Flat-type Suction Cups


% Vacuum

Telescopic-type Suction Cups

80
60
40
20
1

3
PE (Bar)

Supply Pressure and Vacuum Percentage Relationship


Typical picture of a Vacuum Cups
Liter
4
Vacuum / Suction Cup
By creating a vacuum between the cup
and the surface of the object, you have a suction
force that can hold the object. The suction cup
holds the workpiece when the surrounding
pressure is higher than that between the suction
cup and the surface of the workpiece with which
it is in contact.
The suction force obtained is the
product of negative pressure (vacuum) and the
surface of the cup. The level of suction force is a
function of the available vacuum, the effective
suction area, and the number of suction cups.

3
2
1
10

20

30 40 50
% Vacuum

60

70

80

Air Consumption (Liters) required to evacuate


a volume of 1 Liter

Pneumatics Technology
PNEUMATIC SIGNAL TYPES
AND CONTROL TYPES
In accordance with DIN 19226, controls
are classified according to:
1.

The way the information is represented


Analog
Digital
Binary

2.

The type of sequence concerned


Logical control
Sequential control
Time-oriented
Sequential
Control
Process-oriented Sequential
Control

3.

The type of signal processing used


Command-variable control
Holding-element control
Programmed control
Time-scheduled/dependent
control
Position-scheduled
/dependent control

TYPES OF CONTROL

LOGICAL
CONTROL

SEQUENTIAL
CONTROL

Command-Variable
Control

Programmed
Control

Holding-Element
Control

TIME-ORIENTED
SEQUENTIAL
CONTROL

PROCESS-ORIENTED
SEQUENTIAL
CONTROL

Time-Scheduled
Control

Position-Scheduled
Control

60

Pneumatics Technology

61

Pneumatics Technology

62

POSITION-DEPENDENT
CONTROLS
When an actuator performs a movement
(for instance, the cylinders piston rod moves
out), and a second operation is triggered
depending upon the rods movement (which is
monitored and signaled back), this is referred to
as Position-dependence.
Position switches or Limit switches are
used to register and signal back such
movements. For the most part, 3/2 directional
control valves are used as position switches in
pneumatic engineering. These are mechanicallycontrolled valves with spring return. One
prerequisite for the use of such valves is that
only low actuating forces should be needed.
Plunger

Note that the actuation of a position switch by


means of an operating cam (machine part that transfers
motion) on the piston rod is symbolized by a triangle.
The position of the mounting or the positionswitch actuation is symbolized by a dash.
S1

S2

Ball
Representation of Roller with Idle Return
Spring Rod

Note that the direction in which the actuation


takes place is indicated by an arrow.
S1

Pressure Nozzle
No Mechanical Contact
Roller

S1

Roller with Idle Return

Pressure
Nozzles

Roller

Mechanical Contact

S1

Roller
with Free Return

Mechanical Contact
When Extending

Mechanical Contact
When Retracting

Pneumatics Technology
REPRESENTATION OF
PNEUMATIC CIRCUIT DIAGRAMS
The arrangement of the graphical
symbols in a circuit diagram should correspond
to the control loop schematic diagram.

The signal flow should take place from


bottom to top.
The sequence of cylinder operations
should be from left to right.
The presentation of energy supply
should always take place in the same
circuit diagram. However, for simplicity
the energy supply can be shown
separately by means of the symbol for
the pneumatic pressure source.
The elements are shown in the
pressureless mode except when they are
meant to have an initially pressurized
condition.
If the pistons of double-acting cylinders
are extended in their initial position,
they are to be drawn in the extended
position.

DESIGNATION OF PNEUMATIC
ELEMENTS IN CIRCUIT DIAGRAMS
There is no concrete standardization
applicable to pneumatic circuit diagrams.
Among the possible designation systems are:

Letter or number systems, or a


combination of the two.
Simple numbering of the elements
Group numbering according to the
control loop schematic diagram and the
signal flow

Drive elements are designated from left


to right using Z1, Z2, Z3, etc. or by A, B, C, etc.
Signaling elements, control elements
and actuators are identified by two digits
separated by a period. The digit to the left of the
period identifies the cylinder or the control loop
allocation, and the digit to the right is the
running number according to the signal flow.
Starting from the bottom row, the units are
numbered from right to left, e.g. 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 etc.

63

Energy supplies are allocated a zero to the left


of the period. The numbers to the right of the period are
allocated according to the energy flow, e.g. 0.1, 0.2, 0.3,
etc.
The elements in between the actuator and the
drive element such as the flow-control valves can be
designated using the same system as with the signaling
elements, control elements and actuators.

Pneumatics Technology

SEQUENTIAL REPRESENTATION
OF MOTIONS
As soon as there are more than two
drive elements in a control, it becomes
imperative that the control sequence is
represented of diagrams.

3.

SHORTHAND NOTATION

Z1
Z2
Z1
Z2

Z1

FUNCTION STATE DIAGRAMS


A function state diagram is a form of a
representation of a sequential control in
pneumatic systems that show the sequence and
the position of the drive elements.
This form of representation permits the
straight forward representation of all drive
elements of a control loop.

1.

A
B
A
B

CYLINDER 1

CYLINDER 2

Extend

Extend

Retract

Retract

4.

Z2

Z1

Z1

Z2

Z2

POSITION-SEQUENCE DIAGRAM
The functional sequence of one or more
drive elements together with the respective
components can be shown using two
coordinates.

POSITION-SEQUENCE DIAGRAM
Step 1
2

POINTER REPRESENTATION
Z1

Z2

Z1

Cylinder 2 (Z2)

4=1

2
1
2
1

Z2
The POSITION is shown in the ordinate while the
STEP is shown in the abscissa.
5.

A
B
A
B

Z1

Cylinder 1 (Z1)

Z1
Z2
Z1
Z2

Z2

TABULAR REPRESENTATION

STEP

2.

64

POSITION-TIME DIAGRAM

POSITION-TIME DIAGRAM
Time(s)
0
1
Cylinder 1 (Z1)

Cylinder 2 (Z2)

2
1
2
1

10 11

Pneumatics Technology

65

The POSITION is shown in the


ordinate while the TIME is shown in the
abscissa.
For both position-sequence and the
position-time diagrams:

The actuator movement is indicated


by the sloping action line on the
grid.
The standstill state is indicated by
the horizontal action line on the
grid.
Either diagram has their drive
elements stacked on top of each
other.
The ordinate representing the
position of the drive element in its
retracted state is termed number 1
while the extended state is termed
number 2.
In the control sequence, the position
of the drive elements for the last
step (END) always corresponds to
the first step (START).

Note:

14
14

12

12

FUNCTION CHART

If the interplay between the drive


elements and the actuators and controlling
elements is to be dictated, the representation is
designated as the function chart.
As per VDI 3260, the function chart
permits
not
only
the
straight-forward
representation of all the components of a control
loop, but also the information on the job,
function and interplay of the elements
concerned.
FUNCTION CHART SYMBOLS
t
Time-dependent
Signaling
Elements
Muscular
Power
Actuation

Signal
Line

Mechanicallycontrolled Signaling
Elements

Actuated
Position

Normal
Position

A components normal position is represented


by a thin function line, while the remaining
position by a thick function line.
A signal line is used to indicate the dependence
of the drive elements upon the signaling
elements and actuators, while the arrow shows
the direction of action.
Signaling elements actuated by muscular power
are represented by signals inside a circle.
Mechanically-controlled signaling elements are
represented by a heavy dot.
Time-dependent
and
pressure-dependent
signaling elements are represented by a special
symbol inside a square.

The change of state of controlling elements and


actuators are represented by a vertical step line.

The movements of drive elements are


represented by a sloping function line.
Different drive element speeds are indicted by
the different function line slope angles.
The drive elements standstill state is
represented by a horizontal function line.

Pneumatics Technology
GENERATING A FUNCTION CHART

Time(s)
Step

COMPONENTS
Designation

Identification

State S3

Cylinder (A)

2
1

Directional
control valve (V1)

1.3

14
12

S0

S2

6=1

S1

S4

Cylinder (A)

2
1

Directional
control valve (V2)

1.6

14
12

Directional
control valve (S0)

1.1

12
10

Directional
control valve (S1)

1.7

12
10

Directional
control valve (S2)

1.5

12
10

Directional
control valve (S3)

1.2

12
10

Directional
control valve (S4)

1.4

12
10

S3

66

Pneumatics Technology
SIGNAL SWITCH-OFF SOLUTIONS
Annular
Area

2.

This signal overlap in sequential


controls is said to occur when a signal is
present at the pilot-control port of one of the
actuators, even though this actuator is to be
switched by an opposing signal at its other
pilot-control port. This signal overlap can only
occur when impulse valves are used as
actuators. This means that certain methods
necessitate the non-required signals being
switched-off in good time.
Before a decision can be reached on the
solution to be used, it must first of all be
ascertained how many overlaps occur in the
particular control and where they occur.

Time-delayed switch-off using timers

Except for very simple sequences, signal


overlap can occur with position-dependent
sequential controls.

3.

Switch-off using Roller with Free-return

This is a very cheap solution and


easy to apply without any specific
control engineering know-how
being necessary.
However, since they are mounted
outside the end position, this
would mean that there will be no
signal generated in the end
position. These results in a shift of
the sequence or that the roller is not
available for other signal processing
measures.
It is also impossible to use with
short-stroke cylinders because the
mounting available for the rollers is
to short.
These roller limit switches are
passed over too quickly when high
working speeds are involved,
therefore the resulting signal
duration is too short.

Due to the fact that a separate (relatively


expensive) timer is required for each signal
switch-off, this method represents a
relatively high-cost solution in the area of
control engineering.
Signal switch-off is maintained only as
long as the roller limit switch is actuated. If
the limit switch is released and then
actuated again, this generates a second
impulse via the timer.

Change-over valves using Impulse valves

SIGNAL SWITCH-OFF METHODS


1.

67

Although this solution involves a higher


level of equipment complexity, it is still the
optimum solution among the three.
These valves only have to switch lowpower signals which mean that small-size
valves can be employed.
Theoretically, only a separate 3/2 impulse
valve is needed for each signal that is to be
switched-off.
It is also possible to switch off two signals in
a control by means of a single 5/2 impulse
valve.

POSITION-SEQUENCE DIAGRAM
Step
1
Cylinder 1

S0

S1

DCV 1

14
12

S3
Cylinder 2

DCV 2

2
1

S2

14
12

Signal overlap in a Switch-off using


Roller with Free Return

5=1