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INTRODUCTION

Pneumatics has long since played an important role as a technology in the performance of mechanical work. It is also used in the development of automation solutions. In the majority of applications compressed air is used for one or more of the following functions: • To determine the status of processors (sensors) • Information processing (processors) • Switching of actuators by means of final control elements • Carrying out work (actuators) To be able to control machinery and installations necessitates the construction of a generally complex logic interconnection of statuses and switching conditions. This occurs as a result of the interaction of sensors, processors, control elements and actuators in pneumatic or partly pneumatic systems.

Fundamentals of Pneumatics

Physical fundamentals Air is an abundant gas mixture with the following composition: • Nitrogen approx. 78 vol. % • Oxygen approx. 21 vol. % It also contains traces of carbon dioxide, argon, hydrogen, neon, helium, krypton and xenon. To assist in the understanding of the natural laws as well as the behaviour of air, the physical dimensions which are employed. The data is taken from the “International System of Units”, SI for short.

Fundamentals of Pneumatics

Fundamentals of Pneumatics .

Excess Pressure. (pamb) The pressure prevailing directly on the earth’s surface is known as atmospheric pressure . This pressure is also referred to as reference pressure. ( pe > 0) The range above the atmospheric pressure Vacuum Range (pe < 0) The range below the atmospheric pressure Atmospheric Differential Pressure (pe) Formula .Fundamentals of Pneumatics Atmospheric Pressure .

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pressure gauges which only indicate the excess pressure are generally used. The absolute pressure pabs is the value relative to pressure Zero . The absolute pressure value pabs is approximately 100 kPa (1 bar) higher. in pneumatics all data concerning air quantity refers to the so called standard state. the standard state is the status of a solid. In practice. fluid or gaseous substance defined by standard temperature and pressure.Fundamentals of Pneumatics Atmospheric pressure does not have a constant value. tn = 0 °C – Standard pressure pn = 101325 Pa = 1. It varies with the geographical location and the weather.Vacuum. It is equal to the sum of the atmospheric pressure and the excess pressure or vacuum. According to DIN 1343. – Standard temperature Tn = 273.01325 bar . Generally.15 K.

the forces between the air molecules are to be disregarded for operating conditions usual in pneumatics. it assumes the shape of its surroundings. i.Fundamentals of Pneumatics Characteristics of air A characteristic of air is its minimal cohesion.e. Boyle-Mariotte’s Law At constant temperature. the product of absolute pressure and volume is constant for a given mass of gas. The applicable relationship is given in Boyle-Mariotte’s Law.e. Its shape changes with the slightest resistance. the volume of a given mass of gas is inversely proportional to the absolute pressure. . air has no particular shape. In common with all gases.e. i. Air can be compressed and it endeavours to expand. i.

Fundamentals of Pneumatics .

Fundamentals of Pneumatics .

. a temperature of 273 K and a temperature rise of 1 K. Gay-Lussac Law The volume of a given mass of gas is proportional to the absolute temperature as long as the pressure does not change.Fundamentals of Pneumatics Characteristics of air Air expands by 1/273 of its volume at constant pressure.

the following formula is to be used: .Fundamentals of Pneumatics The foregoing equations only apply if the temperatures in K are used. In order to be able to calculate in 0C.

Fundamentals of Pneumatics If the volume is kept constant during the temperature rise. this results in the following formula for the pressure increase: or General Gas Equation The general gas equation is a combination of all three: .

the product of pressure and volume divided by the absolute temperature is constant. V or T is kept constant in each case. This general gas equation results in the previously mentioned laws. if one of the three factors p. .Fundamentals of Pneumatics In the case of a given mass of gas.

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This includes primarily: the correct sizing of the pipe system the pipe material flow resistances pipe layout maintenance .Fundamentals of Pneumatics Air distribution In order to ensure reliable and trouble-free air distribution. a number of points must be observed.

The choice of the correct internal diameter is also dependent on the operating pressure and delivery of the compressor. Selection is best made with the aid of a nomograph. Flow resistances are represented by restrictions. Plugs and shutoff valves allow extension to be carried out easily at a later time. . allowance should be made in all cases for extension of the compressed-air network. branches and fittings. To be able to calculate the pressure drop the total pipe length must be known. bends. For fittings. Losses occur in all pipes due to flow resistances. equivalent pipe lengths are determined. The main line size determined by current requirements should therefore be increased to include an appropriate safety margin. The pressure drop in the entire network should be as small as possible. These losses must be made up by the compressor. branches and bends.Fundamentals of Pneumatics Air distribution Sizing pipe systems For new installations.

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Frank Ebel. 73770 Denkendorf 2002 . Festo Didactic GmbH & Co. Peter Croser.Reference [1] Pneumatics Basic Level..

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