A Pneumatic Cylinder is a mechanical device that takes the power of compressed air to produce force and motion, in a linear fashion. Pneumatic cylinders can be divided into a variety of types. There are cylinders with piston rods, rod less cylinders, swivel cylinders, tandem and multi-position cylinders, stopper cylinders, clamping cylinders, drives with linear guide, and bellows and diaphragm cylinders.
The most common and well known out of the above stated pneumatic cylinders are cylinders with piston rods. The two most common cylinders with piston rods are single acting cylinders (SAC) and double acting cylinders (DAC). Both share a similar makeup; cylinder barrel, bearing cap, end cap, piston, and piston rod are the key components that make up both a SAC and DAC. A pneumatic cylinder isn’t made up of only those 5 parts. There are seals, bearings, guiding bands, permanent magnets and many more, but these five as I stated are the KEY parts.
Cylinder barrels were originally just tubes on pneumatic cylinders. Today the cylinder barrels have adapted to an extruded profile instead of a tube. Adapting to this extruded profile gives the pneumatic cylinder one big advantage. The ability to mount more sensors and attachment parts. For example, mounting a clamp or jaw would allow the pneumatic cylinder the ability to pick and place objects.