Air Cylinder Banner

Air cylinders, also called compressed air cylinders and pneumatic cylinders, are pneumatic actuators; actuators are defined as any mechanism that supplies or transmits controlled energy within a mechanical process. Air cylinders contain a piston, end covers and a cylinder barrel with at least one inlet.

They achieve movement through the introduction of pressurized air, the force of which pushes on the piston, which pushes the object marked for movement. Versatile and environmentally-friendly, they are used in industries like mining, food processing and packaging, automotive manufacturing, metalworking, textile production and many others.

All air cylinders fall into one of two categories: single acting or double acting. Single acting cylinders can power movement in one direction by allowing compressed air to enter and move the piston through a single inlet. After the air has moved through, a spring pushes the piston back into place. Double acting cylinders, on the other hand, have two outlets on either side of the piston that allow compressed air in and out to push the piston back and forth.

In both cylinder types, airflow is controlled by valves, or air lines. Specialty cylinders include: rotary air cylinders, cable air cylinders, rodless air cylinders, compact air cylinders, miniature air cylinders and small air cylinders. Compact, mini and small cylinders grow increasingly popular as microtechnology advances; they may be as small as 2.5 mm in diameter. Read More…

Leading Manufacturers

Fabco-Air, Inc.

Gainesville, FL | 352-373-3578

Cylinders & Valves, Inc.

Strongsville, OH | 440-238-7343

AVENTICS Corporation

Lexington, KY | 859-254-8031

Air Power, Inc.

High Point, NC | 800-334-1001

Dometrics, Inc.

Franklin, NC | 800-553-2531


Air cylinders must be chosen on the basis of which can move the greatest load at the lowest workable velocity and the minimum functional pressure. Choose cylinder mounting hardware, such as noses, blocks and pivots, based on the function, force and size of your cylinder. Also, to avoid any inconsistencies in stroke length, bore dimensions or other dimensions, it’s important to purchase ISO 6432-compliant machines.

Because air cylinders engage in many processes that require extreme precision, errors or inconsistencies can cause damage, harm or inaccuracies. Avoid them to ensure safe and proper operations. Another component to consider is the type of material you want for your air cylinder. The most common options are stainless steel and brass, but others are available as well.

In addition, to improve performance or prevent future problems, choose optional add-ons like position-sensing switches, stop tubes, position feedback sensors, cushions, flow controls, dual pistons and bumpers. With the right choice of configuration and accessories and the proper care, air cylinders can revolutionize an application.

Air Cylinders Informational Video