Miniature air cylinders are pneumatic tools that use the force of compressed air to move things; their defining characteristic is their small size relative to other air cylinder varieties. All air cylinders are designed to lift or move something. They can be used on their own or in conjunction with other equipment. Miniature air cylinders are characterized by their small size relative to other air cylinder varieties.
The largest air cylinders can be as large as 1,000 mm in diameter and can be capable of exerting enough force to lift automobiles. They can occupy substantial amounts of space, which in some contexts is not an impediment to the efficiency of the operations in which they are employed. In other cases, though, especially in mass production contexts, space use can be a critical determining factor in output volume.
Miniature air cylinders can be as small as 2.5 mm in diameter; a miniature cylinder’s compactness allows it to perform tasks on a very small scale. Such a quality can be very helpful in the mass production of very small products, particularly in the electronic components manufacturing industry. Other industries, including the automotive manufacturing, construction, food processing, packaging, metal working, mining and textile production industries, can also benefit from the use of miniature air cylinders.
All air cylinders feature an enclosure of pressure-resistant metal, a compressed air inlet and a piston. When compressed air is forced into the enclosure, it displaces the piston. Any load connected to the piston will be moved with the piston. All air cylinders have those qualities in common, but from there they vary widely in their construction.
Miniature air cylinders are designed to exert the highest possible amount of force while occupying the smallest possible amount of space. A medium-sized air cylinder may be considered small compared to a very large cylinder, but it may also be considered large compared to a much smaller cylinder. There is no universally-recognized standard of largeness or smallness as they pertain to air cylinder size.
Dimensions like rod diameter and stroke length affect performance, and such dimensions can vary in air cylinders of the same stated bore size from different manufacturers. ISO 6432-compliant air cylinders will conform in terms of critical dimensions, but not all manufacturers produce compliant cylinders. Because miniature air cylinders are so small, they can be difficult to repair, which can necessitate replacement upon cylinder failure. Installing ISO 6432-compliant cylinders in such cases guarantees that an appropriate replacement will be easy to find.