Linear Cylinder Guide

What is a linear cylinder?

A linear cylinder refers to the cylinder that moves with linear orientation is order to drive the motion of the machine tools or other industrial machinery. The linear cylinder can be driven by electric, hydraulic, or pneumatic force, which is to use the electric power, pressurizes fluids, air, or gases as the media to be transformed into kinetic energy that is provided for the related applications.

The cylinders can be seen on the devices where there is necessity for the component of a device to move. In addition to the electric power source that is provided by the motor, the cylinders are dedicated to offering the force directly to the moving part of the device, which is as important as the motor.

Depending on the requirements of different applications such as the shapes or operation methods of the machines, the rotary cylinders, which are operated with the centrifugal force, and linear cylinders, which are operated with the back and forth movements, are both available, and they may come in various sizes in order to accommodate to different forms of machines. 

There may be some factors that cause the customer or manufacturers to prefer one type to the other, while the linear cylinders are capable of operating in limited spaces and offering sufficient energy for their applications to receive, which make them the popular choice when there are requirements of motion driving.

How does a linear cylinder form?

A linear cylinder is mainly comprised of a motor, a piston, piston rod, and a barrel, and all of them are placed linearly and secured by the housing outside the barrel, which result in the naming of this device.

● Motor
As the above introduction has mentioned, the linear cylinders can be driven by hydraulic, pneumatic, or electric power. The transferring process from these power sources to the cylinder is by turning the motor on. 

When the motor is turned on, the mechanical or electrical power can be transformed into the kinetic energy and sent to the piston and piston rod inside the cylinder, so as to cause the cylinder to work.

Unlike the rotary cylinders that cause their applications to operate by the rotating component inside the cylinders, the linear cylinders utilize a piston that moves back and forth so as to provide the compressive force when the application is initiated and the pulling force when the application is turned off.

 Piston rod
The piston rod is a long rod that carries and provides support for the piston when it moves. There is a ball screw that is connected with the piston rod, in order to move the piston rod to feed and retract the piston with linear motions.

● Barrel
The barrel in the linear cylinder is the cavity that is provided for carrying the piston, piston rod, and the ball screw inside the cylinder. Around the outside of the barrel, it is covered by the housing, which stabilizes and protects the cylinder when it is operated inside the applied device.

What types of linear cylinders are there?

Single-acting cylinders
The single acting cylinders means the medium that is provided would be pumped into the cylinder from only one port by a single direction. When the medium is pumped into the barrel, the piston would be extended to generate the pressure, and then release the pressure to the connected applications.

 Double-acting cylinders
As the name implies, the double-acting cylinders refer to the double accesses that the cylinders have to receiving the medium from the reservoir and releasing the pressure to the applications.

Compared to the single-acting type, the double-acting cylinders are more commonly used, since they are relatively versatile for providing pressure to the moving components that adopt these devices.

 Tie-rod cylinders
Among all types of linear cylinders, the tie-rod cylinders are relatively easier to be assembled or disassembled, which makes the maintaining or repairing of these cylinders more convenient.

In addition, the material that is used to produce the rod of this type of cylinders is usually threaded steel, which provides the optimal support and prevents the medium from leaking out of the cylinders.

● Welded rod cylinders
The welded cylinders indicate that the end caps inside the cylinders are welded, which make the end caps stay inside the cylinders relatively firmer than other types, although it is difficult to disassemble the cylinders when it is necessary to maintain or repair the cylinders.

 Telescopic cylinders
The telescopic cylinders are equipped with more than five tubes that are nested together and taper from one end to the other, which make them look like telescope, and these tapered tubes are called stages.

This type of cylinders can either work with a single port like the single-acting cylinders or the two ports as in the double-acting cylinders.

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