Slide Cylinder

What is a slide cylinder?

A slide cylinder, also known as a linear cylinder, is a part of a linear actuator that helps drive the back and forth motions of the connected applications, which can range from a small console in a computer, or a large transmission system that is set up through the body of a car, for example.

In other words, a slide cylinder is a common device that can be compatible with a variety of applications, and provides them with the function of motion driving, which can be recognizes as an indispensable component in the devices that contain parts that are required to move linearly.

Depending on the need of the operations, the slide cylinders can be driven by the hydraulic, pneumatic, or electric forces, which own different characteristics and are suitable for different applications respectively.

This type of cylinder serves for the linear actuator, while it is not the only choice for the movable devices. There is still another counterpart of the slide cylinder, or a linear cylinder, which is the rotary cylinder. The former facilitates its applications with back and forth movements, while the latter is specialized in the rotary motion when there is the need of angular traveling path.


How does a slide cylinder form?

Depending on the different types of the actuators, there may be some models with one piston rod and two guide rods, or others with two piston rods that form the cylinder body of the slide or linear actuator. While almost each type of slide actuator consists of a cylinder body, a drive, a stop damper, and a movable plate.

● Cylinder body
The cylinder body can be comprised of either one piston rod in the middle and two guide rods on the sides, or two piston rods parallel to each other, which may be made of aluminum or steel. It acts as the support for the drive to move back and forth and cause the connected applications to move when this device is operated.

● Drive
The drive is the moving components in the slide or linear actuator, which is set around the rods of the cylinder body, and moves back and forth when receiving the hydraulic, pneumatic, or electric forces or pressures.

● Stop damper
The stop damper is set in the middle and on the top of the cylinder body, which is used for absorbing and relieving the vibration that may be caused when the slide or linear actuator works.

● Movable plate
When the slide or linear actuator is mounted, whether horizontally or vertically, the movable plate would be on the opposite end of the stop damper, and connected to the related application. The movable plate is applied for transferring the driving force from the drive of the actuator to the moving parts of the application through the rods as the media.


How a slide cylinder is operated?

When it comes to the operating force of the slide cylinder, it has something to do with how the drives on the piston rods and the guide rods are operated. These drives can be operated with hydraulic, pneumatic, or electric forces, which utilize the media such as the hydraulic fluids, air, or electricity.

The different forces are provided for varied circumstances, which makes them be applied in different situations. For example, the hydraulic cylinder is used when there is the requirement of slow and smooth linear motion; the pneumatic cylinder is for quick motion, and the electric cylinder is especially used for precise control.

No matter what kind of operating force is adopted, all of them can provide strong forces that are enough for facilitating the motion of the connected applications effectively.


Slide cylinders vs. rotary cylinders

As the above introduction has mentioned, both slide cylinders and rotary cylinders are available for being adopted as the motion driving devices. However, since they own different names, there are some variations that differentiate each of them, which include the operating forces, the direction of motion, and the compatible applications.

● Operating forces
Similar to the slide cylinders, the rotary cylinders can also be operated with hydraulic, pneumatic, or electric forces, while considering other factors such as the elimination of the limitation in motion, the electric force is the most commonly adopted force for the rotary cylinders.

● Direction of motion
This is related to how the cylinders are arranged. For the slide cylinders, because they are equipped with rods that are placed parallel to each other, the direction of the motion is linear. Instead, the motion of the rotary cylinders would be rotary accordingly.

Compatible applications
There are a wide range of applications that apply the slide cylinders as the motion driving devices, in which there is the need of linear or back and forth movements of the connected parts. As for the rotary cylinders, depending on the direction of the motion, they are more suitable for the applications that spin during operations, which can be widely seen on the tool holders or work holding devices on the milling machine or lathes, for example.

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