Air Cylinders: Handle And Store Correctly To Ensure Safety


An air cylinder can be described as a gas cylinder that is used to store compressed air. Used for a varied number of purposes from pneumatics through to paint ball ammunition propulsion, air cylinders are considered dangerous if handled incorrectly due to the high pressure storage of gases. They need to be handled and stored correctly to ensure the safety of everyone working with them.

Air Cylinders

Rodless Linear Air Cylinder

A generic air cylinder has a rod that extends outside the cylinder body. However, for certain applications, different air cylinder designs needed to be devised and one such example is the rodless linear air cylinder.

  • Lacking the piston rod outside of the cylinder body, the rodless linear air cylinder has an internal piston that is connected to an external carriage, by means of a magnetic or mechanical coupling system.
  • The rodless air cylinders are ideal for use where space is an issue.
  • It can also be utilized for long stroke applications, because they are unaffected by rod overhang, bending, piston binding, and uneven seal wear.
  • Miniature air cylinders should also be considered where space is an issue.

The Appearance Of An Air Cylinder

Air cylinders vary in appearance; however, the basic design generally falls into one of the categories below (disregarding the numerous other types of pneumatic cylinder available, many of which are designed to fulfill specific and specialized functions.). Types of air cylinders include:

Single Acting Cylinders (SAC) - Which use the pressure imparted by compressed air to create a driving force in one direction (usually out), and a spring to return to the "home" position.

Double Acting Cylinders (DAC) - Which use the force of air to move in both extend and retract strokes and 'other types', including Rotary air cylinders (actuators that use air to impart a rotary motion) and Rodless linear air cylinders (actuators that use a mechanical or magnetic coupling to impart force).

The Uses Of Air Cylinders

An air cylinder, with its primary purpose being to store compressed air, can be used for pneumatics – which is the use of pressurized air to do work. Air cylinders are also used in scuba diving in the portable air tanks divers use to descend and also to inflate buoyancy devices, for example dinghy. In a more scientific capacity, the compressed air in an air cylinder can be used for cooling using a vortex tube, for cleaning electronic components that cannot be cleaned with water and for air brake road and rail systems. Compressed air safety guidelines should always be followed when working with air cylinders.

Bimba Manufacturing

An example of a high end air cylinder manufacturer is Bimba Manufacturing. Bimba cylinders are very popular due to their superb quality. Bimba specializes in providing solutions to engineering challenges and manufacturing. Among others:

  • Air cylinders
  • Rotary actuators
  • Linear thrusters
  • Rodless cylinders
  • Flow controls
  • Position-sensing cylinders

The company maintains an ISO 9001 certification. Some of the requirements in ISO 9001:2008 (which is one of the standards in the ISO 9000 family) include:

  • Set of procedures that cover all key processes in the business
  • Monitoring processes to ensure they are effective
  • Keeping adequate records
  • Checking output for defects, with appropriate and corrective action where necessary
  • Regularly reviewing individual processes and the quality system itself for effectiveness
  • Facilitating continual improvement

Air cylinders have come a long way since their introduction into the market. Through doing a bit of research you will be able to identify which air cylinder best fits your needs.