AirStroke actuators made by Firestone perform the same kinds of actuation tasks as the more commonly seen hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders, but for short-stroke, high-force tasks, have several advantages over their peers. AirStroke actuators are friction-free, leak-free, single-acting pneumatic actuators that have been used in a huge variety of industrial environments in the place of hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders.
You’re probably familiar with the traditional design of one of those cylinders: a tube of steel with a piston of steel inside, filled with either gas or hydraulic fluid. As more gas or fluid is added, the piston is pushed outward by the increase in pressure. Because the piston must be sealed tightly enough that the gas or fluid cannot escape, they require both constant lubrication and an environment free of particulate that might degrade the seal.
Firestone’s AirStroke actuators don’t have moving parts or seals, so they neatly sidestep both of those problems. They need no maintenance or upkeep, because they consist of naught but a strong, flexible outer wall that forms a tube capped on both ends by metal. When it’s empty, the outer wall collapses perfectly downward so that the metal caps are almost resting on top of one another. The metal endcaps have ports that allow air or fluid in and out; as the medium of choice rushes in, the endcaps are forced apart and the walls expand upwards, doing the job of a pneumatic actuator but with dramatically increased flexibility — they can operate with the top cap up 30 degrees off of vertical without a noticeable loss of power or efficiency.
With diameters between 2.2 inches and 37 inches, stroke lengths of up to 14 inches, and workloads of up to one hundred thousand pounds, AirStroke actuators can do almost any short-stroke, single-action job you’ve got. At less than 60% of the up-front cost of a similarly-purposed pneumatic or hydraulic cylinder and zero maintenance and upkeep, from an economic standpoint, the AirStroke is practically a no-brainer.
If you’re not certain whether or not an AirStroke actuator is the right tool for your job, contact Peerless Engineering today. We’ll be happy to offer you a free consultation on the powers and properties of these amazing industrial implements.