Advantages of Pneumatic Actuator | disadvantages of Pneumatic Actuator

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Pneumatic Actuator. It mentions Pneumatic Actuator advantages or benefits and Pneumatic Actuator disadvantages or drawbacks.


• Transducer is a device which converts one form of energy into the other form of energy. Both sensor and actuator are energy conversion devices. Hence they can be called as transducers.
• A sensor is a device which converts physical parameter to electrical output.
• An actuator is a device which converts electrical input signal to mechanical or physical output signal (e.g. force or displacement).

Following are the main types of actuators.
• Pneumatic actuator
• Hydraulic actuator
• Electric actuator

What is Pneumatic Actuator?

• It is operated by source of energy which is pneumatic pressure.
• It converts this input energy into motion.
• It requires larger size cylinder to produce same force compare to hydraulic actuator.
• It is more costly compare to hydraulic actuator.

Pneumatic Actuator

Pneumatic actuator works as per same principle of hydraulic except it requires compressed gas instead of liquid. The figure-1 depicts pneumatic actuator.

Benefits or advantages of Pneumatic Actuator

Following are the benefits or advantages of Pneumatic Actuator:
➨It is simple in construction.
➨It has better accuracy.
➨It is preferred for places which require cleanliness compare to hydraulic actuator. In hydraulic actuator, fluid gets leak and contaminate surrounding areas.
➨Pneumatic type of actuator is preferred as it responds very quickly to start and stop motion.
➨It can work in extreme temperature areas.
➨It is light in weight.
➨It requires minimum maintenance.
➨It is cost effective method of linear motion.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Pneumatic Actuator

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Pneumatic Actuator:
➨Pressure losses and compressibility of air make them less efficient compare to other linear motion methods.
➨A compressor must run continually.
➨Even though the air is easily available, it can be contaminated by oil or lubrication. This leads to downtime and requires maintenance.

Also refer advantages and disadvantages of electric actuator >> and hydraulic actuator >> for more information.

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