What Are Pneumatic Devices and Their Types?

Pneumatic devices create and use compressed air for their functionality, and rock drills, pavement breakers, riveters, forging presses, paint sprayers, blast cleaners, and atomizers are all common examples. Compressed air power is a safe, economically-friendly, and flexible option which causes no spark hazards in an explosive system. Furthermore, it is usable in wet conditions without the risk of electric shock. Pneumatic devices are also able to fill a storage tank for occasional use and do not require return lines. Additionally, it is possible to connect components like a valve or cylinder and piston to one another through a pipe, tubing, or a flexible hose. Pneumatic devices also can perform actions such as changing the movement of an actuating piston in a cylinder without shock by manipulating the valves. Air systems like these offer flexibility, speed, and motion control, utilizing relief valves to protect equipment. They are also easy to operate and have few moving parts which makes them reliable and easy to maintain.

The History of Pneumatic Devices

Some of the earliest air compressors were called hand bellows which were used by smelters and blacksmiths who worked with iron and other metal types. Hand bellows were made of a piece of wood featuring several holes, and these holes were covered with flaps that also served as valves with a check valve that kept air from moving back into the bellows. Jet type compressors were also used for smelting and foraging in what is estimated to be the first century AD.

By the seventeenth century, a German man named Otto von Guericke worked to improve compressors and their functioning. In the year 1829, a stage/compound compressor was patented, and these work by compressing air in successive cylinders. By 1872, water jet cooling systems came about and lasted until years later when water-jacketed cylinders were introduced. The first compressor used in large-scale operations was a unit featuring four cylinders which was used at the Hoosac Tunnel in Massachusetts in 1866.

During the twentieth century, compressed air and compressed air devices became widely used. Jet engines on military and passenger aircraft served to encourage the use of centrifugal and axial-flow compressors while also promoting their modification. Pneumatics use increased over this period because of the further development of automatic machinery and automatic control systems.

Types Of Pneumatic Devices

Air compressors and pneumatic tools are the primary types of pneumatic devices, but there exist others such as paint-spray equipment and train brake systems. To start, air compressors are power-driven machines made to compress air from an initial intake pressure up to a higher one. There are two main versions of compressors which include the positive displacement type and the velocity type. In the positive displacement type, a volumetric change or displacement action is carried out. Continuous volumes of air are kept in a confined space so that the pressure increases by reducing the space volume. An example is the hand tire pump that works by moving a piston in the cylinder to increase pressure. The volume rate of flow through the compressor is consistent through many different discharge pressures. Another type of compressor is the dynamic type which is subdivided into the centrifugal type, the axial-flow type, and the fluid-jet type.

Pneumatic tools have two different driving methods, rotors and reciprocating pistons, both of them being air motors. When operating in reverse, a rotating compressor allows air to enter the housing, and it pushes on the vanes and rotates a central shaft which is attached to a drill, grinding wheel, or a similar device. On the other hand, a reciprocating-piston compressor working in reverse functions as a motor in the following manner: compressed air goes into the cylinder and expands to move the piston. Pneumatic tools are supplied with compressed air at a value of around ninety pounds per square inch, and since air is the power source, these tools are nearly hazard-free and lightweight.


Those in the market for high quality pneumatic devices should look no further than Industrial Automation Parts. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we have more than 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts available for your immediate purchase. Many of the parts we offer are subject to rigorous quality control measures to ensure proper functioning and safety. As an AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accredited parts distributor, you can trust the caliber of our offerings. Once you place an order with us, we work diligently to get your parts delivered to you as quickly as possible. Take your time to fill out one of our online RFQ forms with as much information about your needs as possible. One of our dedicated account managers will get you a quote within 15 minutes of your submission.


Semiconductor's Certifications and Memberships

Thank You for Visiting.

We hope that you will visit us again the next time you need industrial parts and make us your strategic purchasing partner.

Request for Quote

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.