A pneumatic actuator is a device which converts energy, usually from compressed air, into mechanical motion. These devices have developed significantly and are now an integral part of many industrial processes. They only used to be capable of producing a simple linear movement, but options are now available for rotary motion as well.
Pneumatic actuators are made up of a piston, cylinder, and valves or ports. A diaphragm is used to move the piston which in turn moves the valve stem. All of this is made possible by the use of pressurised gas inside the actuator. The gas is allowed to expand and as it does so, it gains energy. It is this which moves the piston and completes the process.
There are many different types of actuator, from tie rod cylinders to vacuum generators to rodless actuators. They can have a number of different functions, depending on the required application. They’re usually very simplistic in their composition, making them easy to use and integrate.