Double Acting Air Cylinder: The Complete Guide for Optimal Performance and Reliability

Double Acting Air Cylinder: The Complete Guide for Optimal Performance and Reliability

Air cylinders are super handy pneumatic devices that use compressed air to create mechanical motion. These automated actuators come in handy any time you need to generate pushing or pulling force to move an object. And one of its most versatile designs is the double-acting air cylinder. Unlike the single-acting models that only push, they offer power on both push and pull strokes.

Still, confused? Don’t worry. In this complete guide, we will explore everything you need to know about double-acting air cylinders, which allow you to select the right model for your application, get optimal performance, and ensure reliable operation over time.

How to Install Double Acting Air Cylinders

Taking the time to install them correctly goes a long way to get the most out of your air cylinders. To prevent shift or bending under load, mount cylinders square and rigid. Use dowel pins to maintain perfect bore or rod alignment. You may allow some play on airline connections to avoid twisting, and using flex hoses can help. Also, make sure the rod travels back and forth smoothly without rubbing, and to prevent harsh stops, add cushions or shocks on the cylinder heads. Leave room for access to ports, fittings, and accessories. It’s also important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for any seals, threads, and fittings during assembly.

Proper Maintenance

Compared to other types of actuators, air cylinders are generally low maintenance. But to maximize their longevity, use clean, dry air to prevent moisture that causes corrosion. Install 5-10 micron air filters. To prevent seal damage and sticking, keep the cylinder lubricated. Fix any leaks immediately and watch for scoring damage to the bore and rod surfaces. Make sure the rod travel remains smooth through the whole stroke and tighten loose fittings and air connections. When not in use, apply rust-inhibiting lube to exposed rod surfaces. Lastly, consider an annual rebuild for heavy-use cylinders.

Well-maintained air cylinders can run reliably for years before major servicing is needed. Catching problems early keeps little issues from getting big headaches down the road.


If your application calls for a back-and-forth linear motion, double acting air cylinders should be on your shortlist. They provide a very flexible and cost-effective solution for most light to medium-duty automation tasks. Following proper sizing, installation, and maintenance practices will ensure you get optimal life and performance out of double acting cylinders. When powered by clean, dry air, they’ll provide many years of smooth and reliable service. Check out our website YK-Longshun catalog to find the right cylinder for your specific needs.

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