Keep Things Moving with High-Temperature Pneumatic Cylinder

Keep Things Moving with High-Temperature Pneumatic Cylinder

Are you working with high-temperature equipment? You know excess heat can damage standard pneumatic components, leading to serious problems like reduced seal life, sticky cylinders, and frequent failures. What if there was an air cylinder actually designed for hot environments? Sounds good, right? This guide will explore the benefits of using high-temperature pneumatic cylinders, their key construction elements, cylinder types, and some examples already put to use.

Introduction to High-Temperature Pneumatic Cylinders

Pneumatic cylinders, also known as air cylinders, are mechanical devices that use compressed air or other gases to produce a force in a linear and reciprocating motion. Rather, they come in various designs and capabilities to suit different industrial automation applications.

One key feature of certain pneumatic cylinders is their ability to withstand high operating temperatures. They are designed specifically for use in environments where heat exposure is an important consideration.

Hot environments degrade standard seals, gaskets, lubricants, and metal in typical pneumatic cylinders rather quickly. High-temperature cylinders simply use special materials and designs that resist wear and breakdown at hotter temperatures. We’re referring to rated operating ranges from 250 up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit in some models.

This lets you reliably use air power for moving parts in and out of ovens or furnaces. Clamping or releasing molds near molten plastics or metals and transferring products through heating and drying processes. They can be used for automating material flow through sterilization chambers and manipulating samples in environmental test chambers.

They can also prevent common problems like seizing and loss of lubrication from destroying your cylinder or seals, which need frequent replacement from heat exposure. That means far less unplanned downtime and maintenance hassles.

What Makes a Pneumatic Cylinder High Temperature?

While standard cylinders handle ambient temperatures around 120-160°F before issues arise, high-temperature models incorporate special materials like stainless steel components that resist corrosion, high-temperature seals/gaskets made of Viton or specialized elastomers handle hotter fluids and air, and materials like low-friction bands, bearings, and lubricants viable to their temperature range.

This heat-hardy construction ensures the cylinder internals can operate smoothly despite the exterior environment being on fire.

Heat Resistant Cylinders Design Types

There are a few main high-temperature pneumatic cylinder build styles to suit different needs:

Stainless Steel Cylinders
Employing stainless steel for nearly all wetted parts with proper greases and seals, these models are rated to resist surface temperatures exceeding 750 degrees Fahrenheit continuously without breakdown or significant loss of function. All corrosion-resistant metallurgy makes them ideal for steam-based heating processes and other applications involving exposure to hot acids, chemical cleaning agents, and other aggressive liquids that erode standard carbon steel.

Coated Carbon Steel Cylinders
The base cylinder barrel and piston rod are made from common carbon steel but feature protective Nickel electroplating or industrial coatings able to withstand 400-500°F temperatures relatively smoothly compared to uncoated standard cylinders. The coating insulates some base material and allows more budget-friendly high-temperature functionality.

Heated Body Cylinders
Using common carbon steel base material but integrating proprietary internal heaters able to maintain consistent cylinder barrel and rod temperatures around 500°F even when exterior environmental temperatures peak far beyond that figure. This allows reliable ambient heat levels above. 700°F but requires integrated electrical controls and sensors to actively regulate heater elements responding to conditions.

Tie-Rod Cylinders
This heavy-duty cylinder is identified by the utilization of exceptionally thick-walled cylinder bodies to contain extreme pneumatic pressures alongside twin or quadruple parallel exterior tie-down rods reinforcing the entire barrel assembly to remain perfectly straight through massive side loads and peak temperatures of more than 800°F regularly through specialized gaskets and insulators sandwiched between interfaces.

Additional Mounting, Length, and Diameter Factors Impacting Selection

Beyond materials, also think about:
Firstly, the stroke length you need.
Secondly, bore diameter and force capacity.
What’s more, mounting styles-trunnion, threaded, foot.
Also, single or double-acting movement control.

Machine designers must consider various factors beyond just temperature and pressure to ensure longer material life and better performance. It’s not only about choosing the right materials; it’s also about sizing the cylinder correctly to fit within space limits, generate enough force, and provide the needed motion for moving loads. Even with advanced materials, success depends on understanding sizing, travel, and mounting factors to maximize the benefits. Ultimately, the choices made by engineers play a crucial role in ensuring durability and performance.


Just remember to select equipment rated for your specific process temperatures. Mind bore, stroke, and mounting based on the full application. Talk to an application engineer if unsure about avoiding problems to save more work by replacing burned cylinders. Implementing properly rated high-temperature pneumatic cylinders from the start saves endless hassles down the road.

So don’t settle for options not made for the heat or try saving money upfront by rigging standard cylinders to work temporarily. If any other automation challenges come up, reach out to YK Longshun.

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