How does humidity affect the performance of a pneumatic cylinder?


Humidity in the atmosphere affects cylinder performance in two ways because humidity in the air—it’s moisture that is trapped in atmospheric air. One, you’re compressing it, so when you compress it into a air compressor, it tends to settle out and you have to do something with it. Any type of air compressor system has ways of doing that with auto drains and what not. How that can affect your system performances, changes in temperature can also affect how your cylinder will perform. If you have a lot of liquid in the cylinder not only can it cool and condense at some point, if you have a lot of humidity, it can cause corrosion and uncontrolled performance.

If you think that you have a cylinder that’s supposed to cycle at a certain speed … and all of a sudden you have some cooling water in your cylinder that is trying to get back out through a meter-out flow control, your cylinder will temporarily turn into a hydraulic cylinder as it pushes that fluid, that liquid in this case through a valve or flow control rather than just air.

Then, there’s the changes that can happen based on temperature because, if you might have some pneumatic cylinder that work in hot applications, possibly above boiling temperature the expansion of those gases, of the steam, can also affect and have odd effects on your system as well.

These are all important considerations that go back to the last question where it was important to have good sales and engineering team behind you to help you with your application.




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