Tutorial 1: Basic Pneumatics

Pneumatics is the Study and application of compressed gas to produce mechanical motion. As a word ‘pneumatics’ is new but we see and use pneumatic devices daily in our life. Air filled in the cycle tube is the best example for its use.
Pnematic Cycle

Pressure is the force applied per unit area and the force applied is perpendicular to the area. The unit of pressure is Pascal (newton / metre2).

Pressure=(Normal Force)/(Area of Application)


A Pneumatic System is a system that uses pressurised air to produce and transmit mechanical energy. Pneumatic systems are used in controlling production lines and are also used mechanical clamps, rock drills, hammer drills, grinders, conveyers, automobiles brakes and doors, dentistry applications etc.

A basic Pneumatic system consists of the following four components:

  1. Compressor:A compressor compresses air up to the required pressure. It converts the mechanical energy of motors and engines to potential energy of compressed air. The task performed by a compressor is same as a cycle pump but the same task is accomplished by a motor.
  2. Control Valves:Control Valves are of two types
    • Directional control valves are pneumatic switching elements. They are used to control various pneumatic actuators.
    • A Flow control valve is a valve which controls the flow of air. These may include non-return valves, one way flow control valves, shuttle valves, etc.
  3. Pneumatics pipes: These are nothing but hollow pipes for transporting compressed air from one Pneumatic component to the other.
  4. Actuators: An Actuator is a component which can undergo linear, rotary or reciprocating motion. Cylinders are very common actuators in pneumatics but pneumatics motors also find its place in pneumatic applications.

Before moving on to the need of each of the above mentioned components, let us take an electric circuit and try exploring its components. Suppose we want to light a bulb, the components which we require are: battery, switch, wires and bulb. Now let us carry this analogy forward to pneumatic circuits.

Pnematic Table

Pnematic Flow

Other than these components, there are a few more components which are required in a pneumatic circuit. In the next tutorial we will talk about each of these components in detail. Just click the continue button to go the next tutorial.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *