Tutorial 2: Pneumatic Components
In this tutorial we will try to understand each pneumatic component in detail. So let us take
each component one by one.
1. Air 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. Air Service Unit: This is present after a compressor in a pneumatic circuit. The
function of this system is to remove dust particles, moisture, humidity etc. from the
compressed air. There several parts in an air service unit which is also called an air
a. Filter: removes impurities present in compressed air before it is delivered to
the pneumatic components
b. Pressure Regulator: allows us to regulate pressure manually
c. Lubricator: provides lubrication for pneumatic components
3. Pneumatic Pipes: These are hollow polyurethane pipes which are used to transport
air from one component to other.
4. Control Valves: Valves generally alter the flow of air. These can be controlled either
manually, electrically or pneumatically. These are basically of two types:
a. Direction Control Valves: Direction control valves are pneumatic switching
elements. They are used to control various pneumatic actuators. A pneumatic
valve is represented by ‘a/b’ where ‘a’ represents number of ports and ‘b’
represents the number of positions any valve can have. For example a normal
electrical switch can be called 2/2, it has 2 ports (+ and -) and 2 positions (ON
and OFF). There are various valves like 2/2, 3/2, 5/2, 5/3, 4/2 etc. Each valve
has its own symbol. A typical symbol of a pneumatic valve contains 2 or more
squares. The number of squares represents number of switching positions of
b. Flow Control Valves: A Flow control valve is a valve that controls the flow of
air. Examples include non-return valves, one way flow control valves, shuttle
We will talk more about control valves in Tutorial 4.
5. 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. When we talk about
cylinders, basically they are of two types:
a. Single Acting Cylinders
b. Double Acting Cylinders
In the next tutorial, we will talk about more about the Pneumatic Cylinders. Just click the
continue button to go the next tutorial.