Most pneumatic cylinders are now manufactured to dimensional standards.
The advantage of this is that cylinders made by different manufacturers to the same standard can be used in the same application. This makes spare parts easier to obtain and helps to reduce your downtime.
The dimensional standard also covers stroke lengths. Cylinders can be made to any stroke length but certain stroke lengths are deemed to be ‘standard’. Designers of machines should work with standard stroke lengths wherever possible – lots of suppliers will hold standard stroke lengths in stock.
There are many standards but here are some of the most common:
|ISO6432||‘Mini ISO Cylinders’ 8mm bore to 25mm bore size|
|ISO6431||Standard pneumatic cylinder including their mounting 32mm – 320mm bore|
|VDMA 24562||Standard pneumatic cylinder 32mm – 320mm bore|
Some ‘compact’ cylinders conform to the standard in all respects apart from their overall length – this means that you can use the mountings for the standard cylinder.
If you are trying to replace an existing cylinder there are two ways you can check:
- Get a drawing of a standard cylinder and compare some of the critical dimensions to yours – you should be able to work out quite quickly what you have.
- Get the part number of your cylinder and find the manufacturers data sheet and that will (almost always) tell you what standard it is made to.
Your normal pneumatics supplier should be able to help with this also.
Beware of sensors – position sensors on cylinders are not covered by the standard in any way and often the sensors that suit one make of cylinder cannot be used on another. So, if you are fitting another make of cylinder you may also need to buy new sensors.