Pneumatic devices are everywhere. That’s not something most people think about but it’s fascinating to think that much of what we enjoy in the modern world is made possible thanks to the way we can manipulate air—something we often think of as unsubstantial—to transmit large amounts of energy.
At their most, basic pneumatic devices have components for compressing, storing, directing, and moving air—this includes a motor or actuator that does the intended function. They can take several forms, many of which you may be using every day.
Here are just a few examples of everyday devices and machines that use pneumatic components:
Everything from bouncy castles and balloons to river rafts and airships make extensive use of pneumatics, particularly in their air pumps.
Pneumatic braking systems can deliver more force to brake pads compared to similar mechanical systems within a much smaller space. This makes them ideal for the brakes of larger vehicles such as buses and trucks, as well as trains and passenger airplanes on the ground.
Pneumatic tubes are still extensively used in buildings where physical documents and small items need to be quickly delivered to different areas. They are extensively used in factories, hospitals, government offices, and places that need to deliver large amounts of physical cash from multiple locations to a central area, such as malls and banks.
Many air-conditioners and HVAC systems make use of pneumatic principles and components as part of their operation.
Pipe organs and bagpipes are iconic musical instruments that use pneumatics to deliver powerful, sustained notes that would not be possible for any human to deliver with unaided breath alone.
These weapons make use of stored air rather than conventional chemical propellants to drive a bullet through the barrel at high speeds into a target.
Most jackhammers and other reciprocating power tools use pneumatics to drive the return motion of the tool.
Meteorology and everyday life would be quite different and much more hazardous if we did not have barometers, a simple pneumatic tool that measures ambient air pressure.
Indicators for important functions on vehicles such as tire and oil pressure would not be possible without these simple devices. Neither would we be able to accurately gauge the amount of cooking gas left in a propane tank.
Exercise machines may sometimes employ pneumatics to allow for adjustable resistance for the user. Some toys also employ simple pneumatics, notably Legos. These are often touted as a good way to get kids interested in the STEM disciplines.
Many atomizers and misters make use of pneumatics to turn liquid into fine droplets. They are used for different applications ranging from medicine and cosmetics application to humidification and fuel injection systems.
This list is only the tip of the pneumatics iceberg. Learn more about pneumatics and different pneumatic components suited for your application on Misumi USA.