Stiffness investigation of pneumatic cylinders
Pneumatic cylinders are widespread used in industrial machines these days. They are invented in various mechanisms like manipulators, and in tasks with higher force effort because of their reliability and robust design. The low level of stiffness is a significant disadvantage of pneumatic cylinders which arises from the compressibility of the air in the chambers. This property is typical for all pneumatic equipment, but using a servopneumatic system this is a significant disadvantage. Servo-pneumatic systems are unique in that they can position the piston at any point in the stroke length. With a sufficiently large disturbance, the piston does not remain in the desired position, but will displace, and returns to the starting point after the end of the disturbance. Of course the displacement can be controlled by the controller of servopneumatic systems, but the phenomenon of recovering from air compressibility characteristically remains. The displacement itself, compared with mechanical constructions, can be interpreted as a kind of flexible deformation, and the flexibility is caused by compressed air in the cylinder chambers. The main contribution of the paper is to determine the resulting stiffness, and the restoring force of the air in the pneumatic cylinder chambers using laws of mechanical engineering.
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