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Pneumatics & Compressed Air – Automation Guidebook, Part 1

Jurandir Primo, PE

This course is a basic introduction for Pneumatics & Compressed Air that is a section of technology that deals with the study and application of pressurized gas to produce mechanical motion. Machine tools can be controlled in this manner, including powered compressors that power cylinders and other pneumatic devices through solenoid valves that can often provide more reliable way than a large number of electric motors and actuators.

There are many advantages in using pneumatics and compressors. Portable pneumatic tools and small vehicles, fixed installations, such as factories and other hobbyist applications such as Robot Wars machines, use compressed air because a sustainable supply can be made by compressing atmospheric air. The air usually has moisture removed, and a small quantity of oil is added at the compressor to prevent corrosion and lubricate mechanical components. Thus, it is because of these qualities that this system is used in jobs that need a high level of precision or very repetitive tasks.

Pneumatics comes from the Greek word “pneuma”, which means “breath or wind”. It is basically the use of pressurized air or gas that helps in performing a certain work to produce mechanical motion or to cause some process control. Pneumatics is the transmission and control of forces and movements by means of compressed air and, for considerable time is used in carrying out complex electro-mechanical mechanical tasks, playing a vital and important role in automation and development of sophisticated technologies.

Fluid power is the energy transmitted and controlled by means of a pressurized fluid, either liquid or gas. The term fluid power applies to both hydraulics and pneumatics. Hydraulics (oil or water) use liquids under pressure, while pneumatics use compressed air or other neutral gases.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.