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Firestone’s air-spring-type actuator from Air Springs is designed for applications such as specialist types of mechanical and hydraulic pumps, compressors, mixers and grinders.

These air springs, called Airstroke actuators, are suited for a variety of industrial actuation applications and are powered by normal factory-compressed air.

Unlike typical cylindrical metal pneumatic actuators, which require internal seals, an air spring contains its column of air in a fabric-reinforced rubber envelope, or bellows, which doesn’t require seals.

These bellows are inflated rapidly by compressed air to provide the rapid extension/contraction cycles needed to actuate industrial components such as swash plates – but without the wear this can impose on internal seals.

Rather than having internal seals, the ends of air springs are sealed by bead plates, which are crimped around the bead of the bellows.

These plates contain the attachment hardware for the part – normally a blind tapped hole called a blind nut.

An air fitting, generally in one bead plate, allows fluid (air) to be introduced into the chamber.

The fabric in the side wall of the bellows restricts radial expansion, so pressure is built up, causing axial extension to provide the extension and actuation required.

In a simple swash plate motor, four such double convoluted air springs are arranged underneath the swash plate around its outer edge and inflated sequentially to introduce the swash motion required from the plate.

They cause the wobble plate to precess, or gyrate, about its support and to bear against the inclined face of the plate above to force it to rotate.

Airstroke actuators from Air Springs Supply give 40-40,000kg of pushing or lifting power.

Offering power strokes of up to 350mm, Airstrokes are actuated by standard factory, workshop or warehouse compressed-air systems or by basic compressor equipment found on nearly every industrial or construction worksite.

Air Springs also offers side-load flexibility and simplified attachment.

Because an air spring has a flexible, compliant bellows wall, instead of seals or guides, the bellows follows the path of least resistance.

This means users don’t have to worry about side loads caused by misalignment.

Air Springs

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