THE smallest Firestone Airstroke pneumatic actuator is being introduced by Air Springs Supply for light processing and materials handling applications requiring compact and reliable service.
The 2M2A Ministroke - which can also be used as an isolator to protect delicate electronic and computer equipment - has a usable height of 58.42mm and weighs just 68 grams.
Producing up to 100kg of force at typical factory compressed air pressure of 7 bar, the 2M2A is the smallest member of a broad family of Airstroke actuators in sizes ranging up to a metre across and capable of supporting 40 tonnes each.
"Typically, small sizes of Airstroke actuators such as this are used where rapid cycling is required in light processing applications such as conveyor gates and stamping and sealing operations involved in food, packaging and delicate manufactured products," said Air Springs Supply national sales manager Simon Agar,
"In specialised situations in which they are properly supported, they can also be used as very compact isolators, being part of a family of air springs that can achieve extraordinarily high vibration isolation efficiencies exceeding 99 per cent.
"Air springs have been used to isolate beds in operating theatres, for example, or floors of computer rooms where operators want to screen out vibration that can interfere with delicate electronic computerisation and automation equipment," he said.
"However, industrial actuation will be the 2M2As most common task, given their extremely compact 30.48mm starting (deflated) height and rapid cycling capability (ability to quickly reproduce power strokes)."
Airstroke actuators are also used in applications where their high reliability is important - they have no internal moving parts to wear or break - and where they are required to bend through fine angles without the complexity of a clevis.
They can also tolerate slightly off-centre loading without damage to the cylinder.
Their tough, clean fabric-reinforced rubber construction and lack of need for lubrication also makes them suitable for use in food and beverage production.