The pneumatic science, deriving from the Greek πνευματικός ("pneumatikos, that is coming from the wind") is the discipline that deals with the displacement of forces through the use of pressurized gas that is often represented by compressed air. Together with the discipline of mechanics, electricity and hydraulics, pneumatic energy is the four types of energy that man uses for automation. In ancient times, 2,500 years before Christ, bellows were used and in its evolution, man began to compress the atmosphere in the metallurgical sector, in the mining sector and in the construction of the first working organs. Although, therefore, the use of this type of force has long been known to humanity, it was only in the nineteenth century that it was systematically studied and adopted on an industrial level for the operation and control of machinery so as to be able to obtain faster and more precise processes, also eliminating some rather difficult processes to be performed manually and making processes easier.
What is it?
To understand the importance of compressed air in modern technology, we need to think about the details of its applications for a moment. We will not claim to draw up a technical treatise on its use here, but have a broader idea of its uses: in creating straight movements it is used in lifting and lowering; in the supply of fixing tools, in opening and closing operations, in pneumatic presses, on industrial robots, in transport and pushing operations and in braking systems. In creating rotary movements, compression is useful on screwdrivers, grinders, drills, shears. Instead, as a means of verification it enters the processes of control of the position of the tools on the working machines, in the work sequences, in the locking and in the deceleration.
The intrinsic characteristics are manifold. First of all it is present in unlimited quantities and free of charge; it is easy to transport and the pipes can be small and, if necessary, flexible (it can even be stored in cylinders); no deflagration problems; its operation is not conditioned by external factors such as the presence of impurities, humidity, low temperatures, mechanical vibrations and electric fields; the motor parts can be overloaded up to the stop; this compressed element can be discharged directly into the atmosphere, without the need for recycling or treatments; the movements, whether straight or rotary, take place in a simple way, unlike the electric motors that require transformer organs of motion.
Compressed air: Compressed air defects
Of course, there is no space to be able to indicate all the characteristics of the compressed air, but it is also necessary to talk about the negative aspects that can derive from its use and that can result in: the need for a preventive treatment of the atmosphere before its use ( specifically elimination of humidity, deleteriousness for many driven tools); speed regulation is not simple; operating costs are compromised by leakage losses; the oil used for the lubrication of the components is discharged into the atmosphere together with the discharges are quite noisy.To remedy some of these drawbacks and optimize their use, the atmosphere is filtered at the compressor inlet, compressed and subsequently stored in a tank, thus remaining always available with constant pressures and quantities allowing to avoid interruptions in processing.