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How to Choose a Pneumatic Actuator?

How to Choose a Pneumatic Actuator?

Pneumatic actuators are a must-have for many processing plants and manufacturing facilities. Their ability to work tirelessly on compressed air with high force-to-speed ratios makes them ideal for various applications. Plus, their implementation is relatively low cost, making them an even more attractive solution for businesses. With their reliable operation and low cost of implementation, pneumatic actuators are an excellent choice for any task.

Are you finding it difficult to choose a suitable pneumatic actuator for your application? When so many options are available, how can you select the best option for your needs? The choices can seem overwhelming, from single-acting to double-acting, rod and rodless, linear and rotary. But don’t worry – there are some key factors to consider when selecting the perfect pneumatic actuator. In this guide, we’ll cover the various types of pneumatic actuators and the factors to consider when choosing the right one for your application. From actuation force and operating pressure to size and design features, we’ll explain what you need to think about when selecting the best pneumatic actuator for the job.

By understanding the different types of pneumatic actuators and their features, you can make an informed decision that meets your specific application requirements. So, read on to find out more and make an informed choice when selecting the suitable pneumatic actuator for your needs.

What Should You Know Before Selecting a Pneumatic Actuator?

Your actuator's required directional force.

When choosing a pneumatic actuator for your application, it is vital to consider the directional force required. Single-acting cylinders are designed to work in only one direction, using compressed air to move the piston to the desired position. This makes double-acting pneumatic actuators suitable for applications that require movement in both directions.

Knowing the directional force required for your application will help you select the right actuator. Understanding the direction of the force needed will enable you to make the best choice and ensure that the actuator can meet your application’s demands.

What load does this actuator need to move?

When choosing a pneumatic actuator, it’s essential to consider the amount of work needed. In single-action cylinders, the return mechanism force must be considered when calculating the available force. Therefore, you must accurately evaluate the load you need your actuator to carry to decide which type of pneumatic actuator to go with.

Determine the required travel distance for the load on your actuator.

When selecting a pneumatic actuator for an industrial application, it is crucial to consider the critical travel distance for the load. This distance is vital in determining the stroke length of the actuator and should be established before making a selection.

Actuators with rods are best suited for extending loads, and the stroke length of the actuator is equal to the overall assembly length. However, rodless actuators can carry a higher load, and the stroke length is roughly equivalent to the assembly length.

For optimal performance, it is essential to consider the distance your pneumatic actuator will need to travel each time it moves before selecting a pneumatic actuator for your application. Establishing the required length of travel for the load ahead of time will help ensure the successful operation of your pneumatic actuator.

Consider the actuator's available working space.

  • Determine what level of control you require from your pneumatic actuator.

Are you looking for a pneumatic actuator with precision and control? A rodless actuator may be the right choice for you. Rodless pneumatic actuators have greater accuracy and repeatability than other linear actuators, making them ideal for applications requiring exact movement.

However, there may be better options than a rodless actuator if you need speed and force. BCST has a wide range of pneumatic actuators, from single to double-acting, rotary to linear, and guided, that can provide the level of control you need. With their extensive selection, you will find the perfect actuator for your requirements.

Pneumatic Actuator

How to choose a proper pneumatic actuator?

Choosing the right pneumatic actuator involves considering several factors, including but not limited to the following:

Valve Type:

Different types of valves require different types of actuators for control. For instance, ball valves, butterfly valves, gate valves, etc., may require different designs of pneumatic actuators.

Operating Pressure and Flow:

Determine the required operating pressure range and the maximum flow rate needed for the valve. This helps in determining the type and size of actuator required.

Operating Environment:

Consider the environmental conditions where the actuator will be installed, including temperature, humidity, corrosiveness, explosive hazards, etc. Choose an actuator with the appropriate protection rating and corrosion resistance.

Control Method:

Determine whether manual, automatic, or remote control is required. Some applications may require actuators with remote control capabilities, while others may only need manual operation.

Reliability and Maintenance:

Choose pneumatic actuators of good quality and easy maintenance to ensure stable system operation and reduce maintenance costs.


Consider the cost of the actuator as well as the associated installation and maintenance costs. Make reasonable trade-offs between budget and performance requirements.

Compliance with Standards:

Ensure that the selected actuator complies with relevant standards and specifications to ensure system safety and reliability.

Taking into account the above factors, you can choose the pneumatic actuator that best suits the specific application requirements. Before making a decision, thorough research and consultation are recommended to ensure that the selected actuator meets the system requirements and provides optimal performance and reliability.

BCST Pneumatic Actuators

Need help selecting the right pneumatic actuator for your application? Look no further than BCST. You can ask our tech team for help. We have a wide range of pneumatic actuators so that you can find the perfect one for your needs. Plus, our knowledgeable staff is available to answer any questions. So visit our website or email [email protected] to get started today!

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