Advantages of Pneumatics over Hydraulics
Like hydraulics, pneumatics is a type of fluid power application where instead of an incompressible liquid, pneumatics employ gas in their system. Hydraulics present certain advantages over pneumatics, but in a given application, pneumatic powered equipment is more suitable, particularly in industries where the factory units are plumbed for compressed air.
The air used in pneumatic devices is dried and free from moisture so that it does not create any problem to the internal parts of the system. Moreover, to avoid corrosive actions, oil or lubricants are added so that friction effects can be reduced. Compressed air is used in most of the machines and in some cases compressed carbon dioxide is used. As most of the pneumatic devices are air based, they have a less complicated design and can be made of inexpensive material. Mass production techniques can be adopted to produce pneumatic systems, which not only save money but save time too.
Other major advantages are listed below.
- Initial cost is less; hydraulics equipment cost as much as twice the price of pneumatic equipment.
- A pneumatic water treatment automation system reduces the costs of installation and operation compared with conventional electrical installations. For opening and closing of underwater valves, pneumatic systems work well because they can sustain overload pressure conditions.
- Pneumatic actuators also have long life and perform well with negligible maintenance requirement throughout their life cycle.
- Very suitable for power transmission when distance of transmission is more.
The major disadvantage of pneumatic systems is that they cannot be employed for tasks that require working under high pressures. However, modern technology is working on finding better solutions to this address this problem so that heavy engineering tasks can be executed using pneumatic devices. In a nutshell, in order to execute low scale engineering and mechanical tasks, pneumatic devices would be the best suited and a viable alternative over hydraulic systems.