Pneumatic cylinders transform compressed air into kinetic energy to generate motion in other components. A piston inside the cylinder barrel is moved when compressed air enters the cylinder. This causes the piston to move and perform its work on the end device attached to the application to perform actions including pushing, pulling, lifting, placing etc.

The cylinder usually performs a linear motion in the form of backward and forwards moves, which prevents misplaced motions and damage to the machines. Pneumatic cylinders have a lot of designs, and it is important to know which type will be appropriate for the machine for which you are employing the cylinder.

The types of pneumatic cylinders

Here we have listed the types of pneumatic cylinders and their mechanisms


Single-acting cylinders have one port that receives airflow, a piston rod and internal spring. The air then moves the piston, and the internal spring causes the piston to return to its original position.

Single-acting pneumatic cylinders are classified into push type and pull-type cylinders. Both types rely on air pressure to move the piston. The downside is that the spring mechanism may not always enable consistent movements, and single-acting also are not suitable where the application requires considerable force.


Double-acting cylinders enable the extending and retracting moves simultaneously as they have two ports and rely on compressed air to move the piston. Both the ends can receive the air inflow, and the ports alternate to maintain pressure and cause the piston to move forward and backward.

Double-acting cylinders are well-suited for heavy-duty applications and machinery. They are quite adaptable and come in various sizes in terms of stroke and bores.


Telescopic cylinders are usually found in the construction industry. Their utility is rare in comparison to the double and single-acting siłowniki pneumatyczne. Telescopic cylinders have an intricate design and a shrunken length. There are tubes inside the cylinder called stages which vary in diameter. The air flows inside the tubes. Telescopic cylinders can be single or double-acting, while some come in a combination of both.

Make of pneumatic cylinders and their applicability

Pneumatic cylinders are made from various materials. They include plastic, aluminum, steel or stainless steel. Some cylinders are derived from a combination of various materials.

The choice of the materials depends on the application for which they are used. For instance, if the nature of work is strenuous or the application is performing in high temperatures, the material of the pneumatic cylinder should be such that it can withstand the conditions does not rust or bend, thereby disrupting the application process.

For instance, when we consider the food and beverage industry, the pneumatic cylinder should ideally be made of stainless steel so that it does not rust and contaminate the food. Stainless steel is resistant to water and rust and can withstand high temperatures without being impacted.

When the right pneumatic cylinder is used, it improves your processes and enhances their efficiency. The right material will prevent you from having to replace the cylinder as it will perform well in the environment.