A new hybrid cylinder from RBHybroDynamics, Lynnwood, Wash., combines pneumatics and hydraulics. The air-hydraulic cylinders belong to a unique class of actuators that operate using compressed air but are regulated hydraulically. These cylinders provide a smooth displacement typical for hydraulic cylinders.
Air-hydraulic cylinders are interchangeable with conventional pneumatic cylinders and are easily integrated into existing pneumatic circuits to replace air cylinders. They are also a good alternative in new pneumatic and hydraulic designs. Hybrid cylinders can be considered before hydraulics for systems equipped with conventional air cylinders but with requirements for better positional control and operational stability despite irregular loads or pressure variations. They can also be built with FDA-compliable materials.