Pneumatic actuators and Valve systems

Fluid Controls







An actuator is a type of motor that is responsible for moving or controlling a device or system. It is operated by a source of energy, typically an electric current, hydraulic fluid pressure, or pneumatic pressure, and converts that energy into motion.

An actuator requires a control signal and a supply of energy. The control signal is relatively low energy and may be electric voltage or current, pneumatic or hydraulic force, or even human power. An actuator is the device on which a control system acts upon.

A pneumatic control valve actuator converts energy, usually in the form of compressed air, into mechanical motion. The movement can be rotary or linear, depending on the kind of actuator.

A pneumatic actuator converts energy into a motion or force and can be powered by pressurized fluid or air, as well as electricity. Pneumatic linear actuators consist of a piston inside a hollow cylinder.

A pneumatic control valve actuator has a two-way, two-position valve which consists of two ports linked with a passage that can be opened or blocked to be in command of the flow through the valve. Three-way valves direct pressurized air to the cap-end side of the cylinder. Shifting the spool to the other extreme position blocks the flow and pressure to the actuator.

Three-way valves may also be used in pairs to operate a double acting cylinder, thus replacing a four-way valve. Consider using paired three-way valves instead of a four-way when high cylinder speeds are necessary. Close pairing of three-way valves to the cylinder ports reduces cylinder back pressure and pressure drop in the lines, permitting higher cylinder velocities. The valves are also used to save compressed air in highly cyclic applications or when intermediate positions are required.


A valve actuator is the instrument used for opening and closing a valve. Manually operated valves have need of someone in attendance to adjust them using a direct or geared mechanism attached to the valve stem.

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