When To Choose A Cable Cylinder vs. A Rod Cylinder!
When choosing a pneumatic or hydraulic actuator, it may not always be obvious at first whether to utilize a Rod Cylinder or a rodless Cable Cylinder. We were recently made aware of a manufacturer of an articulated lift which was at first designed around one type of cylinder, and then subsequently improved upon by changing it over to a different type of cylinder.
When a particular application presents itself, usually the goal is to either move something horizontally, or raise and lower it vertically. Sometimes the solution even requires a combination of motion in multiple directions. When a designer begins to consider the approach that they intend to take, in order to obtain the desired end result, they usually start with the mechanical arrangement that they intend to use, and then build upon that concept. They might start by imagining a rod cylinder performing the task, and once the design begins to take shape, they might never even consider how it might have turned out differently if a rodless cable cylinder had been chosen instead. Or they might start with a design in which a rodless cable cylinder is to perform the task at hand, and then perhaps never consider how a rod cylinder might have performed instead.
Sometimes there will come a time later in the product development process when certain changes in design are required. It is possible that, at that time, the question of whether to use a rod cylinder or a rodless cable cylinder is re-evaluated, or even evaluated for the first time.
For the case where a rodless cable cylinder was initially chosen, and then a rod cylinder is considered later, the improvement is usually to have a rigid rod rather than a flexible cable. Since rod cylinders have the benefit of a hardened rigid rod, this can sometimes offer an improvement over cables which, although flexible, can stretch or become damaged over time. For example, rod cylinders are not usually the first consideration for use as a hoisting apparatus, because the cable provided by rodless cylinders makes more sense in such an application. However, there may be times when a rod cylinder could offer an advantage.
On the other hand, there maybe times when a rod cylinder was initially chosen, and then later a rodless cable cylinder is considered as an improvement. In that case, one of the main benefits is usually to save space. Since rodless cable cylinders occupy approximately one half of the footprint space that a rod cylinder occupies, this would probably be the consideration which arises most often. Other benefits include the inclusion of a flexible cable which can be routed over pulleys for various mechanical advantages. While a cable and pulley arrangement is certainly something which could be added to a rod cylinder, a rodless cable cylinder has the additional benefit that the cable is already part of the design.
When needing help in your next cylinder Application, call Greenco / Duramaster cylinders at 813-882-4400. We have you covered!