8 items to check before using an air motor

19 mai 2016

Choose my motor

Did you just purchase a pneumatic motor, or will you be getting one soon? We have already outlined the benefits of using a pneumatic motor, so now we’ll offer you some items to check before using your motor. Some of them will seem pretty logical, but this “little reminder” may be important so your motor can be used in the best way possible.

#1 Safety

Using the SAT box is recommended: this is a safety device that, in addition to the treatment of air (see point # 4), provides many safety features, including an automatic motor shut-off with complete elimination of residual pneumatic energy.

Wearing the required personal protective equipment (PPE) is mandatory: helmets, noise protection, special shoes, etc.

It is also imperative to check the quality of the supply line and the connections. In fact, a poorly connected line to the motor may come off when it meets with compressed air and will become uncontrollable, even dangerous. 

The next two items are related: the pressure and output necessary for using a pneumatic motor! 

#2 Necessary pressure in the network

To get the full performance out of the motor, you need sufficient power at the input: a pneumatic motor transforms pneumatic power into mechanical power. 

Therefore, it’s important to check that the compressor is capable of providing the required pressure for the duration of the operation. If not, the motor will run, but with reduced performance (especially the torque). 

#3 Necessary output in the network 

Also make sure that the compressor is able to provide the desired output for the duration of the operation. If you have good pressure, but an inadequate amount of air, the motor will run, but there will be a negative impact on the speed.

#4 Check the quality of the air and the network.

You should ask these two questions:

  • Has the air been filtered correctly (clean and dry)?
  • Is the air correctly lubricated?

 The use of an FRL is recommended to ensure that the air is filtered and lubricated, and to make it possible to adjust the pressure to the desired level just ahead of the motor, thus avoiding load losses due to using a supply line that is too long. (Ideally, the FRL unit should be placed within 5 meters of the motor).

#5 Purity of the exhaust

When the motor is running, the air that comes out of the motor is a mixture of air and lubricating oil particles. This oil presents no danger or toxicity, but in certain industries where the environments are very clean (cleanrooms), these particles may cause problems.

There are 3 solutions available to limit the phenomenon of particles released into a clean environment:

  • Using a motor without lubrication which releases air as clean as the air used to power it.
  • The motor exhaust can be collected and released elsewhere, in an environment not subject to the same restrictions.
  • The exhaust air can be filtered with filters adapted to the level of cleanliness that you desire.

These solutions especially apply to the food, pharmacy or fine chemistry, and nuclear industries.

#6 Temperature

As we’ve seen, pneumatic motors can operate within a wide temperature range: from -30° to more than 150°. However, if you work in a challenging environment (with extreme temperatures) or the gas used presents dangers related to the operating temperature, this may require taking special precautions.

#7 Moisture and dust

If the environment is particularly wet, or even underwater, you should use stainless steel.

If it’s an especially dusty atmosphere, you should use additional filters so the motor will not get damaged.

#8 Installation compatibility with output and pressure

Make sure that the entire system is sized correctly. All the connectors, filters, silencers, etc. must be compatible with the output and the pressure that you want to use.

The same goes for the motor’s supply and exhaust. Generally, you need larger dimensions for the exhaust than for the intake, since the air is expanded at exhaust.

Now, you’re ready to properly use your pneumatic motor! However, if you still have questions about installing or maintaining it, or you just need advice, feel free to request a free consultation! We will be happy to respond as soon as possible!


Bruno Martin
Bruno Martin

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