Engineering Tools: Pneumatic Cylinder Selection Calculator

During the course of my average day at work I’m constantly doing little calculations for some aspect of a design. Most recently I was selecting Pneumatic cylinders for a project and had to constantly calculate the cross sectional area for each cylinder so I could determine the force it would output at a given pressure. I did what any self-respecting engineer would do and fired up excel and made a spreadsheet. In this spreadsheet I made a column of cylinder diameters and another of pressure and from there was able to calculate the force each cylinder would produce.  Instead of recreating this spreadsheet every time I was going to need to select a pneumatic cylinder, I decided to create a cylinder calculator.

I created this calculator in JavaScript and have it hosted here.  Currently, the calculator allows you to calculate the force a cylinder can supply based on cylinder size and air pressure.  This calculation is performed by taking the cross sectional area of the selected cylinder and multiplying it by the input pressure [Force = Area * Pressure].  The calculator also allows you to calculate cylinder size or required pressure based on a desired force.  This calculation is performed by doing the initial calculation in reverse order.  I do not consider the calculator complete at this point in time and I plan on adding additional functionality.  I would ultimately like to be able to select between various unit systems and have a larger range of functionality.

I had originally intended to host the calculator on this web-page but encountered difficulties getting both the formatting for the calculator and the Javascript to run properly with my blog tool.  Due to these difficulties I had to host the calculator outside of my blog (hence the tools.stuffination.com sub-domain).  As I now have an external sub-domain for engineering tools, I will continue to add to the list as I create additional engineering calculators.  By having them online it makes them easily accessible to me where ever I may be, and gives other people access to them as well.  Hopefully others find them helpful as I have thoughts for many more engineering tools.

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