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Stainless Steel Cylinder Force Factors

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The force required, operating air pressure and cylinder bore are all factors that must be determined or known when sizing an air cylinder. If two are known, the other is easily calculated using the formulas and triangle shown below.

Area is derived using either of the following formulas:

F: Force or load, in lbs.
P: Pressure
A: Area of cylinder, in sq. inches

F = P x A
P = F / A
A = F / P

Force Factors

Bore
Size
Rod
Size
Rod
Area
Force Factor

The "force factor" is the nominal area of the cylinder bore size. The chart shown at left provides forces in both the extend and retract stroke of all available bore sizes.

The force factor (in2) multiplied by the air pressure (psi) gives the nominal force produced by the cylinder (lbs.).

The chart below provides a guide for some nominal extend and retract forces at 20, 50 and 80 psig. These values are theoretical and make no allowance for friction, which varies with bore size. It is recommended that a 25% safety factor be allowed when selecting a cylinder bore for normal load movement. In high speed applications, the safety factor should be at least 40%.

Extend Retract
5/16" 1/8" 0.01 in2 0.07 in2 0.06 in2
1/2" 3/16" 0.03 in2 0.19 in2 0.16 in2
9/16" 3/16" 0.03 in2 0.25 in2 0.22 in2
5/8" 3/16" 0.03 in2 0.31 in2 0.28 in2
3/4" 1/4" 0.05 in2 0.44 in2 0.39 in2
7/8" 1/4" 0.05 in2 0.60 in2 0.55 in2
1-1/16" 5/16" 0.08 in2 0.88 in2 0.80 in2
1-1/4" 3/8" 0.11 in2 1.2 in2 1.09 in2
1-1/2" 7/16" 0.15 in2 1.7 in2 1.55 in2
1-3/4" 1/2" 0.2 in2 2.4 in2 2.2 in2
2" 5/8" 0.31 in2 3.1 in2 2.9 in2
2-1/2" 5/8" 0.31 in2 4.9 in2 4.59 in2
3" 3/4" 0.44 in2 7.0 in2 6.56 in2

 

Nominal Extend and Retract Forces

 

Bore
Size
20 psig 50 psig 80 psig
Extend Retract Extend Retract Extend Retract
5/16" 1.4 lbs. 1.16 lbs. 3.5 lbs. 2.9 lbs. 5.6 lbs. 4.64 lbs.
1/2" 3.8 lbs. 3.25 lbs. 9.5 lbs. 8.13 lbs. 15.2 lbs. 13 lbs.
9/16" 4.9 lbs. 4.4 lbs. 12.4 lbs. 11 lbs. 19.8 lbs. 17.6 lbs.
5/8" 6.5 lbs. 5.65 lbs. 15.5 lbs. 14.13 lbs. 24.8 lbs. 22.6 lbs.
3/4" 8.8 lbs. 7.82 lbs. 22 lbs. 19.55 lbs. 35.2 lbs. 31.27 lbs.
7/8" 12 lbs. 11.02 lbs. 30 lbs. 27.55 lbs. 48 lbs. 44.07 lbs.
1-1/16" 17.6 lbs. 16.07 lbs. 44 lbs. 40.17 lbs. 70.4 lbs. 64.26 lbs.
1-1/4" 24 lbs. 21.79 lbs. 60 lbs. 54.48 lbs. 96 lbs. 87.17 lbs.
1-1/2" 34 lbs. 31 lbs. 85 lbs. 77.5 lbs. 136 lbs. 124 lbs.
1-3/4" 48 lbs. 44.07 120 lbs. 110.18 lbs. 192 lbs. 176.29 lbs.
2" 62 lbs. 58.07 lbs. 155 lbs. 145.18 lbs. 248 lbs. 232.29 lbs.
2-1/2" 98 lbs. 91.86 lbs. 245 lbs. 229.66 lbs. 392 lbs. 367.46 lbs.
3" 140 lbs. 131.16 lbs. 350 lbs. 327.91 lbs. 560 lbs. 524.66 lbs.