1.1.1 Development history of pneumatic technology
Pneumatic transmission and control is referred to as “pneumatic technology” for short. It is an engineering technology that uses air compressor as the power source and compressed air as the working medium for energy transmission or signal transmission, that is, using gas as the medium for energy transmission in closed containers. It describes the application of compressed air in the field of transmission and control technology. It is one of the important means to realize all kinds of production control and automatic operation. Broadly speaking, in addition to air compressors, air purifiers, pneumatic cylinders, pneumatic motors, various pneumatic control valves and auxiliary devices, vacuum generating devices, vacuum actuators and pneumatic tools with a long history are all included in the scope of pneumatic technology.
The history of people using the energy of air to complete various jobs can be traced back to ancient times. Long ago, people began to use bellows, which is also a form of practical application of compressed air. Later, people used it in the production of pipe organ, mining and metallurgical industries. Nevertheless, it was not until the middle of the 19th century that a certain system of compressed air was formed. The use of pneumatic tools, pneumatic picks, pipeline mail transmission systems, steam locomotives and other auxiliary systems in real life also fully illustrates this point. About 1776, people invented an air compressor that can produce about 1 atmospheric pressure. In 1880, it was the first time to use air cylinders to make pneumatic braking devices, which were successfully applied to the braking of trains. The application of pneumatic technology in the field of mechanization and automation began in the mid-20th century. In the early 1930s, pneumatic technology was successfully applied to the opening and closing of automatic doors and various mechanical auxiliary actions. In the 1970s, with the development of industrial mechanization and automation, pneumatic technology is more and more widely used in various fields. For example, in the automobile manufacturing industry, pneumatic robots, medical grinders, electronic welding automation, household inflators, painting air pumps, etc., especially the pneumatic automatic devices with low cost and simple structure have been widely popularized and applied, and play an important role in the automation of industrial enterprises.
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