Mechanical Systems > Basic Pneumatics

Basic Pneumatics

Course Number: 739

The Basic Pneumatics textbook begins with a chapter on the relationships among pressure, force, work, and energy, this course then goes on to describe the operation of both reciprocating and rotary compressors. Chapters on primary and secondary air treatment explain lubrication and the removal of water, oil, and contaminants from the compressed air. Following chapters deal with system components, including piping, valves, cylinders, and motors. This textbook is a prerequisite for the 740 textbook on Pneumatic Troubleshooting.

Does your curriculum require additional topics not included in this textbook?  Build a customized version of the Basic Pneumatics textbook below.

This textbook has been recently updated
to include topics lists, objectives, & key terms for every chapter.

Recommended Contact Hours – 15

Preview a Chapter

Preview a Chapter

  • Table of Contents
  • My Custom Book
  • Exam Copies
  • Suggested Titles

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Principles of Pneumatics

Topics: Fluid power systems; Force, weight, and mass; Pressure; Work and energy; Diffusion and dispersion; Compressibility; Laws of pneumatics; Leverage; Air properties and flow; Bernoulli's Law; Components

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain how force is transmitted in a pneumatic system.
  • Calculate force and work.
  • List two factors that affect the results of pressure calculations.
  • Explain pneumatic leverage.
  • Briefly explain the physical laws affecting the behavior of a confined gas.

Chapter 2: Reciprocating Compressors

Topics: Compressor construction, classification, and operation; Single-, double-acting compressors; Cooling requirements; Lubrication; Controls

Learning Objectives:

  • Differentiate between a positive-displacement compressor and a dynamic compressor.
  • Describe the operation of a reciprocating compressor.
  • List one advantage of using a multistage compressor.
  • Identify the cooling arrangements for reciprocating compressors.
  • Compare the operation of compressor controls in large and small units.

Chapter 3: Rotary Compressors

Topics: Vane, rotary-screw, low-pressure, high-volume, diaphragm, centrifugal, and axial-flow compressors; Compressor capacity; Accessories

Learning Objectives:

  • Compare the power output of a single-stage vs a two-stage vane compressor.
  • Describe the main types of positive-displacement rotary air compressors.
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of both types of dynamic compressors.
  • Describe four methods of controlling centrifugal compressor output.
  • Tell how to compensate for a low-speed drive in rotary screw compressors.

Chapter 4: Primary Air Treatment

Topics: Preliminary filtering; Relative humidity; Effects of moisture; Moisture separators; Oil scrubbers; Air dryers and receivers; Using a nomograph

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe techniques for cleaning compressor filters.
  • Define relative humidity and dew point.
  • Explain the effects of temperature and pressure on the air's ability to hold moisture.
  • Describe aftercooler operation.
  • Explain the functions of separators, oil scrubbers, and air dryers.

Chapter 5: Secondary Air Treatment

Topics: Contaminant separation and filtration; Filter classification and rating; Surface, depth, adsorption, and absorption filters; Lubricating the air

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the two main methods of contaminant separation.
  • Explain how filters are classified.
  • List contaminant particle sizes and particle contamination categories as they occur in filters.
  • List applications for the most common types of filter media.
  • Identify system location for lubrication equipment installation.

Chapter 6: Piping, Hoses, and Tubing

Topics: Piping requirements and dimensions; Safety; Connections; Metallic tubing; Tube bending, fittings, and installation; Hoses, fittings, and installation

Learning Objectives:

  • State the importance of laminar flow.
  • List the factors that affect pressure loss in a pipe.
  • State direction and amount of slope for compressor discharge pipes.
  • Discuss procedures for pipe, tube, and hose installation.
  • Describe safe working procedures for disconnecting air hoses.

Chapter 7: Directional Control Valves

Topics: Manually and automatically operated valves; Control valve elements: spools, poppets, disks, and plates; Two-, three-, four-, and five-way valves; Accessories

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the four methods of identifying control valves.
  • List four basic types of manually operated, two-way valves.
  • Describe the operation of a two-position, direct acting, normally closed solenoid valve.
  • Explain one major advantage of using a four-way valve.
  • Describe the construction of a three-way valve.

Chapter 8: Pressure-Control Valves

Topics: Safety vs relief valves; Relief valve construction; Pressure regulators; Pilot-operated, remote-controlled regulators; Logic functions

Learning Objectives:

  • List two ways a valve can control compressor pressure output.
  • Describe construction of two basic types of pressure-relief valves.
  • Contrast a pressure regulator with a pressure-relief valve.
  • State the limit imposed by Federal Law on the pressure allowed when an air hose is used to blow off chips.

Chapter 9: Pneumatic Cylinders

Topics: Double-, single-acting cylinders; Two-piston cylinders; Cylinder construction, mounting, and selection; Performance charts; Cushioning

Learning Objectives:

  • Tell the difference between pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders.
  • Describe the construction and operation of a single-acting cylinder.
  • State the purpose of an exhaust flow control metering valve.
  • Describe the action of a pivoted cylinder.
  • Explain the size relationship between a cylinder port and a valve port.

Chapter 10: Pneumatic Motors

Topics: Motor rating; Selection factors: pressure, speed, torque, horsepower, reliability, and service life; Rotary vane and piston motors; Air boosters

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain pneumatic motor classification.
  • Define torque.
  • Describe pneumatic motor construction.
  • Calculate a motor's horsepower, given its torque and speed.
  • Differentiate between a pneumatic motor and a rotary actuator.

Add Chapters to Your Custom Book

Select Chapter(s):

  •    Chapter 1: Principles of Pneumatics
  •    Chapter 2: Reciprocating Compressors
  •    Chapter 3: Rotary Compressors
  •    Chapter 4: Primary Air Treatment
  •    Chapter 5: Secondary Air Treatment
  •    Chapter 6: Piping, Hoses, and Tubing
  •    Chapter 7: Directional Control Valves
  •    Chapter 8: Pressure-Control Valves
  •    Chapter 9: Pneumatic Cylinders
  •    Chapter 10: Pneumatic Motors

My Custom Book

    Create a custom book that contains only the training content that your students need to succeed

    Our topics cover a broad and diverse spectrum of subject matter, from reading blueprints to electrical schematics, measurement to rigging and safety, material handling to welding, and everything in between! Choose only the lessons that meet your specific curriculum requirements.

    Request Exam Copies

    Exam Copies

    Ready to see a copy of our textbooks? After selecting which textbooks you’d like to review for your course, you can submit your request by either logging in or creating an account so we know where to ship your exam copies. A representative from Schoolcraft will contact you to confirm and finish processing your request.

    Exam copies are always free and yours to keep.

    Selected Exam Copies

      none selected

      * Maximum of five copies can be ordered



      750 W. Lake Cook Road, Buffalo Grove, Illinois 60089   ●   Phone: 800.837.1255   ●   © 2018 Schoolcraft Publishing, a TPC Training Company