This paper reports a study on the static and dynamic behavior of pneumatic actuation systems, resulting in a comprehensive view of the influence of the system parameters on the energy efficiency and dynamic performance. The operating point approach based on the steady-state analysis of a pneumatic actuation system is used for developing analytical expressions to describe the relationship between the piston diameter and the system performance, including displacement time, stroke end velocity, and energy efficiency. The validity of the proposed equations is demonstrated by comparison with results from a test rig. Sensitivity analysis using a non-linear dynamic simulation model indicated that a specific operating region exists, where good energy efficiency and the maximum dynamic performance are achieved. Moreover, the results show that an oversized system becomes more inefficient in both energetic and dynamic aspects. The results obtained provide a very consistent foundation for developing a method for pneumatic system sizing.

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