Double acting Cylinder | Diagram , types , Symbol

A double acting cylinder alternates cycles of pressurized fluid to both sides of the piston and creates extend and retract forces to move the piston rod, permitting more control over the movement. Using a control system made up of a 2-, 3-, 4- way position valve would be required to achieve the desired movement for your application.


There are two types of double-acting cylinders:

  • Double-acting cylinder with a piston rod on one side.
  • Double-acting cylinder with a piston rod on both sides.

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Double-Acting Cylinder with a Piston Rod on One Side

Figure 1.4 shows the operation of a double-acting cylinder with a piston rod on one side. To extend the cylinder, the pump flow is sent to the blank-end port as in Fig. 1.4(a). The fluid from the rod-end port returns to the reservoir. To retract the cylinder, the pump flow is sent to the rod-end port and the fluid from the blank-end port returns to the tank as in Fig.1.4(b).

double acting cylinder Diagram
double acting cylinder Diagram

Double-Acting Cylinder with a Piston Rod on Both Sides

A double-acting cylinder with a piston rod on both sides (Fig.1.5) is a cylinder with a rod extending from both ends. This cylinder can be used in an application where work can be done by both ends of the cylinder, thereby making the cylinder more productive. Double-rod cylinders can withstand higher side loads because they have an extra bearing, one on each rod, to withstand the loading.

double acting cylinder
double acting cylinder

Advantages – Single Acting cylinder & Double Acting Cylinder
Single acting hydraulic cylinders are much easier to maintain as their mechanism is comparatively more straightforward. With a single line, the action of the cylinder is entirely based on that one line pressure. Although, they may have an additional spring or something to push or retract the piston rod than often they might depend on the force on end to push it back. It is best to have a simpler mechanism for equipment that needs to be sturdy and dependable.

In case of a double acting cylinder, due to alternates cycles of pressurized fluid to both sides of the piston, the extent and retract forces move the piston rod. This helps to gain maximum control over the movement. A control system made of 2-, 3-, 4- way position valve will be needed to achieve the desired freedom of movement for your application.

Symbol Of Double acting Cylinders: 

symbol of double acting cylinder
symbol of double acting cylinder
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