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Air Motors vs. Air Starters (Part II)

August 22nd, 2016

As we discussed in the previous posting, Air Motors vs. Air Starters, the terms air starter and air motor are often used interchangeably and synonymously, but they mean relatively different things. Furthermore, you might see interesting hybrids like air starter motor or air starting motor that blend both terms together or other synonymous terms like pneumatic starter motor that sound relatively different but mean practically the same thing. The general rule of thumb is: if there is the word “start” in the title, it probably means that you are talking about an air starter rather than an air motor.

So what is it that air motors do that makes them different from air starters? While air starters are only used for engine starting, air motors can be found in any number of the following applications:

Air Motors for Engine Barring

Frequently, when a large diesel engine needs maintenance, mechanics need a tool capable of producing high torque in order to roll the engine, but it also needs to be precise enough to allow them to stop the engine at an exact point in the rotation. An air motor works well in this application because it provides a high amount of torque at a very low pinion speed and the valve controlling the air inlet can be actuated very slowly to ensure that the engine is rolled in a very controlled manner.

Ingersoll-Rand B006 Barring Motor

Air Motors in Industrial Applications

Air motors have a remarkably wide variety of applications in many different industries. Below is a list with just some of the things air motors are being used for today:

  • Pipe Beveling
  • Paper Machinery
  • Automotive Assembly
  • High Pressure Washers
  • Thread Insert Tools
  • Lifting Platforms
  • Valve Actuation
  • Fastener Tools
  • Coal Crushing
  • Pre-lube Pumps

If you want to take a look at some of the air motors we regularly carry in stock:

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