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MRO Stop Blog

  • MROstop's guide to Firestone Air Springs

    What is an Air Spring?

    Firestone Air SpringsFirestone Airstroke Air bags and Airmount Isolators offer short-stroke, high-force and single-acting pneumatic actuation for applications such as conveyors, lift tables and work holding devices. An air spring is a carefully designed rubber/fabric bellows which contains a column of compressed air. The rubber bellows itself does not provide force or support load. This is done by the column of air. Firestone air springs are highly engineered elastomeric bellows with specially designed metal end closures.  Many Firestone air springs are also available in high strength construction for higher pressures. In this case, there are four plies of fabric-reinforced rubber, with an inner liner and outer cover. The two ply air spring is standard. Each air spring bellows is identified by a style number. This style number is molded into the bellows during the curing (or vulcanization) process. Examples would be 16, 22, 313, 1T15M-6, etc... This identifies only the rubber/fabric bellows and not the complete assembly. There are several different end closure options available for most air springs; therefore, please always specify both the style number and the complete assembly order number (AON). An example would be: Style #22, assembly order number W01-M58-6180.

    So, Really...What is an Air Spring?

    Firestone developed the air spring in the late 1930's as a more efficient air spring (vibration isolator) for use in vehicle suspensions. Airide springs, as they were named, provided the means for a suspension to reduce the amount of road shock and vibration transmitted into the vehicle. Millions of miles of actual use have proven the dependability and effectiveness of the air suspension concept using Airide springs by Firestone.

    Airstroke actuators, Airmount isolators, and Airide springs are Firestone registered trademark names for one product: the air spring.  The use of the air spring (actuator, industrial isolator and vehicular isolator, respectively) determines which name is applied to it.

    All of the parts on this site may be used as Airstroke actuators (except the 1X84D-1 and 2M1A) or Airmount isolators, with two exceptions: Triple convoluted and reversible sleeve type air springs (except the 1M1A-0) should not be used as Airmount isolators without consulting Firestone. Individual Airstroke actuators and Airmount isolators are capable of generating a force or supporting a load of up to 100,000 pounds, and a stroke capability of up to 14 inches is possible.

    Using Firestone Air Springs as Airstroke Actuators

    Firestone Airstroke Actuators are like cylinders. They are different looking, and they do not work exactly like the well-known and accepted JIC cylinder. Functionally, however, air springs perform the same type of actuation tasks. Firestone Airstroke actuators have long been used in the industrial market as pneumatic actuators incorporated into new and innovative machinery designs as well as replacement actuators for existing applications that had previously used traditional pneumatic or hydraulic cylinders. These replacement markets are created by the advantages of a flexible walled pneumatic actuator that is durable, operates well in corrosive and abrasive industrial environments, easily accepts misalignment, and has a high ratio of stroke to collapsed height. Each of these features give Firestone Airstroke actuators the advantage over traditional cylinders. Why use an Airstroke actuator (rather than air or hydraulic cylinder) for actuation?

    • LOW COST - Generally, initial cost is one-half or less than conventional pneumatic or hydraulic cylin­ders of the same force capabilities. This initial cost advantage is many times greater in the larger sizes.
    • WIDE SIZE RANGE - Airstroke actuators are available in sizes ranging from 2.2 inches to 37 inches in diameter. The force capability is 100,000 pounds. Strokes of up to 14 inches are possible.
    • DURABLE FOR LONG LIFE - Airstroke actuators are a further application of Firestone's time proven Airide springs for truck and bus suspensions. The long life and durability necessary for millions of miles of heavy duty suspension use under adverse environmental conditions are also important factors in machine design.
    • NO MAINTENANCE OR LUBRICATION REQUIRED NO INTERNAL ROD OR PISTON - Airstroke actuators have no internal rod, piston, or sliding seals as do conventional cylinders. This allows for the design of Airstroke actuators into applications where dirt or grit would destroy the seals on conventional cylinders.
    • FRICTION FREE FOR - IMMEDIATE RESPONSE - Since Airstroke actuators have no sliding seals, there is no breakaway friction as with conventional cylinders
    • FLEXIBLE MEDIA - An Airstroke actuator can do its work with either a liquid or gas (Please see page 14 for acceptable media choices.)
    • ANGULAR CAPABILITY - An Airstroke possesses the unique capability of stroking through an arc without a clevis. Angular motion of up to 30 degrees is possible, along with the design advantage of generally less complex linkages.
    • SIDE LOADING CAPABILITY - Airstroke actuators, within certain limits, are not affected by side loads as are conventional cylin­ders. This misalignment capability eliminates potential rod bending, scoring, and excessive seal wear common to conventional cylinders.
    • COMPACT STARTING HEIGHT - Airstroke actuators have a low profile compared to conventional cylinders. Our smallest Airstroke actuator (2.2 inch/dia.) collapses to just 1.1 inches in height, while our largest triple convoluted Airstroke (37 inch/dia.) will collapse to a very com­pact 5.5 inches.
    • FACTORY SEALED AND TESTED - Most Airstroke actuators feature Firestone's proven concept of crimped end plates. The crimped design allows for preshipment testing and quicker installa­tion on equipment.


    Using Firestone Air Springs as Airmount Isolators

    What is a Firestone Isolator?  A Firestone Airmount Isolator is a device that prevents one object from affecting another. The Isolator allows both objects to exist in their natural state without influence from the other. With a Firestone Airmount isolator, one of the objects is allowed to vibrate without transmitting all of the energy of that vibration to the other object. For many years, Firestone has been in the business of designing and developing a wide range of mounts and supports to isolate vibrations that are detrimental to many industrial and manufacturing environments.  Why use an Airmount isolator rather than a coil spring or other type of isolator?

    • UNSURPASSED ISOLATION CAPABILITY - Airmount isolators can provide the highest degree of isolation of any type vibration isolator. System natural frequencies as low as 60 cycles per minute (1 Hertz) are available. The addition of an auxiliary reservoir can provide even lower system frequencies. In order to achieve similar results from a conventional coil spring isolator, a real deflection of 9 inches would be required.
    • CONSTANT ISOLATION EFFICIENCY - Airmount isolators are unique in that the system's natural frequency does not change significantly with changes in load. This unique feature, combined with accurate height control, will allow the use of the same Airmount isolator at each mounting point of an unevenly loaded machine.
    • ACCURATE HEIGHT CONTROL - Airmount isolators provide accurate height control through regulation of internal air pressure. This feature eliminates the fatigue and permanent set found in the use of other types of vibration isolators.
    • WIDE SIZE RANGE - Airmount isolators are capable of isolating loads of 100 pounds per mounting point to over 100,000 pounds per mounting point.
    • COMPACT INSTALLED HEIGHT - Airmount isolators can carry the loads and provide the isolation described above at installed heights as low as 2.5 inches. Coil springs providing equal isolation would require a free height of 5 to 25 inches.
    • EXTENDED EQUIPMENT LIFE - Airmount isolators extend equipment life through their superior isolation capabilities.
    • EFFECTIVE NOISE REDUCTION - Airmount isolators reduce structurally transmitted noise. Airmount isolators are also quiet in themselves, since there is no spring chatter as found in conventional coil springs.
    • VERSATILE - Airmount isolators can be used not only to protect structural members from vibrating machinery, but are also widely used to protect delicate equipment from structurally transmitted vibration.

  • MELSOFT-Software – E Designer HMI Software

    Check out these Mitsubishi MELSOFT – E Designer HMI Software instructional videos from TheReimber on YouTube.  He covers text displays, setting up analogue inputs, creating screen jumps and more!


  • Replacements for Obsolete Mitsubishi F900 series HMIs

    Did you know that the Mitsubishi F900 series HMIs are obsolete? Here are some pdf guides to help you make a smooth transition whenever you have to replace your Graphical Operator Interface.



  • Mitsubishi D700 VFD from

    Tech guru Mel talks about the features and benefits of the Mitsubishi D700 VFD.  Buy  Mitsubishi D700 VFDs at

  • Vinyl Tubing

    Vinyl tubingMade from a virgin clear PVC (polyvinyl chloride) resin, specially formulated for exceptional purity, clarity and flexibility.
    • Superior or equivalent to clear vinyl tubing available from any other source.
    • Formula V-1 tubing fully meets all specifications called out by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for materials in contact with food and drugs for human consumption.
    • 70 durometer for soft, easy handling and bending without tubing collapse.
    • Crystal clear for fully visible fluid flow and excellent appearance.
    • The recommended operating temperature range for service at rated pressures with compatible fluids is -40°F (-40°C) to +150°F (+65°C).

    Vinyl Tubing is Available from

  • Tube Clamps

    Tube Clamps

    Visit for a wide selection of Tube Clamps.

    Types of clamp bodies:
    The clamp bodies are available in these materials ex store

    - Polypropylene      - Polyamide        - Solid rubber         - Aluminium

    Upper and lower clamp halves are identical. The inside of the clamp is available with or without webs.

    Webs on the inside of the clamps have a vibration and impact reducing effect and absorb force towards the direction of the tube axis. A spacing between both halves produces the bias of the tube.

    Types of metal:
    As a regular feature of series A and B clamps, screws, rail nuts and  cover plates are zinc coated, welding plates phosphatized and support rails uncoated.

    As a regular feature of series C clamps, all steel parts are uncoated.

    All steel parts of the different construction series are also available ex stock in stainless steel type W5 in rust- and acid-resisting stainless steel 1.4571 (AISI 316 Ti).

  • Polypropylene Tubing

    Our Polypropylene Tubing features:

    • Acid and chemically resistant.
    • Flexible.
    • Dimensionally stable.
    • May be used at higher temperatures and working pressures than polyethylene tubing.
    • Resistance to hot water and hot corrosive acids is excellent.
    Polypropylene tubing will last many times longer than nylon tubing in hot water service.
    • Has water absorption of less than .01%.
    • Has good resistance to vegetable oils.
    • Has excellent resistance to environmental stress cracking.
    • Available in white, UV-resistant black and special NSF black.
    • PPB series tubing has superior ultraviolet resistance.
    • White and NSF black polypropylene meet FDA and NSF-51 requirements for food contact and potable water.
    • PP NSF listed only upon special request.
    • NSF black polypropylene tubing is available upon special request. Add -NSF suffix to PPB part number.
    • The recommended operating temperature range for service at rated pressures with compatible fluids is 0°F (-18°C) to +200°F (+93°C).

    Visit for the latest in Polypropylene Tubing.

  • Polyethylene Tubing

    Polyethelene Tubing from ParkerOur Polyethylene tubing features:

    • FDA, NSF-51 and NSF-61 compliant black polyethylene tubing is also available and is denoted with the letters "NSF" in the part number.
    • E series natural and colored tubing listed below meet FDA, NSF-51 and NSF-61 requirements for food contact applications.
    • Economical.
    • Resistant to environmental stress cracking. It greatly exceeds that of ordinary polyethylene tubing as measured by ASTM D-1693 (10% IGEPAL).
    • Black (EB) tubing contains an ultraviolet inhibitor which is recommended for use in sunlit areas and in close proximity to high ultraviolet light sources.
    • Available in black as well as nine other colors, as recommended by the Instrument Society of America.
    • Chemically resistant and flexible.
    • Extruded from high molecular weight resin for increased dimensional stability, uniformity and long-term strength.
    • All tubing conforms to ASTM D-1248, Type I, Class A, Category 4, Grade E5.

    Polyethylene Tubing is available from

  • Parker Nylon Tubing

    Nylon Tubing

    Polyamide tubing is extruded in polyamide PA12. This heat and light stabilised material meets or exceeds the DIN 73378, BS5409 PT1 and the Cetop RP54P requirements. Nylon tubing for a temperature range from -40°C up to +100°C (according DIN 74324).

    Nylon Tubing is available from

  • Air Brake Tubing from Parker

    Air Brake Tubing from ParkerParflex Air Brake Tubing is a Nylon tubing designed for use in tractor, trailer and other mobile air brake, instrumentation and air accessory systems.

    Meets SAE specification J844 Type A or B, D.O.T. FMVSS106, and performance requirements as specified in SAE specification J1131.

    • 100% quality controlled – 100% pressure tested

    • Saves weight and labor in comparison with copper tubing

    • Heat and light stabilized

    Visit to find a wide selection of Air Brake Tubing.


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