IS0-6432 Air Cylinders

ISO-6432 air cylinder standards are not universal. Some of the North American manufactured throw-away - non-repairable cylinders like the ISO-6432 are, are not manufactured to any known, industry-wide standard.

For example, if you were to purchase a 3/4" bore size air cylinder with a given stroke length from one vendor, there is no guarantee that if you purchase the same bore size and stroke length air cylinder of another brand, that they will be interchangeable in terms of rod diameter, port size, or mounting footprint.

On the two air cylinders, thread diameters and rod threads may differ, mounting footprints may even completely change, in short - if you do not buy the same brand again - you might have to alter how you mount the air cylinder, and how you connect it to the work piece to make the new cylinder work in your application.

ISO 6432

ISO, the International Standards Organization, is a European body with a mandate, among many other things, to bring standards and common specifications to industrial goods.

ISO-6432 is the standard that applies to a certain type of air cylinder, typically what we have come to know as the throw-away or non-repairable type air cylinder, as shown in the photo.

ISO Air Cylinder

ISO-6432 air cylinders, regardless of what company manufactures them, will have standard critical dimensions. The are:

  • Rod diameters and rod threads will be common for like bores
  • Nose mount or rear mount threads will be the same
  • The air port sizes will be common for like bores
  • The mounting hardware, while possibly appearing to be different, will have common critical dimensional sizes

ISO-6432 Cylinder Standards Are Good

Specification standards are a good thing for air cylinder users. Any existing supplier of air cylinders may suddenly change - perhaps go out of business - leaving you without a vendor for a specific air cylinder. When a new cylinder is acquired of the same bore and stroke, if there were no standards, the new cylinder may not fit the application.

An ISO-6432 non-repairable air cylinder acquired from a different manufacturer than the original cylinder source may not look the same as the cylinder you are trying to replace, yet the new cylinder will fit the same footprint as the old one if it is truly an ISO-6432 specified cylinder.

Metric Dimensions On ISO-6432 Cylinders

Since ISO is a European organization, and Europe has standardized on the metric system, all ISO 6432 cylinders will have metric dimensions. The cylinder bore and rod diameter will be measure in millimeters. The port sizes, rod thread and mounting thread sizes will be metric in dimension.

This brings a higher level of complexity to acquiring and replacing a throw-away air cylinder. The replacement non-repairable cylinder may have North American roots and Imperial dimensions are the norm there. These are not compatible with the ISO 6432 cylinder dimensions. If you are trying to replace a non-repairable air cylinder of North American manufacture with an ISO style (they may even look similar) expect to have footprint and thread issues.

NPT fittings normally do not work in metric ports. Some fitting manufacturers suggest that they have a universal (NPT and Metric) line of air fittings. Here is more information about compressed air fittings.

Metric Tubing Required

When you have located metric fittings for the ISO 6432 cylinder, be aware that the air line tube sizes that normally fit those metric fittings will typically be of metric dimension. Typically they will use 4mm, 6mm, 8mm and larger tube.

Air line tube is measure on the O.D., so a 6 mm air tube will have an outside diameter of 6 mm.

The 1/4" P.E. tube that is almost the standard for machinery in North America, will not be usable in a metric fitting, unless - and only perhaps - the part of the fitting that connects to the tube is a barb. In that case, you might just be able to connect a metric fitting to a 1/4" P.E. tube. Good luck with that!