Air motors generally do not overheat and cannot "burn out" and cause an explosion, so they are considered safer than electric motors, and they are much cheaper and smaller than explosion proof electric motors. Many air motors also have the European ATEX approval, which means that the motor has been tested and given a temperature rating by an independant testing body.
Dusty or Wet Environments
Dust and splashes of water cannot enter a pneumatic motor, so they are a better alternative than an electric motor in these situations. Stainless steel and sealed pneumatic motors are also readily available for under water use - see our Advanced Motor Line.
When Size or Weight is Important
Air motors are much smaller and lighter than electric motors of equal specifications. This makes them perfect for hand held power tools, robot end or arm applicatons, as well as any applications where easy change over of the motor is necessary.
When there is a Risk of Stalling
Pneumatic motors are not damaged by stalling, provided that their gearing can withstand the stall torque. Pneumatic motors can be stalled indefinitely and will start again as soon as the load is removed. Electric motors will overload and can burn out if they are stalled unless there is some kind of torque limiter or overload protection installed.
When Frequent Reversing is Necessary
Air motors are easily reversed using air valves. They even can be reversed without waiting for the load to stop (providing the gearing can withstand the torque).
When High Start or Stall Torque is Required
Air Motors achieve high torque at low speed naturally and repeatedly starting or stalling them under full load will not damage them, providing the gearing can withstand the torque.