Bellows style air bags (also called air springs) are made from heavy-duty reinforced rubber, which is configured with either one, or multiple convoluted chambers. Bellows air bags are typically larger than sleeve style air bags (which will be discussed below), giving them more lifting and load handling capacity. The design of most bellows air bags allows the air bag to be inflated to the desired firmness, and then deflated in similar fashion.
Because of their size and design, bellows air bags can lift with greater force at lower air pressures. For example, it may only take 35 PSI of pressure to lift 1,000 lbs. in a bellows air bag where it may take around 70 PSI of pressure in a sleeve style air bag to lift the same weight.
The most popular bellows air bag configurations include single, dual, and triple chamber design. Bellows air bags are great for heavy-duty applications, where there is ample space to accommodate a larger apparatus. Tow trucks, motorhomes, trailers, and heavy-trucks are prime candidates for bellows type air bags.
Sleeve style air bags use a flexible member with an internally molded bead. The sleeve design allows this type of air bag to be constructed with a smaller overall diameter than the bellows air bag. These air bags, and air spring kits, are designed for lift and ride control. The internally mounted sleeve is covered in by a bag, made of a flexible heavy-gauge rubber or synthetic rubber compound. The bag is crimped into the spring mount on one end and swaged onto the opposite end, sealing the contents inside.
When compressed air is forced into the spring, the two-piece sleeve extends, lengthening the assembly to achieve the desired ride height. Sleeve style air bags are extremely well suited to applications when space is limited and loads are light. Sleeve style air bags are perfect for light duty trucks, custom street rods and track cars.
With bellows style air bags
With sleeve style air bags
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