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There are different types of air springs or air bags on the market, but these air springs can be primarily classified under two basic types – Sleeve Style and Convoluted also known as Bellow style air springs.

Let’s look at which one is best for you and the difference between the two.

Sleeve Style Air Springs:

As the name suggests, the sleeve style air springs are in the shape of a sleeve. They are made from durable nylon reinforced rubber “fabric” that is flexible in nature and forms an air tight bag with upper endcap (flange) and lower endcap.

The crimp rings secure bag to endcaps, while the flexible material of the bag allows it to fold over itself as lower endcap travels upward under suspension compression. The bag unfolds as the ride height is raised which extends the air springs thus allowing for a larger range of travel. The sleeve style air bags have a smaller diameter that makes it extremely beneficial to use in applications with space limitations.

These air bags are most suited for light duty trucks, to add stability and tow control while providing greater travel and maintaining good ride comfort.

Convoluted Air Springs:

The convoluted air springs also known as bellow type air springs are made from heavy duty, metal wire reinforced rubber and come with one or two “bellows” as shown in the image.

Like the sleeve style air springs, crimp rings are used to secure bag to endcaps.

The larger diameter of the convoluted air springs gives it high load handling and extra lifting capability. These type of air springs are most suited for medium to heavy duty trucks, work trucks, motorhomes and trailers.

In certain vehicles where there is not enough room to accommodate a double convoluted air spring, Pacbrake kits are made using the single convoluted air spring option. The single convoluted air bags however do not have the same amount of travel as the double convoluted ones.

The double convoluted air bags are most widely used in the industry due to their shape and design that allows to lift more weight with less air pressure compared to sleeve style air bags. For instance, where a sleeve style air bag needs 50 psi to lift a load of 700 lbs, the double convoluted air spring can do the same job with an air pressure of 25 psi.

At Pacbrake, we take the guesswork out of the air bag selection process providing you with the best possible configuration for your truck. Our engineers choose the right bag that provides you with the most comfortable ride quality, handling and control over your load.

Have additional questions? Feel free to contact us 800.663.0096 or write to us at [email protected]

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