Springs provide motive force to a mass at the expense of continuously increasing velocity. Airpot damping develops an opposing force to limit this velocity to a desired value.
In laser equipment (as shown below), a push damp Airpot controls a mirror as it swings into position. The Airpot damping increases as the mirror approaches a stop, allowing rapid positive positioning without loud noise or impact damage.
In automatic mailing and addressing equipment it regulates the positioning mechanisms and feed roller pressure.
In spring loaded doors, x-y slides, and tape cartridge carriers it prevents damage on release.