All Important Questions Answered on Linear Actuators: Part 1

Nowadays, linear actuators are used in the varieties of machinery. They have become one of the popular source of exploration for engineering and of course science enthusiasts, because of their functioning. These actuators make any appliance or object move forward by converting motion into linear motion. Most of us know the basic definition of linear actuators, as well as their applications. But, this is not enough if someone is new to these actuators. In this article, you will easily understand in-depth of linear actuators from design structure to their types and more.

Questions on Linear Actuators

Understanding the Design of Linear Actuators

For better understanding of how linear actuator works, you need to familiar with its design principle. Unlike the other actuators, these actuators have fewer working parts. Hence, these actuators are maintenance free. But, if you use them for couple of years then for sure you need to take of certain things. Linear actuator makes the devices easy to operate. Following are some of the important design parts of the linear actuators. Let’s have a look at these parts:

  • Motor: This is one of the crucial components of actuators that creates the motion. Linear actuators are vary in terms of motor type, power and feature. Usually, a 12 volt DC motor is used in linear actuators, which interacts with other parts in order to deliver movement.
  • Cylinder: The form of linear motion created by motor, allows the part of the cylinder to move, as it does not move itself. However, the inside parts of cylinder do.
  • DC Brushes: They are used to convey the current in between the stationary wires. They efficiently bring the current into the linear actuators.
  • Lead Screw: They are known as a power or translation screw. Lead screw is a part of linear motion system, which convert the rotational motion into linear motion. They come up with the cylinder, and travel upward and downward that facilitates the linear motion.
  • Gears: Gear bridges the motor and the lead screw. Most of the gears are made of plastic or steel and mates with other one’s to alter the relation between the speed of the driven parts and the speed a driving mechanism.

What are the Types of Linear Actuators?

Four types of linear actuators are used in various applications to produce motion. All of them perform the same job, however, they do it differently and with different results. Thus, it is important to know about them.

  • Electrical Actuators: This is one of the important type of linear actuators with a simple working mechanism. They equipped with a motor that creates power when current is passed. The electric motor offers sufficient power to the lead screw. Thus, it can move in a rotatory motion and generate motion. Vowing to their versatile design, they offer a wide range of motion profiles. These actuators can reprogrammed quickly than other, and offer an instant response. Electric actuators are commonly used in cruise control and DRS.
  • Pneumatic Actuators: They are known for converting compressed air into linear or rotary motion. They are ideal for the applications where cleanliness is necessary. They feature no motor that mean there is no any magnetic interference at high temperatures. This makes them suited for the application involving high temperatures. Pneumatic actuators feature valves that controls the flow of liquid when required.
  • Hydraulic Actuator: They are known as hydraulic cylinders, which operates on oil pressure. They are specially designed for high force applications. They feature with a working piston cylinder system, which make use of hydraulic power to produce motion. A reservoir, a pump, and a valve make up a hydraulic system. However, the valve directs the piston motion by giving way to oil. After applying oil pressure to the piston, it will move in the opposite direction. The piston give a return stroke through spring that is attached to it. This is the way the piston operates in and out.
  • Vacuum Actuator: They are ideal for an activation or switching mechanism. That means, these actuators offer motion to the secondary device once joined to a vacuum source. They are ideal for an activation or switching mechanism. Vacuum actuator feature a small chamber where vacuum forms. They also consist of springs connected to a piston that offers a push, which forces the piston to go out that chamber and join to a secondary device. Vowing its uses, they are widely used in air conditioning systems, automobiles engines and more.

That’s definitely not an end of the questions about linear actuators. All the outlined information covers the basics of actuators. Let’s discuss few more points in the next post. Stay connected to update your knowledge.