Linear actuators work by moving an object or piece of equipment in a straight line, moving an object extraordinarily accurately and repeatably if required. The first reason for designing a linear actuator right into a system is for the necessity to move a payload in a linear fashion slightly than a rotary one. As most typical electrical motors are rotary, a linear actuator is used to convert rotary motion to linear motion.

The electrical motor is generally linked to the linear actuator by a versatile coupling or a belt, enabling the motor to be mounted either axially or perpendicular to the linear actuator. Quite a lot of motor sizes might be mounted to those actuators relying on requirements.

Linear actuators have incorporated linear bearings that support the moving payload, as well as rotary bearings that help either the lead screw, ball screw or belt pulleys. This then allows them to operate as ‘stand-alone’ gadgets, making them easy to mount into present machines and eliminating the need to design/manufacture very expensive customized parts. To extend the load capacity and stability of a linear actuator system, they are often paired up with the payload carried between them, akin to in an XY gantry style stage. In this case, a shaft or belt is commonly used to keep the 2 actuators in sync with every other.

Options of Linear Actuators

Linear Actuators have the next options:

High repeatability

Positioning accuracy

Clean operation

Lengthy life

Easy upkeep or maintenance free

Protection rankings available for some models

Suitable for harsh environments

Compact design

Rugged and reliable

Safe operation

Versatile

Industries and applications for Linear Actuators

Linear Actuators can be utilized in varied applications that require a load to either be lifted, lowered, pushed, pulled, rotated or positioned. Linear Actuators are used in industries together with:

Packaging

Meals processing

Industrial vehicles

Factory automation

Materials dealing with

Clean energy

Printing

Automotive

Machine device

Marine

Aerospace

Defence

Pharmaceutical

Types of Linear Actuators

Picking the right type of linear actuator for your motion application might help you achieve the best results. Lead Screw Actuators, Ball Screw Actuators and Belt Actuators are three types of linear actuators that can be used in varied applications to produce motion.

A Lead Screw Actuator makes use of a plain screw/nut arrangement to translate the rotary motion from a motor to linear motion. A manually driven screw or an AC induction motor are probably the most commonly used methods to provide the rotary motion, as they’re generally used in low price and low precision applications. The ability of the actuator to ‘back drive’ is reduced over ball screw actuators because of the low efficiency of the screw/nut. In some applications, this could be an advantage as it helps to keep the payload stationary whilst not in motion. Applications include agricultural equipment and handbook lift systems, the place safety and reliability are more critical than precision and performance.

A Ball Screw Actuator uses a high precision nut with recirculating ball bearings that rotate around a ground screw thread. In precept this is very similar to a normal ball race with the load being transmitted by the rolling balls. The significant advantages of this system are high-precision and low friction, giving a very environment friendly method of changing rotary motion to linear motion. Stepper or servo motors are generally used to provide the rotary motion. Ball screw actuators are well suited to repeatable indexing and quick cyclic applications comparable to machine tools, scientific devices and medical systems.

Belt actuators work where a belt is carried between pulleys and connected to the moving carriage, then because the belt rotates the carriage is pulled alongside the actuator. One of the pulleys is driven by a motor which is generally mounted perpendicular to the actuator and paired utilizing a flexible coupling. They offer a relatively low-cost various, as they inherently have a lower level of precision. Belt pushed linear actuators are superb for lengthy travel and high linear speed applications such as packaging and automatic materials dealing with systems.