We know linear actuators are used in many pieces of machinery today. They make any object/appliance move forward by converting motions into linear motion.
There are different types of linear actuators out there. While they technically all do the same job, they do it differently and with different results.
It is important you know about all the types of linear actuators so you can make an educated choice when it comes to buying linear actuators.
Here are the 4 types of linear actuators you need to know about:
1. Lead Screw Actuator/ Electrical
This is the most common type of 4Powerjackmotion linear actuator with a simple working mechanism.
It has an electric motor that generates power when electrical current is passed.
The motor gives enough power to the lead screw so that it can move in a rotatory motion and produce a to-and-fro motion.
They are commonly used in DRS and cruise control.
2. Hydraulic Actuator
This type of actuator operates on oil pressure. Hydraulic actuators have a working piston cylinder system that uses hydraulic power to produce motion. They can produce linear, rotary or even oscillatory motion.
There are a reservoir, a pump, and a valve. These three components make up a hydraulic system and help produce linear motion.
The valve in the hydraulic system helps direct the piston motion by giving direction to where the oil will go.
Its working mechanism is simple.
Once oil pressure is applied to the piston, it moves in the opposite direction; there’s a spring attached to the piston that forces it to give a return stroke. This is how the piston operates in and out.
Hydraulic actuators can also work in reverse direction if their valves are reversed. It will force them to let the oil flow in reverse direction.
Hydraulic actuators are used in construction appliances, power steering etc.
3. Pneumatic Actuator
A pneumatic actuator helps to convert energy made by vacuum into rotary or linear motion.
A pneumatic actuator is a perfect fit to help start an engine or turn it off.
This is because pneumatic actuators have the tendency to exert a large amount of energy for minimal pressure changes.
There are valves in pneumatic actuators that are responsible to control the flow of liquid as required.
4. Vacuum Actuator
These actuators are best to use if you want to conduct a switching or an activation mechanism. Meaning, this actuator can be used to give motion to a secondary device once connected to a vacuum source.
There’s a small chamber inside a vacuum actuator where vacuum forms. There are also springs that are connected to a piston which provides a push due to vacuum energy. This push forces the piston to go out of the chamber and connect to a secondary device.
Vacuum actuators are commonly found in automobile engines, air conditioning systems, and many other systems as well.
These are the 4 most common types of actuators that are being used in various appliances to produce motion.
Photo: Getty Images