Tech Know-how: How much can a linear actuator lift?

The linear actuator performs exactly the kind of work its name means. Actuator performs a line-straight movement in one exact direction.

There are many different ways to make such a motion with the help of a linear actuator. The most spread of them is with the help of a retractable rod (slider) that moves along the guide rail. The scope of use of such linear actuators varies widely, they can be used in an uncountable number of devices. From toys to aviation and space technologies. Depending on the sphere of use actuators are capable to lift different weigh from few grams to hundreds of tons.

To make the calculation of how much can a linear actuator lift use the following formula

T = WL μ cos(??) + (WL/386.4) * (v/ta) + WL sin(??) + Fk,
?? – angle of inclination
V – length
Ta – 0.2(for 2 seconds. i.e.)
T – Total Linear Force
FF – Force from Friction
FA – Acceleration Force
FG – Applied Force
WL –Weight of Load
U – Angle of Inclination
TA – Acceleration Time (sec)
V – Final Velocity
μ – Coefficient of Sliding Friction
G – Acceleration of Gravity = 386,4 in/sec

First, you need is to calculate the total liner force as this is the key indicator of the formula. Total Linear Force – (T) = FF + FA + FG + FP (FP – gravity force).

In order to choose a suitable linear actuator, it is necessary to determine the basic requirements of the system like moving speed, displacement force (pushing or pulling), length of stroke, the preferred voltage supply of actuator, and the arrangement of the engine (longitudinal or transverse). All these factors significantly change the amount of weight that can be lifted by the linear actuator. Thus, all they must be taken into account when choosing the most suitable type of actuator.

However, all the measurement and calculations might be quite a tricky quest for most, who does not work in this sphere on the regular basis. Fortunately, modern engineering world has a wide range of companies working in this direction, providing its customers with the best products of innovative technologies. Linear actuator industry market has a variety of companies constantly working on high-quality linear motion products.

One of the most distinctive and most modern and prominent companies in this field of automation innovations is the Progressive Automation company. Applying to such pioneers of this profession, you will receive precise and correct calculations and appropriate advice on capabilities and characteristics you might need for your particular situation.

For example, not all linear actuators are capable to pull some weight, nor all of them can push some weight. Thus the type of linear actuator can vary very much. The biggest stress in this engineering sphere is always put over the load capacity, speed, and higher mechanical efficiency of the automation products. The evolution of this technology leads to the variety of existing types of linear actuators, having their own specific characteristics.

Here are some types of linear actuators

· mechanical – quite cheap but on the other hand provides no automation;
· electro-mechanical type – provides automation but at the same time has many moving parts prone to wear fast;
· linear motor actuator – capable to provide a high speed but low to medium force;
· piezoelectric – capable to provide slow motions at high speeds but only high voltages are required (24V and more). Also distinguished by its high cost.
· Hydraulic – capable to provide high forces but can leak and requires special position for repeatability.

Taking into account all above-mentioned, the conclusion follows that linear actuators can perform a variety of actions and can be applied for many purposes lifting from smallest to the biggest weights. However, it becomes clear that the amount of weight to be lifted by the linear actuator strongly depends on the environment and the technical characteristics and specifications of the actuator itself.

Also Read: Tech Know-How : Automatic Solar Tracker with Actuators

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