Whether you are starting to learn about motor device components or an expert, you might have heard about actuators and their importance. Engineers employ actuators to control the movement of machines.

There are many actuator types, and they require a range of power sources to create various motions. Identifying the variations between these motion-controlling devices will aid you in troubleshooting parts. You’ll also be able to improve your machine’s processes.

Now, let’s make clear what an actuator is. Then we’ll look at the many sorts of actuators and their purposes.

What Is An Actuator

What Is An Actuator

Actuators are machine parts that receive input from a control signal and then initiate movement. An actuator generates unique motions based on the machine’s function once it receives electricity.

Some standard devices that use actuators include electric motors, stepper motors, and hydraulic cylinders. It’s also fascinating to know that actuators have been used in systems and machines since their introduction during World War II.

Pneumatic Actuators

A pneumatic actuator is one of the most dependable types of actuators for machine motion. To produce mechanical movement, they employ compressed gases.

Many businesses choose pneumatic actuators because they can perform extremely accurate actions. They work well at stopping and starting machines. Examples of where you can find pneumatic actuators include bus brakes, pressure sensors, and exercise machines.

Electric Actuators

Electric Actuators

Electric actuators, as you might expect, rely on electricity to function. Manufacturing machinery, electric cars, and robotics equipment are all well-known examples.

They produce accurate motion in the same way as pneumatic actuators do because the flow of electrical power is continuous. So flow control is important for both actuator types.

There are two types of electric actuators:

  • Electrohydraulic actuators
  • Electromechanical actuators

Electrohydraulic actuators transform electrical impulses into linear or rotary motions or a mix of the two. An electromechanical actuator moves a hydraulic accumulator. Workers often use accumulators in heavy industrial equipment, which supply powerful forces for movement.

Linear Actuators

A linear actuator is a mechanical device that moves in a straight line. You tend to find them in pneumatic and hydraulic systems. They can be electronic or mechanical.

You can find a linear actuator in almost every machine, piece of equipment, or device that requires straight motion.

A sliding tube, nut, and cover make up a basic linear actuator. The room for motion is provided by the sliding tube. The nut and cover provide the interlocking movement, which maintains the actuator in a straight path.

Other complicated linear actuators have more parts. Yet, the basis for straight movement comes from the mechanism we described above.

Actuator Types Explained

Actuator Types Explained

You should now have a clearer idea about the three actuator types we mentioned and what actuators are in general. There are many other types we didn’t cover, all with specific movements to suit differing needs.

But in any case, actuators are a much-needed component in our modern world. With so many machines and systems reliant on actuators, it’s good to know how at least some of them work.

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