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Five Basic Actuator Technologies

Source:http://www.flowxgroup.com/Update Time:2014-07-24Hits:

Usually we could treat an actuator as a tool that changes electrical or thermal energy into a motion that under control. There are many kinds of actuators, electric actuators are one kind. However, here we would like to introduce five basic actuator technologies in detail to explain how the pneumatic actuators transforming the energy into motion.


This is the first actuator technology which results from the electric current moving by a conducting thing. Attractive and repulsive powers are produced nearly to the conductor and balanced to the current flow. This actuator technology comes and vanishes soon that allows the operations very speedily. The most important effect of electromagnetic actuator technology is they are very efficient in changing energy to operating the machines and need less power.


This actuator technology arises from enhanced or insufficient free electrons. Electrostatic can create the attractive and repulsive forces to its opposite charged objects. We could use the principle to utilize the electrostatic powers to produce the motion. Just like the electromagnetic, this electric actuators technology also comes and disappears very soon. Electrostatic fields can create large powers, but normally it only get across very short distances. When it is required to be work in long distance, a higher voltage is needed to keep forces.

Thermo mechanical

The work rule of thermo mechanicals, when the temperature changes, the materials will changes its physical property to expansion or contraction. Thus, this actuator technology gets forces from its physical changes. Because thermo mechanical actuator is affected by the surrounding temperature, so it may need the cooling system to from the transformation. In order to use this actuator technology better, we need pay attention to the temperature changes very closing.

Electro rheological

This actuator technology is based on the rule that an electric area is distributed with certain fluids, therefore, the flow rate will create by this. The changes in rheology can be used for these tools to control or create forces and stimulate the mechanical parts with the hydraulic system. The typical fluids of this actuator technology includes the fine force were postponed in a no conducting one. When it happened to an electric area, the elements could response very quickly and make the fluid become thicker or even non-flowing. The fluids are quite sensitive to the temperature environment. If it is not cool enough, the water based fluids will face the problem of drying out, but the too low temperature, especially, when the water is reaching the freezing point, will causes problems too.


Diamagnetism is showed in superconductor materials. This actuator technology has the ability to reflect an external magnetic field. A magnet is fluid stably above a superconductor sample shows a general case of the Meissner Effectin in operation. However, some non-superconducting devices, especially bismuth, graphite and silicon, also have this capability, but their work is very limited. Diamagnetic materials are able to flow magnets against gravity, while working under certain temperatures. Reversely, the materials will normally miss the field reflecting capabilities if the temperature is above the certain level.

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