Home Business Insights & Advice What is the stroke of a linear actuator?

What is the stroke of a linear actuator?

by Sarah Dunsby
20th Aug 18 10:14 am

What is a linear actuator? If you only start working with automatics, this topic might puzzle and confuse you, but as you go further, the picture should clear up to give you more detailed vision about linear actuators. So, a linear actuator is a device with a mechanism that allows you to apply motion to any type of a device. It will move strictly in a straight motion, making your project move, lift weights or even create circular motion if attached to a certain mechanism.

Let’s imagine a robot. Linear actuators are widely used in robotics, and you ca literally build a homemade robot with moving limbs. This device will allow it move vertically or horizontally, depending on the type of your project and your initial aim. The legs and the arms of a robot will move properly if you install a linear actuator, minding all the peculiarities, among which are speed, stroke length and stroke force. Today we will concentrate on the stroke of a linear actuator and try to find out about its properties.

What is the stroke of a linear actuator?

To put in simple words, a stroke is a distance that contains in a linear actuator. It depends on how far the actuator can go in motion. What are the perks of knowing about the stroke? The thing is, it might help you see whether the actuator is compatible with your device, because if it is not, you might want to consider another type of a linear actuator with a different stroke length. A stroke can help you understand at what speed your device will work, what is the maximum capacity it can carry on, what will be the force, applied to the load and it determines how fast or slow the linear actuator will perform the job. When you decide to purchase a linear actuator, it is crucial to decide on the stroke length, and then choose a proper model for you.

How to find a stroke of a linear actuator?

First thing first, you will need to measure it. How to measure it? Obviously, you should do it when your linear actuator is in retracted state. Measure from a bolt hole to a rod, so that you can get the most precise measurements. The length of a stroke is usually measured in inches.

The next thing you will need to do is provide a second measurement, making calculations when the linear actuator is in its full capacity.

What you need to do next is measure the length of your linear actuator when it is in its extended state. This will allow you to know a full-fledged length of your linear actuator, but you should definitely switch it on before you get to measure it. Do the same operations as you have performed when working with a retracted state, but this time mark the length of your linear actuator with a different letter.

And finally, you need to complete a simple subtraction, subtracting the first length from the second. This is how you know your actual stroke. The measurement itself is a stroke of your linear actuator, based on which you can choose a perfect type for your project or compare different types of linear actuators. Now you know much more about this device. Hopefully, it made you understand what a stroke of a linear actuator is.

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