How Do Actuators Function In The Aerospace Industry? | Quality Aircraft Actuator
Understanding Aircraft Actuator | Know The Basics
Whether you work in the aerospace industry, or you’re just curious about learning more, it’s important to know what an aircraft actuator is and how it functions. An airplane actuator cannot be put into a single category. In fact, an aircraft actuator is responsible for a number of important tasks like adjusting flight control surfaces, extending and retracting landing gear, and opening and closing cargo or weapon bay doors.
In order to engineer a high-functioning aircraft actuator, designers and manufacturers have to consider application requirements such as velocity, force, and the weight of the actuator. The total cost of the airplane actuator also includes factors like energy efficiency and safety features. In addition to their application in the aerospace industry, actuators are also widely used in healthcare, manufacturing, and more.
A mechanical aircraft actuator is used to translate mechanical motion into a form of linear motion. Once the mechanical actuator converts this motion, it can also change the speed.
Usually, this type of aircraft actuator works in tandem with a larger system that includes feedback devices, a power drive, and more. You can think of mechanical actuators like a rack and pinion. These airplane actuators are based on combinations of structural components like gears, pulleys, and chains.
#2 Electromechanical Actuator
An electromechanical actuator converts the rotational force of an electric motor into linear movement. It does so in order to generate linear movement through one of two mechanisms: a belt or a screw.
This actuator is known for its accuracy, especially in regard to pneumatics. These actuators are also long-lasting and don’t require much maintenance besides lubrication with grease. However, although this type of actuator can reach high forces, it isn’t extremely fast due to its dimensions and weight requirements. For that reason, an electromechanical actuator is more often used in healthcare devices and factory manufacturing. This is not a common aircraft actuator due to its limitations.
#3 Solenoid Valve Actuator
A solenoid valve actuator is used wherever fluid flow needs to be automatically controlled. They are used in plants and equipment commonly, not as an aircraft actuator. However, a solenoid valve actuator is known for its ability to control and maintain fluid flow on whatever necessary application.
Solenoid valve manufacturers will often engineer these units to either shut off or allow fluid flow. Think of the actuator as an electromagnet. Once it builds up energy, the magnetic field can pull against the action of a spring. When the energy is relaxed, the plunger or pivoted arm returns to its normal position. A solenoid valve actuator can come with two or more valves, depending on your facility requirements. The best way to find the right valve and actuator is to talk to solenoid valve manufacturers about your needs and work with someone who can customize to your specifications.
Find An Aircraft Actuator
If you’re in the market for an aircraft actuator, look for a manufacturer who can work with you from start to finish. In order to get the perfect aircraft actuator, you need to be involved with the design, engineering, and manufacturing process. You should find a manufacturer who listens to your needs and requirements and will update you throughout the process. That way, if issues arise, you are alerted to how they are being handled.
When it comes to finding an aircraft actuator, do your research and determine your exact needs. The more specific you can be with a manufacturer, the better chance you have at finding the perfect fit.