Updated: Oct 11, 2022
An actuator is a device that transfers energy into motion. This may sound like a simple idea, but most modern devices that have moving components cannot exist without actuators. Actuators are inside devices as complex as the Mars Rover or as simple as your vacuum cleaner.
How strong are linear actuators?
Actuators can vary greatly in size. For example, the actuators inside your car are far larger than the actuators inside your cell phone. Because of this, the strength of actuators can vary as well. You don’t need an actuator that can push 1000lbs inside your cell phone, after all.
Determining the strength of an actuator is a combination of its stroke, speed, and force. However, there is a trade-off between all of these things. Small actuators can have a stroke of less than 1 inch, but larger actuators can have a stroke of 24 inches or more. The speed of an actuator can also vary depending on its application. Generally speaking, actuators that push a lot of force are slower.
There are also two different types of force with actuators. There is force, and there is lock-up force. Force refers to the amount of weight an actuator can push, while lock-up force refers to how much weight the actuator can support.
The force of a linear actuator can vary between models. Force can be less than 1lb to as high as 2000lbs or more, depending on the application. For lock-up force, it varies greatly by design.
At one time, hydraulic actuators were the strongest actuators available, but with increases in technology, electric linear actuators can compete with this strength.
In most cases, the more force the actuator pushes, the louder the actuator. However, if you are looking for an alternative to the current actuators on the market, quiet HASEL actuators may be right for your project. HASEL actuators offer soft, muscle-like performance, and they give you the benefit of traditional actuators without rigid materials or noisy design.
HASEL actuators can be very small actuators. Artimus Robotics has begun to develop small actuators as part of its miniature actuator product line. These small actuators have all the benefits of larger HASEL actuators including quiet operation and they make great alternatives to piezo actuators or other small actuators. See the video of the first prototype below, or contact Artimus Robotics for more information.