Track linear actuators are like rod-style linear actuators as they consist of a motor, gearbox, and lead screw, but instead of a rod, these actuators use a sliding carriage. This sliding carriage moves along the track of the lead screw as it rotates giving these actuators their name. Because of this, the stroke of a track linear actuator is equal to the length of the lead screw. This means these actuators have a fixed length. It makes them easier to design around than rod-style linear actuators, but it also means they lack the telescopic motion that rod-style actuators have.
Our Track Linear Actuators are suited for carrying loads along the length of the actuator
The main advantage of a track linear actuator is that it requires less space to operate since there's no need to extend a rod. Rather, a load can be mounted onto the sliding carriage and moved along the body of the actuator.
What are the Differences Between Track Linear Actuators & Rod Linear Actuators?
Both styles of actuators convert electrical energy to linear motion via a motor and gearbox, but the main difference is how that linear motion is delivered. In your standard rod linear actuator, the rotational motion from the gearbox is converted to linear motion by the use of a lead screw that extends and retracts the rod. The track linear actuator still makes use of a lead screw to convert rotational motion to linear motion, but instead of a rod, it uses a sliding carriage that moves along the length of the lead screw. This means there is no telescopic motion, like with rod linear actuators, but has a fixed length that the carriage slides along. Outside of this difference, you will see that most track linear actuators will have similar specifications, like available stroke lengths and load capacities, as their rod actuator counterparts.
Where are Track Linear Actuators used?
As mentioned above, track linear actuators are ideal for sliding applications and are better suited to indoor situations due to their lower IP rating. Track linear actuators are often used in schools for sliding whiteboards and chalkboards or in custom cabinetry, like with motorized sliding doors. They can also be used in more industrial applications like CNC machines and 3D printers to position components over a fixed length. You can consider using a track linear actuator over a rod linear actuator in situations where you have movement in one direction and do not require telescopic motion. FIRGELLI Automations offers both a heavy-duty track linear actuator and mini track linear actuator to meet your motorized sliding needs of your next project.