Comparison of Micro Actuators

We compare Micro Actuators to help you understand them better

comparison of all Micro Actuators

First of all, the term Micro refers to a size of control. A micron is another measurement of particle size. A micron is one-millionth of a meter or one twenty-five thousandth of an inch. Typically a Micro Actuator needs to have Micron level of control to be able to be called a Micro Actuator.

Did you know that some actuators offer increased reconfigurability? Some move to the end of their stroke or a complete stop. While others are actually able to be programmed for speed or even position.

This shows that multiple actuators have versatile capabilities, each with streamlined application options and configurability. Micro actuators are a critical component of many robotic and automation systems. They provide the ability to precisely control movement in a small, lightweight package.

Micro actuators have gained a lot of traction in the robotics and automotive industries. Their small size and low power consumption make them an ideal choice for many applications. If you're looking for a quality micro actuator, FIRGELLI Automations has you covered.

With the four different types of micro actuators that released, each boasts its own unique set of features. We're going to take a close look at each product to help you decide which one is right for your needs. Keep reading if you want a breakdown of each actuator including its mounting points and its options for control.

What Are Micro Actuators and What Are They Used For?

micro actuators

Micro linear actuators have found widespread use in a variety of applications. They are small, lightweight, and consume very little power. This makes them ideal for use in robotics, automation, and automotive applications.

Micro actuators come in two basic varieties; electric and pneumatic. Electric micro actuators are often powered by an electric motor, while pneumatic micro actuators are what's powered by compressed air. Both types have their own advantages and disadvantages.

There are multiple types of actuators. They feature linear, hydraulic, rotary, mechanical, supercoiled polymer, and even thermal and magnetic actuators. Actuators create two main types of motion; linear and rotary.

Rotary and linear actuators make up the two types that divide electric actuators. These are usually used to rotate from open to close when using a plug valve, butterfly, or ball valves. Pneumatic actuators however are made up of a few basic types such as spring and diaphragm, and rotary vane.

Linear actuators are powered by a piston that moves along a fixed track or rail. They usually come in both push and pull versions.

Electric Micro Actuators

Electric micro actuators are the most common type of micro actuator. They are powered by an electric motor that drives a screw or piston to move the actuating member. The most common types of electric micro actuators are screw actuators and linear actuators.

Screw actuators are the most common type of electric micro actuator. They consist of a screw that is turned by the electric motor to move the actuating member. Screw actuators are available in both rotary and linear versions.

Linear actuators are powered by a piston that moves along a fixed track or rail. Linear actuators are available in both push and pull versions.

Pneumatic Micro Actuators

Pneumatic micro actuators are powered by compressed air. They usually come in two varieties; single-acting and double-acting. Single-acting pneumatic micro actuators only have an input port for compressed air, while double-acting pneumatic micro actuators have both an input and output port.

Single-acting pneumatic micro actuators are the most common type. They consist of a piston that moves in one direction when compressed air gets applied to the input port. Single-acting pneumatic micro actuators are available in both push and pull versions.

Double-acting pneumatic micro actuators are less common than single-acting micro actuators. They consist of two pistons, one that moves in one direction when compressed air gets applied to the input port and another that moves in the opposite direction when compressed air's applied to the output port.

A Close Look and Comparison

The differences between products are often better seen when broken down. We'll take a look at each actuator, its mounting capabilities if applicable, and its options for control.

Silent Micro Linear Actuator

silent micro actuator

If you're looking for an option that is ultra-quiet and that offers significantly smooth and efficient linear motion, the silent micro linear actuator might be what you were looking for. Packing a force of 100N, this actuator is the ideal choice for those seeking an option with a sleek design and built-in mounting base along the main body of the actuator. It also features pre-drilled holes for simple mounting.

The links to stroke ratio are shorter with this attachment style which means that they can fit into tighter spots. The moving end of the actuator can be rotated to any angle. One of the most popular applications is within HVAC systems.

It's used for opening and closing the vents and flaps in residential applications as well such as for remote opening and closing for drawers, doors, etc.

However, the silent actuators can be used across multiple applications where space or even noise is important.

How Does It's Mounting Match Up?

Mounting the silent micro linear actuator is very simple. It's moving in and has a clevis hole with spacing for a 4mm screw to secure it as well as a slot for an 8mm deep plate used to expand its mounting options. Its shaft can rotate up to 180°. This allows for enhanced flexibility when it comes to insulation.

This actuator's mounting points offer exceptional positional flexibility as well. This actuator is also able to rotate and swivel as it moves which makes it versatile for multiple applications.

Options for Control

These micro actuators offer a simple configuration of two wires. This means that it offers a supply of a 12v DC power source that allows the actuator to move. It reverses the polarity while changing direction.

F12 Micro Linear Actuator

Overview

compare micro actuators

The F12 Micro Linear Actuator offers a similarity to the original L12 actuators. This actuator is part of a new line that features water-resistant sealing, a lightweight design, and enhanced durability. They are compact in size and offer quiet use.

How Does It's Mounting Match Up?

Simplicity is a benefit of this actuator's mounting points. Each end has two clevis holes that can fit a 4 mm screw for security. In addition, it can rotate up to 180° which means that the holes don't need to line up with the motor end of the actuator's body. You also have the capability of mounting the actuator and using it across multiple applications.

Options for Control

The F12 micro linear actuators offer both a two-wire configuration that supplies 12v DC power to move the actuator itself, and a 5 wire Configuration that has a built in Hall Sensor for positional feedback.  

Micro Pen Actuator with Feedback

micro actuators

The micro pen linear actuator truly packs a punch and offers sensor feedback. This offers extremely precise positional control as well as overload protection in one small package. This model offers to force options of 20N and 50N.

If you need an application that is perfectly suited for robotics or consumer electronics, the micro pin linear actuator would be the perfect option. It can be used across multiple robotics applications and is the smallest of its kind. The built in Hall Sensor offers micron level positional control

Micro Pen Actuators 12v

Overview

The micro pen linear actuator is the only 16mm in dia. It consistently packs a punch as it offers overload protection. This option offers two force options with this model, 20N and 100N. Its stroke links range from 20 mm to 100 mm. With this actuator, you can fit them into small places for ultimate motion control capabilities while remaining hidden.

How Does It's Mounting Match Up?

The actuator can rotate up to 120° with simplicity when it comes to mounting. It also offers ease of rotation and swiveling motions to be used across multiple applications.

Options for Control

Offering a simple two-wire configuration, which supplies 12v DC power to move the actuator, it also reverses polarity to change its direction.

What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a Micro Actuator for Your Application Needs?

Now that you know what Micro Actuators are and what they're used for, it's time to decide which one is right for you. Each Micro Actuator has its own unique set of features that make it ideal for a particular application. When choosing a micro actuator for your application needs, there are several factors you should consider:

Stroke Range

The stroke range is the distance the actuating member can travel. Choose an actuator with a stroke range that meets your requirements.

Speed

Some micro actuators can move the actuating member at high speeds, while others are limited to slow movement. Choose an actuator with the speed you need.

Force

Some micro actuators can generate a lot of force, while others have a limited force output. Choose an actuator with the force you need.

Mounting Points

Some micro actuators have mounting points built-in, while others require adapters or brackets to mount them. Choose an actuator with the mounting options you need.

Control

Some micro actuators have built-in control circuits, while others require external controls such as switches or PLCs. Choose an actuator with the type of control you need.

Power Source

Some micro actuators come in both AC and DC versions, while others only work on one voltage type. Always choose an actuator that works with your power source.

The small stroke range makes them ideal for use in small spaces where a larger linear actuating component would not fit, such as robotics and automation applications.

The small stroke range makes them ideal for use in small spaces where a larger linear actuating member would not fit, such as robotics and automation applications. The screw actuator is usually in both rotary and linear versions, has a high speed, and can generate a lot of force making it the best choice for most applications.

The linear actuator also shows both push and pull versions, has a low speed, and limited force output making it better suited for light-duty applications. The single-acting pneumatic micro actuators are in both push and pull versions, have a medium speed, and limited force output making them good general-purpose micro actuators.

The double-acting pneumatic micro actuators have a high speed and can generate a lot of force, making them ideal for use in heavy-duty applications where fast movement is required.

The best micro actuator for your application needs depends on what you want to do with it. If you need an actuating component that can be used in small spaces then screw or pneumatic micro actuators would be better suited.

More On Applications

There are multiple applications for linear actuators. Let's take a quick look at two of the basic types and why they're so versatile. Linear Actuators offer a much greater amount of work per cycle, allowing faster movement than rotary actuators.

They also allow for constant tension or compression force without slip when the inputs are stationary. This is ideal if you need to push or pull materials with consistent force over time (like closing a door).

It also means linear actuators can be used on moving objects. Such as vehicles that require high traction during acceleration/deceleration periods which might otherwise cause slippage between drive wheels and road surfaces due to lack of friction between them.

Rotary Actuators are perfect for applications that require a large amount of torque in a small space. They're also great for situations where you need to maintain speed and power over an extended range of motion. Such as when tightening a bolt

For an additional example, pneumatic actuators work with compressed air as we mentioned. This gives them the ability to create high forces and torques. This is ideal for heavy lifting or moving objects quickly. They're also relatively noise-free, making them ideal for use in quiet environments.

Get What Suits Your Needs

If you're looking for a powerful micro actuator with sensor feedback, the micro pen style from FIRGELLI Automations is perfect for you. With its small size and high force, it's ideal for a wide range of applications. Working with industry experts makes it simple when it comes to supplying actuators of multiple shapes and sizes.

Now that you've seen all four new products, finding the perfect component for your next application should be easy to do. In addition, our team can help you find the right actuator for your needs. 

Visit us today and get started on your project.

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