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Brakes for actuators and the difference they make for industrial machinery

Curious about linear actuator brakes and why some industrial actuators need brakes? If you want to know about mechanical brakes, the self-locking ability of actuators, or the optimal position of the brake inside an actuator, continue reading.

Here you can dig deeper into the different ways of braking industrial linear actuators, which is always necessary to ensure that the actuator stays in its position, whenever power is off. Our expert Hunter Stephenson explains the basics in this video.

Essentially, there are three ways of ensuring brake functionality in an actuator. Either an actuator is self-locking, which means that it does not need a brake to keep it in position when the power is off. Alternatively, it is necessary to integrate either a mechanical brake or an electrical brake in the actuator.

An actuator with a low efficiency is generally self-locking. This means that it does not backdrive while stopping. Whereas an actuator with high efficiency – high spindle pitch and gear ratio combined – must have a brake.

The dual-acting brake is a very strong and reliable mechanical brake. This brake will activate and deactivate independently of the directional movement of an actuator, as long as the movement originates from the electric motor.

When developing electric linear actuators, it is important to consider the position of the brake. Positioning the brake closer to the actuator’s motor will reduce the end play needed to activate the brake, and the further away the brake is from the spindle, the less force is required to brake.

If you have questions about brakes for industrial electric linear actuators, feel free to contact your local LINAK office.

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