An actuator is something that converts energy into motion. An actuator is typically a mechanical device that takes energy – energy created by air, electricity or liquid – and converts it into some kind of motion. Actuators are typically used in manufacturing or industrial applications and might be used in devices such as motors, pumps, switches and valves.
A linear actuator is an actuator that creates motion in a straight line, as contrasted with circular motion of a conventional electric motor. Linear actuators are used in machine tools and industrial machinery, in computer peripherals such as disk drives and printers, in valves and dampers, and in many other places where linear motion is required. Hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders inherently produce linear motion; many other mechanisms are used to provide a linear motion from a rotating motor.
Advantages of Linear Actuators include:
Actuator types include: