What are actuators?
What are actuators and how do they work? There are four types of actuators that are used today. The most commonly used in this industry are the Pneumatic and Hydraulic actuator.
A hydraulic actuator consist of a cylinder or fluid motor that uses hydraulic power to facilitate mechanical operation. The mechanical motion gives an output in terms of linear, rotary or oscillatory motion. Because liquid cannot be compressed, a hydraulic actuator can exert considerable force, but is limited in acceleration and speed.
A pneumatic actuator converts energy formed by compressed air at high pressure into either linear or rotary motion. Pneumatic energy is desirable for main engine controls because it can quickly respond in starting and stopping as the power source does not need to be stored in reserve for operation.
You may wonder what this means in English? Well, in simpler terms; the main difference between the two is that pneumatic actuators use air to transmit force while a hydraulic actuator will use liquid to transmit force. Depending on the media of your project will depend on what kind of actuator you will need.
This picture shows an example of what a pneumatic actuator might look like with a ball valve. A Pneumatic scotch yoke Automation package along with our ANSI 1500 Trunnion Ball Valve going for Natural gas service.