Solenoid Choice Factors for Applications

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How to Select a Linear Actuator

There are a number of different factors that can influence the choice of a linear actuator, some of these are described, the selection process aims to identify the least expensive device which can satisfy requirements of the application.

Force Characteristic & Mechanical Work
The graphs below show the force vs displacement, and work vs displacement characteristics for actuators of different types with similar weight and power input. It is clear that for short displacement the push-pull solenoids produce much higher force than other types. The flat force characteristic of proportional solenoid and voice-coil motor lends itself to control of position, rather than simple ‘on-off’ function. Work carried out by the voice coil is higher because it can drive in both directions, other solenoids require a spring to return in the other direction.