How to Calculate Linear Actuator Force

Calculating the strike force of any given linear actuator has to begin with the user calculating the translational force needed to move any given load (remembering that linear actuators can be tweaked to bear different loads). To calculate the force in a linear actuator, the user needs to consider four separate elements in each equation: the mass which is being moved, the friction which will be created, the gravity of the earth, and whether any other counter-forces exist that will affect linear actuator force either positively or negatively. Every element has its place when it comes to calculating the force needed for a linear actuator, because without each element, the overall equation won’t work properly. This article will walk readers through the process, while also providing a sample equation to see.

Variables that you will need for actuator force calculation

There are a variety of terms and variables that people need to understand before they attempt to determine the force on a linear actuator. They are as follows:

terms and variables for linear actuator force calculation

Linear Actuator Force Calculation Process

The sample calculation will show readers how to calculate the force of a linear actuator when it needs to thrust two hundred pounds of mass a full eight inches within a time limit of two seconds. Our readers need to work from the assumption that the load which needs to be moved is inclined at thirty degrees, meaning that the leaning coefficient of friction will be 0.15. While doing this linear actuator force calculation, readers should also work from the assumption that there is an opposing force of twenty five pounds working against the actuator.

Calculating total force is the first step in the equation for determining which size of linear actuator would be best. As has been said previously, this consists of putting together four elements to come up with a proper answer, namely friction, acceleration, gravity and applied force. The actual equation to calculate linear actuator force is as follows:

equation to calculate linear actuator total force

When this equation has been done, the next area to move onto is calculating the total force equation, which normally takes such forms as this:

calculating the total force equation

Finally, the last phase of the equation is using the numbers given in this equation, as follows:

numbers given in equation

When all numbers are used correctly, the final equation should take on a form similar to the following:

final linear actuator force equation

The actual calculation gives us an answer to the question about linear actuator force, which is:

linear actuator force equation result

Conclusions Deduced From the Calculation Linear Actuator Force

With the equation fully written out and worked through, a linear actuator to suit the task can be chosen, or an existing one can be tweaked. This equation shows that an actuator should have a rating of up to two hundred pounds in order to be properly effective. Ideally, for this kind of load, a standard 12 volt linear actuator will be picked.

Convert Linear Actuator Force from Ibf to N (Convert Pounds-Force into Newtons)

In case you need to convert the result of the calculation from pound-force (lbf) to Newton (N) remember that one pound force equals 4.45 Newtons. It means:
1 lbf = 4.45 N
From the example above we got a result in 171.73 lbf. So in Newtons, it will be 764 N (171.73 * 4.45).

When it comes to measuring variables for tasks ahead, professionals always make sure that they have the calculations done as accurately as possible, as it is the calculations which will make or break the equations and overall work being done. Just having a good estimate is not enough in this type of work – if there is a known quantity of either pound force of Newtons, then that has to be accurately converted into other variables. If it is not, there is a chance that the experiment or the equation will fail.

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