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Aerospace Manufacturing with Linear Actuators

Posted on February 21, 2020 by Anna

Linear actuators are indispensable in the aerospace industry. They are used in absolutely all systems of a space ship or an aircraft. Their usability, durability, easiness to manage and maintain are the main reasons why they are so popular.

What Are Spaceships Made of?

Aerospace manufacturing is a special field. When building an aircraft, engineers consider many factors such as vacuum, high pressure, space radiation to name a few; spacecraft materials are of primary importance.

To withstand unfavorable conditions in space, new lightweight alloys and materials are used. Nowadays, the most frequently used materials are:
  • • Vanadium
  • • Titanium
  • • Advanced composite alloys
They can withstand hydrogen embrittlement and other factors that influence the materials in the space.

Aerospace Manufacturing with Linear Actuators 1

How Are Spaceships Made?

Experts first test space materials. Specialists perform non-destructive testing of fatigue cracks. They check special tiles used for the spaceship thermal protection. Acoustic emission is monitored, engineers perform other relevant procedures to make sure that the spaceship can withstand the conditions in space. Further, experts check and monitor the following features:
  • • Chemical fingerprint;
  • • Sonic velocity;
  • • External insulation.
Specialists perform the external tank non-destructive testing. All the other systems and components are tested and checked, as well. The spaceship and all its systems shall be able to withstand non-typical severe conditions that are not encountered on Earth.

What Are Airplanes Made of?

The majority of airplane models are made from materials used in space shuttles. For building aircraft, most manufacturers use lightweight durable alloys with aluminum. For the most advanced plane manufacturing, they apply titanium and graphite-epoxy.

Aerospace Manufacturing with Linear Actuators 2

How Are Airplanes Made?

Building an aircraft is a complex process. Everything starts with a designing stage. Only after it is completed, the production starts. Modern airplanes consist of several main components:
  • • Fuselage;
  • • Empennage;
  • • Wings;
  • • Undercarriage;
  • • Wings.
All these main parts consist of thousands of smaller components joined or welded together. All the connections shall comply with the Nadcap (the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) standards. All the processed shall meet the QA of Nadcap, as well.

Aerospace Actuators

Linear actuators for aerospace applications are irreplaceable in the aerospace industry. Aerospace linear actuators are resistant, which is crucial for conditions in the space. They provide the highest precision of movement. Linear actuator applications are easy-to-maintain.
These mechanisms are widely used in:
  • • A landing gear;
  • • Wing flaps;
  • • Air ventilation applications;
  • • Lever control systems, and many more parts of a space shuttle or an aircraft.

Electromechanical Actuators

Electromechanical actuator systems are of the utmost interest in the aerospace industry. For electromechanical actuator aerospace applications, some specific features are needed. They are usually absent in normal actuators and actuator systems.

Electromechanical actuators are made from durable lightweight materials. These mechanisms provide a top accuracy level, offer a higher readability level, and are easy to maintain. These features are directly related to system safety.

Aerospace Hydraulic Actuators

Aerospace hydraulic actuators are more complex than electric actuators. They have found their application in:
  • • Wheel brakes;
  • • Flight control surfaces;
  • • Spoilers, and similar.
They are powerful while being small. They help pilots manage heavy tasks without applying excessive energy. Their sealed system isn’t affected by any external conditions.

Hydraulic actuators are indispensable in potentially inflammable or explosive environments. In such environments, electric actuators might be dangerous. Hydraulic actuators lower the risk of electric shock or fire hazard.

Aerospace Rotary Actuators

For building jets and space ships, rotary actuators are applied widely. They are used in flight controls, cabin doors, fuel valves, hoists, and several more systems.

Aerospace rotary actuators are highly programmable. It allows using them for the automation of systems and processes. They can be equipped with additional components such as:
  • • Limit switches
  • • Opto-switches
  • • Potentiometers
These components allow for more control and usability. Most linear actuator companies have rotary actuators in their assortment. If you have any questions due to what 12-volt linear actuator should be used in your application and if the custom-built actuator is the only way to create a secure linear motion solution, don't hesitate to contact us or to use linear actuator comparison tool.
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