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What is an Actuator in a Car? Common Uses of Actuators Explained

What is an Actuator in a Car? Common Uses of Actuators Explained

Feb 27,2023
What is an actuator in a car? Blend door/air The blend door is moved between fresh air and recirculation operation, hot and cold air circulation, and floor/defrost mode by means of an actuator or a blend door actuator, which is a forward and a micro-motor for backward movement.

How Do Actuators Work?

Now that you know what an actuator in a car is, let's see how it works. Actuators use a motor and a mechanical drive mechanism in series to move an object. They convert motor torque into motion, including rotary, linear, or helical, by sending it to a drive mechanism. Thanks to this, actuators can now drive a range of different devices.

Using an actuator to change the direction of rotation of a motor or other drive source produces the following types of motion.

Linear Motion

It is a linear motion. Applications include automatic door opening and closing motions.

Swinging Motion

Movement across a constant angle in both directions. Robotic joints and active suspension car stabilizers are two application examples.

Tilting Motion

Two parallel, right-angled linear motions. Building seismic isolators are among the uses.

Rotary Motion

360┬░or more rotation for applications such as robotic joints.

Spiral Movement

Rotary motion mixed with linear motion.

Different Actuator Applications

The range of uses for actuators, whether linear or rotary, is unlimited. They're likely in one of your gadgets, like your cell phone, and many industrial uses would be far less effective without them.

Common Uses for Linear Actuators

Material handling systems, such as conveyor belt systems, are undoubtedly used in manufacturing facilities and warehouses. Linear actuators are very useful in these systems to control and process goods efficiently and quickly.

Cutting Equipment: Cutting machines keep people safe when performing repetitive activities that require sharp or dangerous equipment. Machines that precisely cut materials such as wood, glass, or card can be powered by linear actuators.

Raw Material Processing: Furnaces for glass, ceramics, or wood are examples of equipment that use actuators. When combined with modern automation features, the device may function more correctly and efficiently.

Robotics: The use of linear actuators in robotics is a natural and obvious example, and as their use increases, so does the innovation and variety available.

Common Uses for Rotary Actuators

Rotary actuators are often used when torque energy is required for industrial applications or valve actuators. Therefore, rotary valve actuators are used in various industrial machines when valve operation is required, standard or difficult to achieve. They are mainly used in the oil and gas field.

Pick and Place Operators: As robotic picking increasingly replaces human picking, its capabilities must better mimic human motion. This can be done with rotary actuators, even tiny ones for smaller movements.

Mobile Construction Equipment: Where a more compact solution is required and rotational energy is limited, the use of rotary actuators may be beneficial.

Aerospace: Rotary actuators in aerospace can convert high-speed, low-torque motion into limited high-torque motion, as may be required in bomb bays of military aircraft or trailing-edge flaps on such aviation wings.

Offshore Applications: Specialized rotary actuators, such as those used underwater, are also being produced for a variety of offshore activities, including engineering or for use in underwater vehicles.

How Are Actuators Made?

So, as already pointed out, actuators may help to convert energy into kinetic energy, while also helping to manage that motion and energy.

In addition, the parameters of the actuator system include the type of energy, input quantity, and movement speed. Constants include the need for power and the generation of mechanical motion. Depending on the type and use of the actuator, similar parts used have different appearances.

Power Supply

As mentioned earlier, the power source may be electricity, air, gas, water, or any other energy source; however, these are the ones that actuators use the most.

Power Adapter

The power converter performs whatever measurement or unit is provided in the microcontroller or its structure. This is because power is transferred from the power source to the actuator.

One type of hydraulic converter is a hydraulic proportional valve, which is a mechanical element used to turn the water flow on or off depending on the input rate and the desired motion output.

Also, another example is the industrial use of inverters, which convert direct current to alternating current. They may have a rectangular electrical drive or circuit appearance.

Mechanical Load

The system generates more electricity due to the mechanical load, which is the tension or force against the energy provided by the actuator in the system.


A controller is a device that activates an actuator and controls the output, regulating its force, duration, and direction. It prevents the system from running on its own and provides switching limits at both ends that the operator can control.

Final Thoughts

Once power is available, the actuator moves the robotic arm. When you drive, actuators in your engine control airflow and create torque, a form of rotational energy that controls your car's speed and gas efficiency. The above describes the role of the actuator in the car and the use of the actuator in other aspects. If you want to buy an actuator, please contact us.

UG is a professional custom valve actuators and accessories manufacturer. For nearly 20 years, we have used our engineering expertise and industry experience to continuously improve our products, striving to provide efficient solutions and competitive prices. UG provides solutions for all industries including chemical, water, oil and gas, mining, power plants, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage and more.
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