Basic transmission technologies for intelligent linear actuators

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Boztas, Onur

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Electromechanical Linear Actuators (EMLA) are gaining popularity over the conventional actuation methods such as hydraulics due to their compact, all-in-one nature (having all the components in a single package) and low maintenance needs. In EMLA's a rotary to linear conversion component is required and the work presented here compares the five possible alternatives that are available. The detailed information on these five components (rack & pinion, belt/band/chain drives, ACME screws, ball screws and roller screws) are outlined and they are compared to each other in terms of nine different criteria. Although, a total quantitative comparison of all five components on the selected criteria is impossible due to the lack of literature in some cases, one of the principal goals of this work is to give an idea to a designer on which component is better in a given situation. Another goal of this work is to explore the potential of an advanced roller screw technology. While the literature work on these devices is outlined in the corresponding chapter like the other four components, an effort was made to explore the possible modification to improve the load capacity and life characteristics of the components. A mathematical model is developed to predict the load distribution on the roller screw threads - which is an important factor on the life of the roller screw. Then this model is compared with an FEA model. Some modifications on the rollers and the thread shapes to increase the roller screw load capacity and life are suggested using the results from these two models.


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