How Does Waterproof Actuator Work?

Linear actuators are commonly used for the automation of domestic and professional appliances, devices, and equipment. And while the domestic automation, usually, requires the most compact and low-powered models, the manufacture calls for much more technically complex drives. In this article, we will discuss the special variety of actuators, in particular, let’s find out what a waterproof linear actuator is.

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Reasons to Save Actuators from Water

Considering that a linear actuator is an electricity-powered device, the water, which acts as a great conductor for current, may cause damage in the isolation of electrical wires in a drive which leads to the short circuit. The outcome – connection of two electric elements with deviations in potential values can prevent the proper performance of hardware.
Additionally, the short circuit may provoke a source of ignition, which then puts to the risk not only the hardware but also the human lives. So if you realize the fact that your equipment will have to perform in the conditions where water penetration is possible or underwater, a regular type of linear actuators simply won’t do the trick.
Fortunately, numerous manufacturers have been targeting this specific area of application for drives by releasing the models with waterproof internal elements (the wires, to be exact, which transfer the current).
As a rule, all of the seams in such models are fully isolated with the help of soldering (if we are talking about a metallic body) or special isolating compounds that are capable of a 100% protection from any internal dampness. Moreover, such actuators should be able to handle custom pressures considering their use under a good layer of water (so these models cannot have any fragile parts). That is why this type is, usually, much more powerful than regular drives. Last but not least, such models are composed of the stainless metals (e.g., stainless steel), which do not tend to acidify under the water.

Spheres/Industries/Projects to Use Waterproof Actuators

The most obvious sphere to employ a waterproof linear actuator is the marine industry. There, actuators can be used as part of the systems opening and closing doors, windows, shafts etc. Furthermore, capable of fine smooth movements, these devices are also a great option for the lifting constructions for masts and in the elements of the engine position controls. Generally speaking, everything that must be moved, shifted, opened & closed, lifted etc. can efficiently use waterproof actuators.

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There are also automated watering systems and moving parts that are planned to be exploited outdoors (in theory, water-resistant models may also do for you in such case, however, their protection, usually marked as IP66, may not be enough for the places with the increased humidity).
An IP67 marking means that the device cannot be damaged by water provided it is not kept underwater constantly (for over 30 minutes). In turn, the following level of marking with a number 8 indicates that an actuator is intended for the constant underwater use in the conditions specified by a manufacturer (it is, usually, constant underwater function on the 1-meter+ depth). Such types can be found in the assortment of few manufacturers, however, and their cost is just unreasonably high.

How Is Water Protection Implemented?

For starters, let’s clarify one thing: how to waterproof a linear actuator?
As we have already mentioned, the water protection in the case of linear actuators is provided based on the full isolation of internal functional elements.
Thus, designing such electric devices, the protection can be provided by two methods: it can be either the creation of a non-detachable connection of shell elements via soldering, welding, riveting etc. or the reinforcement of detachable joints with the help of various products.
If spacing materials are not intended in the construction of certain hardware, the connections are used where the materials are interconnected in the overlapping manner (i.e., the air-tightness is achieved due to formation of the widest possible space for the surfaces’ contact; usually, it is not more than 25-35% of the total space of the smallest surface).
Nevertheless, the spacing elements are most frequently used exactly for the pressurization of still detachable connections. Their task is to fill in the fine irregularities of condensed surfaces which is reached with their own insignificant deformation; and to block, in such a way, the channels that support the actuating medium leaks. Waterstops are made of the metals and non-metallic elements resistant to the aggressive effects of mediums (it can be aluminum, steel, alloy, copper, rubber, paronite, fluorine plastic, silicon and anaerobic sealants, as well as polymer materials that are not only water-resistant, but are protected from the effects of much more harsh conditions as well – resistant to gas, oils, chemical substances, lubrication materials etc.).

Quality Control

In order to assure the correspondence of a certain waterproof actuator with the stated specifications, the renowned manufacturers create the harshest conditions possible for testing. Thus, the testing of the waterproof electric actuators with the markings IP67 and IP68 includes submerging a product to the maximum allowed depth (30 centimeters for IP67 and 3 meters for IP68) and fully activating it for a certain period of time. In such a manner, the device is checked for the ability to set the connected elements into motion when being submerged for a continuous patch of time.
Actuators are also checked to extract the data that indicates how reasonable the performance is without the human participation (i.e., the fact that the device does not require technical support after being integrated with the control system is tested). Per usual, to reach good testing results here, the manufacturers supply models with the internal lubrication, which means that their proper function does not call for any additional liquids.

PA Actuators to Use in Your Projects

Progressive Automations has a single linear actuator model with the ‘waterproof’ marking and the IP67-level protection in the assortment – PA-06.

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It has a 12V input, is powered by the direct current, and can move from 22 to 180 lbs. It is noticeable that this waterproof linear actuator 12v  model can perform in the extremely wide array of temperatures – from -20ºC to +60ºC, and the level of noise produced during the work is minimal not exceeding the 60 Db mark.
This here waterproof electric actuator 12v model is connected with mounting brackets through mounting holes. As a whole, it is an utterly universal, reliable, and affordable model, which you can confidently employ in harmful conditions (in the aspect of the increased environmental humidity).
If you are interested in models capable of just handling strong water pressure without the necessity to submerge hardware underwater, take a look at waterproof micro linear actuators PA-07, PA-04, PA-09, PA-13, PA-100, and PA-102.

Pros of Progressive Automations Linear Actuators

All of the Progressive Automations actuators with the IP66 marking are absolutely waterproof. This means that they are fully prepared to function in the 100%-humidity conditions as well as in the surroundings of other, much more aggressive liquids (gas, for instance). Moreover, the PA-06 model’s construction is fully adapted to working underwater for continuous periods of time.
Progressive Automations care about our planet, striving to create the equipment that won’t bring any environmental harm. In particular, Progressive Automations products do not require using any oil compounds and other potentially dangerous to the environment substances when they are assembled. This makes our equipment eco-friendly and open for use by the ship management systems.
For another thing, the actuators are produced using the absolutely toxic-free materials (mostly steel; some separate elements are composed of the high-quality recyclable plastic) that do not emit any harmful chemical compounds into the atmosphere even when significantly heated.

Conclusion

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To summarize all up, as you can see, the linear actuators with the ‘waterproof’ marking are widely applied in modern manufacture. If you are interested in purchasing a linear actuator 12v waterproof type of device, take a look at our assortment. All of the models we provide are customizable and can be configured according to your particular desires. Moreover, we offer the most affordable, reasonable prices for our electric waterproof actuator solutions along with the 18-month warranty.

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