Design of a Dynamic Linear Actuator Test Bed

Photo of Thomas Alton, Steven Lacey, Christopher Rouxel Students: Thomas Alton, Steven Lacey, Christopher Rouxel

Sponsor: Creative Motion Control

Date: Spring 2010

The test bed must create the forces and dynamic duty cycles an actuator can be expected to see during normal operation. For CMC's three-inch HRS, the peak loads are up to 56,000 lbf (250 kN), with a very rapid response rate. Additionally to the device must record the relevant data from the HRS during the test, including actual load, temperature of the nut assembly, positioning of the linear actuator, as well as the overall efficiency of the actuator.

Creative Motion Control, Inc. has developed a ground breaking new hybrid roller screw (HRS), pictured below, for use in linear actuators. The purpose of this project is to design a test bed for Creative Motion Control's HRS that measures key parameters from the HRS nut assembly while it is undergoing various duty cycles, in order to validate its use in specific industries.

The final design recommendations of the team fall into two categories. The first is an adaptive redesign, adding a mechanical linkage to CMC's existing test bed to increase its dynamic capabilities. CMC's current test beds use hydraulics. This option is presented as a quick and inexpensive alternative to creating a completely new test bed. The elbow linkage shown below provides high frequency dynamic loads to the test actuator. The second solution is a full redesign of the test bed using two opposing HRS-based actuators with a bank of springs placed between them. One of the actuators compresses or extends the springs are to transfer the force while allowing independent movement of the second actuators. Validated and reliable sensors are used to capture the performance metrics of the actuators in order to verify their capability.

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