Rotary Actuator: Fluid Processing

Published On May 20, 2019 | By admin | Tech

The industry is one that has a lot of rotary actuators, and they all function differently, use different power sources and are able to attend to different applications. Basically, a rotary actuator is a device, either mechanical or electromechanical that is created to offer control and restricted movements and positioning to systems. Most times, these devices function manually, by applying different fluid systems like hydraulic and air, and in some cases, with the aid of some electrical power.

Basically, there are two common types of actuators created to function differently and in different applications. The two types of actuators include:

  • Electrical Actuators

Most times, the basic electrically powered actuators function with the aid of simple binary modules, and when this happens, there is an opening or closing of the metal rod, by an electromagnetic process, and this facilitates the flow. It will interest you to know that there is something referred to as a variable actuation, and its design is even more complex than usual.

The variable actuation uses a small motor, as opposed to a magnetic coil, that is used to provide a type of sliding momentum, and this motorized system of actuation is responsible for a lot of fluid-based considerations. Hence, the use of the electrical actuator aids the system to either open the flow or put a restriction to it.

  • Fluid Actuators

This is a model of actuator that has some unique architectural layouts. It normally consists of a helical spine design that makes it easy to identify in systems. In this type of actuator, the inlet port is used to deliver some hydraulic oil to a part of the system, called the annular piston (this is a component with a duty to ensure that motion is impelled inside a part of the system’s housing). From the annular piston, the angular spines are activated, a sliding motion against each other is created, and then the piston moves. In the case of pneumatic systems, they follow the same principle, and configurations, however, there is a point where the laws guiding fluid dynamics affect the dimensions of the system, and thus makes them smaller.


A popular application of rotary actuators is in fluid processing domains, hence, at some point of the in chemical and oil processing plants, they employ the use of rotary actuation systems to facilitate the control of flow channels, and the control is about the ability to turn the channels off or on. It will interest you to know that there is some complexity with this configuration, and this is due the fact that there are multidirectional rotary actuators that perform different functions including the sending of crude oil and fuels through the various branching channels, and in some cases, large plant centers and sewage ejectors also use the same model, however, in those cases, there is some monopoly of the facilities by the electromagnetic variant. In order to ensure that such applications are safe, a sewage line, or fuel tank will always make use of the pneumatic or hydraulic rotary actuators, in order to prevent electrical sparks and other events that could result in an explosion.

In the case of electrical rotary actuators, they open parts that are mechanical. They are used to move gates that are large, and also control butterfly valves that may be found in pipes with wide diameters, however, the fluid actuators have the ability to scale, based on the processing component’s automation, within a lot of complexes with dangerous chemicals like crude oil and fuel refineries, chemical treatment plants, and other locations. While the dangerous chemicals make use of the fluid actuator, it will interest you to know that septic treatment plants and some food processing factories are known to use the rotary actuator in order to facilitate a seamless flow control mechanism.

There are several other applications of the rotary actuators; however, the type to use, is dependent on the industry and application, as there are different types designed to fit a purpose. It is always good to consider safety when using the different actuators, and identify the one that best meets the safety requirements of the industry or task where it is applied.

Like this Article? Share it!

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *