Electric Motor Actuators

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Electric motor actuators vary widely in their design and applications. Some electric motor actuators are designed to operate in only two positions (fully open or fully closed). Other electric motors can be positioned between the two positions. A typical electric motor actuator is shown in Figure 39. Its major parts include an electric motor, clutch and gear box assembly, manual hand wheel, and stem connected to a valve.The motor moves the stem through the gear assembly. The motor reverses its rotation to either open or close the valve. The clutch and clutch lever disconnects the electric motor from the gear assembly and allows the valve to be operated manually with the hand wheel.Most electric motor actuators are equipped with limit switches, torque limiters, or both. Limit switches de-energize the electric motor when the valve has reached a specific position. Torque limiters de-energize the electric motor when the amount of turning force has reached a specified value. The turning force normally is greatest when the valve reaches the fully open or fully closed position. This feature can also prevent damage to the actuator or valve if the valve binds in an intermediate position.SummaryThe important information in this chapter is summarized below.

Valve Actuator Summary

Pneumatic actuators utilize combined air and spring forces for quick accurate responses for almost any size valve with valve position ranging from 0-100%. Hydraulic actuators use fluid displacement to move a piston in a cylinder positioning the valve as needed for 0-100% fluid flow. This type actuator is incorporated when a large amount of force is necessary to operate the valve. Solenoid actuators are used on small valves and employ an electromagnet to move the stem which allows the valve to either be fully open or fully closed. Equipped with limit switches and/or torque limiters, the electric motor actuator has the capability of 0-100% control and has not only a motor but also a manual hand wheel, and a clutch and gearbox assembly.

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