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Vol. 120, Issue 9, September 2010, pp.142-151




Performance Characterization of a Long-Stroke Direct-Drive Electromagnetic Linear Actuator


Mohammad I. Kilani

Department of Mechanical Engineering, King Faisal University. Al-Ahsa, 31982 Saudi Arabia

Tel.: +966558299584, fax: +96635817068

E-mail: malkilani@kfu.edu.sa



Received: 8 August 2010   /Accepted: 14 September 2010   /Published: 27 September 2010


Abstract: This paper presents an analytical characterization for the dynamic performance of a direct drive linear actuator that works by current switching and modulation of an array of consecutive electromagnetic solenoids. The solenoids considered in this work have significant number of turns in both the radial direction and the axial direction. A mathematical model for the magnetic field density and the magnetic force acting on a magnetic dipole placed along the axis of the solenoids is developed. The effect of coil length, inner radius, outer radius and number of turns in the axial and radial directions on the force generated is investigated analytically. The analytical model was verified using Finite Element Method (FEM) simulation for a wide range of input current and geometry. The simulations show that the distribution of the magnetic field density and the magnetic force can be manipulated by changing radial span, or the number of radial turns of the solenoidís coil. It is shown that when the outer radius to length ratio exceeds 0.5, the solenoid force varies linearly with axial distance along the solenoid axis making it possible to generate a uniformly traveling magnetic field using a simple energization schemer for the solenoid coil set.


Keywords: Direct drive linear actuator, Magnetic field density, Magnetic force, Dynamic performance


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