What is a Linear Motor?

A linear motor is-simply speaking-an electric motor that uses a linear force mechanism to generate the power needed for a said application. In contrast to a rotational electric motor (found in automobiles, appliances, and commonly-used electrical equipment), a linear motor generates its energy output through exclusively linear scientific principles; i.e. there is no torque or rotation to produce accelerated force through the electrical current magnetic field relationship. Linear motors are used for a variety of purposes, which include high velocity trains, military weaponry, spacecraft exploration, robotic technologies, medical advancement, and automated engineering systems whose job is to produce mass amounts of a specified product.

There are two basic types of linear electric motors : low-acceleration and high-acceleration. Low-acceleration motors are typically used for applications in which endurance is favored over high bursts of electromechanical power or energy. These types of linear motors are engineered for Maglev trains, automated applications systems, etc. High-acceleration motors are the more common of the two, and produce higher velocity outputs for shorter amounts of time; such as used in firearms, military equipment, spacecraft propulsion, and the like. Low-acceleration linear motors are designed to accelerate an object up to a continuous stabile speed, while high-acceleration linear motors will accelerate an object up to a very high speed and then release the object. Typically, the low-acceleration linear motor will be engineered with one winding system on one side of the motor and magnets on the other side to create the electromagnetic repulsion necessary for successful application force; this is called linear synchronous design. The high-acceleration linear motor will generally be constructed of a three-phase winding on one side and a conductor plate on the other side of the motor to meet the intended engineering objective; this is called linear induction design.

Linear motors offer a number of advantages in this ever-evolving technological world. Whether the high power application your company or organization requires necessitates a low- or high-accelerated lateral motor system, linear motors assure faster acceleration and higher velocities as well as higher success rates in automated accuracy, repeatability, and long-term reliability.

About the Author

Alexis Gibrault has written a number of informative articles on linear motors, types, and uses, as well as discussions on other facets of technology engineering. For more information on linear motors and examples of, please visit: Airex Corporation Linear Motors, Actuators, and Coil Winding

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