Aerospace technology is in a constant state of evolution. From engines and fueling systems to electronics, navigational instruments, and exterior designs, aerospace manufacturers and operators are always working to make aerospace equipment more streamlined, efficient, and cost-effective. Advances in aerospace actuation systems have been a key player in making aircraft faster, more maneuverable, and more economical.
Aerospace actuators are used to transmit and redirect motion energy from mechanical sources to create usable linear or rotary motion. Initially, aerospace actuators operated mechanically through the use of cables, gears, and rods. These systems later gave way to hydraulic and pneumatic systems with levers, control columns, hydraulic cylinders, and compressed air. As electrical technology continued to advance, control levers and columns were slowly replaced with computerized electronics. Although hydraulics and pneumatics continue to be used in a variety of aerospace applications, electromechanical actuators are becoming increasingly common for their size and streamlined design.
Interest in energy-efficient, sustainable technology in recent decades has encouraged this shift from traditional hydraulic systems to electromechanical actuators. Aerospace actuator manufacturers are motivated by a desire to reduce fuel consumption and emissions while enhancing aircraft performance and efficiency. Due to their simpler design and computerized control systems, aerospace electromechanical actuators help to improve fuel efficiency and sustainability and offer the added benefit of enhanced control and reliability.
Advantages of Aerospace Electromechanical Actuators
SEPAC’s design expertise has led to component integration for aerospace actuation systems which are used to operate everything from landing gear to cargo bay doors, flight control surfaces, and engine components. It is important that actuators be dependable, lightweight, and compact, and these characteristics make electromechanical actuators particularly useful for aerospace technology. A key component in each actuator design is the brake which SEPAC is an expert in providing with many years of experience across hundreds of platforms. In general electromechanical actuation systems are more:
- Compact: Electromechanical actuators are more compact than their hydraulic and pneumatic counterparts, so they require less space while producing the same amount of thrust.
- Lightweight: With fewer components and lighter parts, electromechanical actuators are lighter than other actuator designs, which reduces the load on the aircraft and improves fuel efficiency.
- Precise: Electromechanical aerospace actuation systems operate with a higher degree of precision and can be more easily controlled by operators for more reliable performance.
- Energy-efficient: Electromechanical actuators use less energy than hydraulic and pneumatic actuators.
- Low-maintenance: Since electromechanical actuation does not require compressed air or fluid, there are fewer components to operate and maintain. The design simplicity makes them easier and less expensive to maintain over the course of the system’s service life.
Common Aerospace Applications
Aerospace actuation systems are integral to many critical aircraft functions. This is why leaders in the aerospace industry depend on SEPAC’s aerospace experience for their critical motion control needs. We are pleased to offer custom-designed brakes for actuator system integration for everything from thrust reversers and engine inlets to control surfaces and bay doors. Common applications that benefit from SEPAC’s superior brake systems include:
- Thrust reversers
- Horizontal stabilizer trim
- Throttle control
- Autopilot control
- Cargo bay doors and lifts
- Winch and gimbal systems
- Doors and elevators
Clutch & Brake Integration for Aerospace Actuation Systems by SEPAC
Since 1984, SEPAC has been a leading provider of precision-manufactured electromagnetic clutches and brakes for customers around the world. An American company, SEPAC is AS9100- and ISO 9001:2015-certified, and our products are designed, engineered, manufactured, and assembled in accordance with the highest industry standards.
For more information on our quality aerospace actuation systems, contact our experts today.