Engineers at Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions, Waterbury, Conn., have designed a linear actuator they call a microslide that is based on the company’s 1500 Series 15-mm can-stack motor. The motor can be controlled using a relatively simple pulse-and-direction signal. The actuator’s resolution is 0.0006 in./step (15 micron/step) and it handles loads up to 13 N (3 lb). The entire actuator measures just 0.87-in. wide × 1-in. high, and has a maximum stroke of 2.5 in. The small size and high accuracy make it well suited for microfluidics and positioning optics, according to the company.

An anodized-aluminum base plate houses the leadscrew bushing and is rigidly attached to an aluminum mounting plate for the motor. The load carriage is made from self-lubricating polyacetal and has a clearance takeup mechanism that makes the load more rigid during moves. Stainlesssteel guide rods coated with TFE support the carriage. Five different leads are available: 0.012, 0.016, 0.020, 0.039, and 0.079 in.

For specific applications, the microslide can be customized with various mounting options, stroke lengths, magnetic and optical sensors, and custom wire harnesses.

© 2012 Penton Media, Inc.