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The LinearBeam rodless linear actuator from Serapid Inc., Sterling Heights, Mich. (www.serapid.com), uses a rigid chain to move loads at up to 2 m/sec with up to 16 kN (35,000 lb) of thrust. Unlike traditional chains which are difficult or impossible to push, rigid chain can push, pull, and lift, thanks to links that interlock under load. Rigid chain can be coiled when not in use for efficient storage. The chains also withstand harsh environments.
Strokes can be as long as needed, and overall footprint size is less than that for rodbased linear actuators because the chain collapses when not in use. The units are said to provide accurate, consistent positioning. The power source is usually a three-phase inverter-duty electric motor, but hydraulics or pneumatics could also provide power.
Edited by Stephen J. Mraz