Actuators convert mechanical energy into motion, allowing equipment to move and operate effectively. However, cold weather significantly impacts their performance and lifespan if you don’t take preparatory measures. Consider these four ways cold weather affects actuators and how to mitigate them.
1. Reduced Performance
Cold weather hinders actuator performance by reducing its efficiency in converting mechanical energy, resulting in slower movements, reduced force, and decreased accuracy. Cold temperatures stiffen the lubricant, causing increased friction, which may damage actuator parts, such as the arm. Maintain the actuator’s optimal performance through regular maintenance, performing inspections for wear and tear, stiff lubrication, and fluid contamination.
Cold weather accelerates the process of corrosion in actuators as the humidity and moisture increase and rapidly cool due to the outside air, damaging the metal parts of the actuator. Corrosion causes components to rust, which reduces the lifespan of the actuator.
Regularly inspect the system for signs of corrosion and take the necessary steps to maintain the equipment’s integrity. Keep the actuator clean and use a powder coating for the best protection during the cold months.
Humidity may form condensed water droplets inside the actuator as temperatures change from hot to cold. These droplets cause malfunctions and equally serious problems, such as corrosion, that require replacing essential system components.
Install desiccants onto the actuator as the weather grows colder to minimize condensation’s impact on the actuator. You may need to perform this maintenance multiple times before the cold finally settles in, and you’ll need to worry about other ways the cold weather affects your actuator, such as the previously mentioned possibilities.
During cold weather, water freezes and causes significant issues for actuators, disrupting the system’s oil and hydraulic flow. It may also cause malfunctions in the electrical systems for electric turbo actuators due to wire damage.
Preparing an external heat source or installing heating elements in the actuator helps maintain a consistent fluid flow and temperature, reducing the risk of freezing. Consider heat shielding around the turbo for insulation to keep the cold out and prevent freezing.
Cold weather significantly impacts actuators, but taking proactive measures keeps them running smoothly and efficiently. Remember these ways to ensure the actuator survives the cold periods of the year. A little extra effort makes a significant difference in protecting the actuator from the harsh effects of the environment, ultimately saving time, money, and resources.