How Long Can a Thermoactuator Last?

Posted on April 08, 2023

A thermoactuator serves as a key component in diverse locking mechanisms such as automatic door openers in the home appliances and automatic louvered shutters in the extractor fans, due to their ability to provide strong and reliable actuation. Before you decide to use a thermoactuator in your design, a common question among customers and industry professionals alike is: how long can a thermoactuator last?

Product image of iSwell Thermoactuators

Product lifespan is influenced by numerous factors such as design structure, material quality, manufacturing process, and operating conditions. At iSwell, we've meticulously addressed these aspects to ensure each delivered thermoactuator is qualified and reliable for long-term use. So here in this article, we mainly focus on how the operating conditions will impact the longevity of a thermoactuator.

The service life of the thermoactuator is defined in terms of cycle counts, with each cycle comprising 2 minutes of power-on and 5 minutes of power-off as a standard operating cycle. When the working stroke of the thermoactuator drops below the lower limit as defined in the drawing by 0.5mm, the number of completed cycles corresponds to the service life of the thermoactuator.

Thermoactuator Cycle Test Software Interface by iSwell for recording cycle counts and comparing performance graph

Impact of Working Load

Thermoactuators are designed for applications requiring robust actuation. The working load significantly affects their lifespan, with higher loads leading to faster stroke attenuation and shorter service life.

Excessive load can cause mechanical damage to the plastic plunger, reducing the thermoactuator's longevity. Conversely, staying within recommended load limits can maximize service life.

A graph showing the relationship between working load and life cycle counts on iSwell thermoactuators

For instance, our P21.8T thermoactuator can operate for at least 15,000 standard cycles at a 70N load, but at a 10N load, it can exceed 35,000 standard cycles easily.

Impact of Power-On Time

The duration of power-on time will also impact the cycling life of a thermoactuator. The longer the power-on time of the thermoactuator, the fewer theoretical cycles it can withstand.

A graph showing the relationship between power-on time and life cycle counts on iSwell thermoactuators

For instance, when the counteracting load on the thermoactuator is 70N, with a cycle of 100 minutes of power-on and 10 minutes of power-off, its service life is approximately 10,000 cycles.

Other aspects

Aside from the major factors mentioned earlier, several other aspects within operating conditions can influence the longevity of a thermoactuator, including but not limited to:
  - Operating beyond recommended temperature and humidity ranges
  - Improper installation
  - Unstable or wrong power supply
  - Accumulation of dust, particulate matter, or chemical substances

Each of these factors can contribute to reducing the service life of a thermoactuator. Therefore, it's crucial to consider and mitigate these additional environmental factors to ensure optimal performance and longevity of the thermoactuator.

Bottom Line

The workload and power-on time play crucial roles in determining the longevity of a thermoactuator. At iSwell, our thermoactuators are engineered to endure challenging conditions and deliver unparalleled service life.

By adhering to recommended load limits, optimizing power-on durations, and addressing environmental factors like temperature variations and dust accumulation, you can maximize the reliability and longevity of thermoactuators in your applications.

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