Episode # 61: Electric Actuators for Corrosive Environments

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The Motion Control Show

Wet environments, often with corrosive chemicals or liquids, are another common environment that we have to deal with that may include special caustic chemicals for the food and beverage industries for their washdown environments.  It might be salt water, or it could be some other life sciences chemicals that get splashed onto the actuators.  Sometimes all we have to do is protect the actuators.  Other times we have to modify the design a little bit or the materials used.  Let's take a look at that.  I am Corey Foster at Valin Corporation.  Reach out to us at this website and this email address.  We are always happy to help.  Let's see what we can learn.

First thing to understand is certain ratings that are used.  There is the IP rating that has 2 digits typically.  The 1st digit is the solids.  The second digit is the liquid.  You can look that up in plenty of places.  Sometimes there is a K on the end, like IP69K for caustic chemicals used in the food and beverage washdown environment.  But there is also a NEMA certification or rating.  It is typically more applicable to electrical cabinets…like NEMA4 is a washdown cabinet.  There is also a NEMA4X, so there are a couple different ratings, but the rating does not always mean really that is what you need.  There are a number of different factors to look at and be aware of as to what you actually are needing.

If we look at the chemicals, what are the chemicals that are being used?  Is it just water?  Is it caustic chemicals?  Sea water?  What is that actual chemical?

The nature of the exposure?  Is it just splashing on the actuator, on the mechanics?  Is it fully pressurized water?  Is it actually being submerged?  If it is being submerged, how deep?  How long?  For the splashing, is it going to be splashing on the whole thing or just part of it?

The exposure time, like I said for being submerged, is it going to be submerged for a long time?  Is it going to be splashed just a little bit?  Or a long time?

Then is the full system exposure or just part of it?  That splashing could be just on one end of the actuator or it could be just a little bit on the bottom or the side.  Or is it on the whole thing? 

Those are all different factors that we might want to take into account in an application where there is a lot of splashing going on, especially if there is caustic and yucky liquid that is getting on it.

Feel free to reach out to us.  I am Corey Foster at Valin Corporation.  Reach out to us with this email address and website here.  We are always happy to help.

If you have any questions or are just looking for some help, we're happy to discuss your application with you.  Reach out to us at (855) 737-4716 or fill out our online form.