The lifting column is arguably one of the most important parts of any piece of furniture. It provides strength and stability for most pieces of furniture. Pieces of furniture with height adjustability features can also execute such a feature because of lifting columns. These uses and applications underline the importance and essence of lifting columns in pieces of furniture. To get a functional and suitable lifting column for furniture pieces, engineers, and designers of furniture must ensure due diligence in choosing lifting columns. This means that all the necessary considerations must be ensured in choosing the lifting column for a piece of furniture.

One of the important factors that must be considered in selecting a lifting column is the application requirement. Based on the type of furniture and its function, there are varying application requirements in terms of force. This article will discuss one of the application force requirements for furniture pieces and the type of lifting column that best delivers this type of force.

Thrust force requirement

Thrust force is one of the force requirement in pieces of furniture. This force is responsible for the pushing and pulling movement in a piece of furniture. As the name suggests, the force gives a thrusting movement or action in lifting columns and furniture pieces. The best type of linear actuator or lifting column used for thrust force is the rod-style actuator. This type of lifting column is also known as thrust actuators or electric actuators, especially when the actuator has an integrated motor. These types of linear actuators or lifting columns can deliver axial and thrust forces to help actualize the function of holding, pulling, and pushing loads.

Drive Mechanisms for Rod-Style Actuators

While rod-style linear actuators’ function and operation are simple, there are lots of variations in its design and components. The drive mechanism is one of the important functionality of the lifting column. It accounts for some of the operations of the lifting column. In the rod style lifting column, the likely drive mechanism you will find in the lifting column includes a ball, roller screw, or lead linear motor. It is also possible to find a tubular linear motor in a rod-style actuator. These drive mechanisms are popular options with the rod style lifting columns as they allow it to accomplish its operation and carry out its functions.

Apart from the drive mechanisms stated above, there are other types of drive mechanisms. These mechanisms include the belt and pulley drive mechanism or the rack and pinon. These mechanisms are not common with the rod style lifting column.  This is because they do not possess the necessary feature that allows the rod style lifting column to achieve its operation. For instance, the belt and pulley system does not provide enough rigidity and thrust force for the system, while the rack and pinion mechanism does not provide a suitable form factor for this rod-style actuator to work perfectly.

Operation of the Rod Style Actuator

It is normal to ask, “How does the rod-style actuator work?” In the rod-style actuator, the rod provides the means of force transmission. This means that thrust force is transmitted to the load by retracting and extending the rod’s action in the rod-style actuator. To ensure the system’s efficiency, the extension and retraction movement is guided from the actuator’s body by a plain bushing. It is important to state that a common rod-style actuator does not use linear guides. The reason for this is that rod-style actuators are not designed for carrying loads for an extended period. The major action of the rod-style actuator includes pulling, pushing, and holding loads. Therefore, in situations where there is a need for the load guides, it is important to use rails, shafts, or tracks to support the load guides.

This explains the rod-style actuator’s action in transmitting force and ensuring the functionality of the lifting column.

Advantages of Using Rod Style Actuators

The following are some of the outstanding features of the rod-style actuator that makes it beneficial for use

Better Replacement for Pneumatic and Hydraulic Actuators

Rod style actuators are known to have a higher power density than hydraulic actuators. This is because rod-style actuators use a roller screw or ball screw. These components allow the rod-style actuator to provide a less complex solution than hydraulic actuators. The use of roller or ball screws also makes the rod-style actuator a better option than pneumatic actuators. Additionally, the use of ball or roller screws eliminate the need for valves, filters in the lifting column.

Compliance with Industry Standards

The rod-style actuators are designed with appropriate industry standards such as ISO and NFPA. These standards are adhered to in the design of actuator components such as outer dimensions and mounting options. This is because rod-style actuators are usually used to replace pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders, and these industry standards are some of those important standards that these actuators adhere to.

Encompassing Housing for Rod Style Actuators

One of the unique features of the rod-style actuator is the unique housing provided for it. The housing of the rod-style actuator is made from a few simple components. This makes the actuator usable in different challenging environmental conditions. Also, this makes the actuator met up with some industry standards.


The linear actuator is an important component of any piece of furniture. This is because it allows for easy usage and functionality of the piece of furniture. However, it is important to choose the linear actuator based on the application’s requirement. This will allow the lifting column to perform its function very well and efficiently. One of the application requirements of a piece of furniture is the type of force it needs, and this influences the type of linear actuator used for the furniture. In cases where a thrust force is needed, the best type of linear actuator for the requirement is the Rod style actuator.

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