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Is it possible to backdrive an actuator?

As a general rule Industrial Linear Actuators will not back drive, these will have a static load capacity listed in the catalog. Precision Linear Actuators generally will back drive by themselves and rely on the mounted motor to hold a load.

Backdrive is when the load of a screw, actuator, or system is able to operate the unit in reverse when unpowered. In most cases with Thomson products, this means that the force of gravity drives the nut down a screw, retracts an actuator, or moves a slide when power is not being applied.

Thomson prevents backdriving through various means on Industrial Linear Actuators. The ACME-style actuators (Electrak 1 & 2) use self-locking modified ACME nuts.  Ball screw actuator models incorporate anti-rotation holding brakes.

One exception to note is the Thomson Max Jac, which does not include a holding brake. The ball screw version can backdrive under moderate loads. Certain other Thomson actuators may be produced without brakes based on customer requirements.

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