Torque Limiters for Aerospace Actuator Application

Syed Shahjahan Ahmad, Liya Tom, Antonino La Rocca, Salvatore La Rocca, Gaurang Vakil, Chris Gerada, Maamar Benarous

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Safety and reliability of electrical actuators are essential for success of all electric and more electric aircrafts (MEA). Torque limiters improve the reliability of electromechanical actuators (EMA) by restricting the amount of force experienced by the actuator drive train components. If transmitted torque in the shaft exceeds a limit, it gives way in a controlled manner. This protects the actuator from potential failure and jamming. In this paper, different types of existing torque limiters are investigated for their suitability in aerospace EMA application and further integration within the electric motor. They classified based on the torque transmission mechanism and each type is described in detail. Operating principle and basic characteristics are reported. Comparative evaluation of commercially available devices is presented. It is found that those based on friction based and permanent magnet are most suitable due to their good torque density, reliability and high speed capability. Further, based on the characteristics, integration of torque limiter within the actuator motor is investigated in this paper. An example actuator motor is considered for integration. Different integration options suitable for the different types of torque limiting devices are described. Reduction in overall volume is shown for the integration options. Such integration can lead to improved reliability as well as higher power density resulting in next-generation actuator electrical drives for MEA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1467
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Actuator
  • Coupler
  • Electromechanical actuator
  • More electric aircraft
  • Torque limiter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Optimization
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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