What is a Linear Motors and How Does It Work?

Have you ever wondered how objects are moved smoothly along a straight line in high-speed automation environments? In this blog, we will explore the inner workings of linear motor, their types, applications, and advantages.

What is a Linear Motor?

A linear motor is a transmission device that directly converts electrical energy into linear motion mechanical energy without any intermediate conversion mechanism. It can be seen as a rotating motor cut into radial sections and flattened.

Linear motor is distinct from conventional motor in that they do not require mechanical components such as gears, belts, or pulleys to convert rotary motion into linear motion.

linear motors

How Does a Linear Motor Work?

The structure of a linear motor can be seen as being formed by cutting a rotating motor in a radial direction and unfolding the circumference of the motor into a straight line. The stator is equivalent to the primary of the linear motor, and the rotor is equivalent to the secondary of the linear motor.

When the primary is supplied with current, a traveling wave magnetic field is generated in the air gap between the primary and secondary. The action of the traveling wave magnetic field and the secondary permanent magnet The driving force is generated to realize the linear motion of the moving parts.

Types of Linear Motor

Voice Coil Linear Motor

A voice coil motor is a special form of direct drive motor. It has the characteristics of simple structure, small size, high speed, high acceleration and fast response.

linear induction motor

The linear induction motor is a single-sided excitation motor with a very simple structure. Therefore, it has been widely used in medium and low-speed rail transit systems.

Synchronous Linear Motor

Synchronous motors are bilaterally excited motors. Regardless of whether they use long or short stators, their structures are more complex.

Permanent Magnet Linear Motor

The permanent magnet linear motor is also a type of linear synchronous motor, except that its rotor no longer uses electric excitation, but uses permanent magnet poles.

Linear Motor Applications

Linear motor is used in direct drive applications with industries leveraging their capabilities to achieve greater precision, speed, and efficiency. Some notable applications include:

Manufacturing and Automation

Precision positioning, assembly, and semiconductor manufacturing.


Maglev trains and linear driven elevators for high-rise buildings.

Medical Devices

MRI machines, robotic surgical systems, and medical imaging equipment.


Satellite positioning and space exploration equipment.

Consumer Electronics

Linear motors are used in devices like hard disk drives and printers for precise head positioning.

Advantages of Linear Motors

Simple structure

Suitable for high-speed linear motion

High primary winding utilization

No lateral edge effects

Easily overcomes the problem of unilateral magnetic pull

Easy to adjust and control


High acceleration

Our Capability For Linear Motor Core Design and Manufacture

Motorneo dedicated team of experts utilizes high-efficiency, high speed stamping techniques, ensuring that every lamination we produce is of the highest quality and precision.

Our advanced manufacturing capabilities also extend to segmented production motor cores, enabling us to meet high-volume demands efficiently and cost-effectively.

For prototyping and specialized requirements, we employ state-of-the-art techniques such as laser cutting and wire EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) to create precise and reliable motor laminations.

progressive stamping


A linear motor is a device that converts electrical energy into linear motion. Linear motors have the advantages of high efficiency, high acceleration, precision control and high reliability, and are widely used in automation equipment, machinery manufacturing, aerospace, and other fields.


What materials are used in linear motor iron cores?

The most commonly used materials for linear motor iron cores include laminated silicon steel and iron-cobalt alloys.

What is the difference between an iron core and an ironless linear motor?

An iron core linear motor has a traditional iron core in its stator, which enhances its magnetic field strength. In contrast, an ironless linear motor lacks an iron core, offering benefits such as reduced cogging and smoother motion but typically at the cost of slightly lower force output.

Why use a linear motor instead of a ball screw or linear actuator?

Linear motors are for fast motion, acceleration, and very high accuracy.  Ball screws and linear actuators are for high force and lower cost.

What is the typical maintenance required for linear motors?

Linear motors generally require minimal maintenance. Regular checks for wear and tear, lubrication, and ensuring the cleanliness of the motor components are common electric motor maintenance tasks.

Try to contact us for high-quality motor cores in China.