Cablecraft acquires Radial Bearing and Instrument Sales & Service. Learn More

Accounting for Lost Motion


Lost Motion Caused by Backlash and Deflection are Critical Factors When Designing Mechanical Control Cables

Mechanical control cables provide a simple, lightweight, economical, and reliable way to activate throttles, latches, gas springs, electromechanical devices, and many other mechanisms. They’re widely used in office furniture, recreational vehicles, lawn mowers, and medical devices, as well as in adjustable seats in cars and planes.

Engineers should consider parameters such as load, routing, friction, stretch, permanent set, lost motion, temperature, environment, and exposure to contaminants when specifying cables.  One of the least understood of these design factors is lost motion which is caused by deflection or backlash.

This paper delivers a deeper understanding of lost motion and how to calculate and account for it.