Release mechanisms


Eaton's release mechanisms utilize non-explosive actuators to provide rapid releases with low-power consumption across a wide range of operating temperatures. An extensive range of solutions includes heritage-proven G&H TechnologyTM products. Additional features include:

  • Low shock, fragment and debris-free operation.
  • Less than 10 millisecond response times can be obtained by optimizing the actuation current, please contact Eaton for more information.
  • Custom capabilities include highly-integrated solutions and form, fit, and function replacements for pyrotechnic actuators.

For more information,call 805-484-0543 or e-mail

Separation nuts


Separation nuts are available with standard load ratings from 4500 to 9500 pounds (20 to 42.2 kilonewtons). Load release is accomplished when internal threaded segments release the 1/4 or 5/16 inch load-attachment bolt. Custom requirements are supported by leveraging a broad range of heritage-proven features and technologies:

  • Redundant non-explosive actuators are field replaceable.
  • Optional mechanical initiators are field resettable and support multiple test releases.
  • Additional options include customer-defined load ratings and response times, cryogenic ratings, nickel platings, and a wide range of mounting and cable configurations.

Pin pullers and compression releases


Pin pullers utilize internal springs to power pin retraction. Compression release devices operate in a similar manner to pin pullers with the exception that pin retraction is driven by the external load instead of an internal spring.

Flight heritage includes a wide range of configurations that range from standalone devices to highly-integrated solutions:

  • Antenna, solar panel, instrument, and sub-satellite releases on satellites and spacecraft.
  • Connector separation on launch vehicles and satellites including in-flight disconnects with lanyard-release redundancy.
  • Missile stage separation including ICBMs.

Tension Releases


Tension releases are available in standard load ratings up to 1300 pounds (5.8 kilonewtons) and a separation stroke of 1.1 inches (28mm). Load release is accomplished via internal release of a shaft with a threaded or clevis-pin load attachment. Extensive flight heritage includes solar panel and antenna array releases on multiple satellites.

Additional features and custom capabilities include:

  • Solutions available in miniaturized form factors that weigh less than 12.5 grams (0.44 ounces).
  • Custom separation-stroke lengths, mounting flanges, load attachments, and actuator-body configurations are also available.
  • Factory-refurbishment capabilities reduce actuator related test and qualification costs.

Cable release mechanisms


Cable release mechanisms are available in heritage-proven configurations with load ratings from 80 to 267 pounds (355 to 1187 newtons) per cable. Custom capabilities include customer defined load ratings.

Field refurbishment is accomplished by electrical initiator replacement.

Filed-resettable mechanical initiators (right end of depicted solution) replace one of the electrical initiators to enable multiple test releases without the need for refurbishments.

Tension Links


Tension links function as clamp fasteners until redundant split-spool initiators release their actuator shafts to facilitate separation.

These heritage-proven devices are primarily designed for harsh environment circular clamp applications such as Marman and V-band clamps.

Standard load ratings are available up to 2000 pounds (8.9 kilonewtons). Custom capabilities include customer-defined load ratings.

Additional release-mechanisms information


Additional release-mechanism selection and design-in information is provided in Eaton's Non-Explosive Actuators Design Guide and the Space and Launch Capabilities Brochure.

Non-Explosive Actuators Design Guide contents include:

  • Non-explosive and pyrotechnic actuator technology comparisons
  • Theories of operation for release mechanisms, actuators, cell-bypass switches, and highly-integrated solutions such as interconnect releases and structural-separation systems.

Space and Launch Capabilities Brochure contents include:

  • Release mechanisms technologies, design platforms and custom-solution capabilities
  • Space-rated connector selection including NATC, cryogenic to 5000 degrees F. operating ranges and low-imparted-shock solutions.
  • Theories of operation for electrically and mechanically initiated umbilicals and in-flight disconnects.

Use the link below to register for PDF or printed copies; due to export-controls restrictions, these brochures are not downloadable from this web site.