Development of a fuel-powered compact SMA (Shape Memory Alloy) actuator system
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The work presents investigations into the development of a fuel-powered compact SMA actuator system. For the final SMA actuator, the K-alloy SMA strip (0.9 mm x 2.5 mm), actuated by a forced convection heat transfer mechanism, was embedded in a rectangular channel. In this channel, a rectangular piston, with a slot to accommodate the SMA strip, ran along the strip and was utilized to prevent mixing between the hot and the cold fluid in order to increase the energy density of the system. The fuel, such as propane, was utilized as main energy source in order to achieve high energy and power densities of the SMA actuator system. Numerical analysis was carried out to determine optimal channel geometry and to estimate maximum available force, strain and actuation frequency. Multi-channel combustor/heat exchanger and micro-tube heat exchanger were designed and tested to achieve high heat transfer rate and high compactness. The final SMA actuator system was composed of pumps, valves, bellows, multi-channel combustor/heat exchanger, micro-tube heat exchanger and control unit. The experimental tests of the final system resulted in 250 N force with 2 mm displacement and 1.0 Hz actuation frequency in closed-loop operation, in which the hot and the cold fluid were re-circulated by pumps.
SubjectShape Memory Alloy
micro-tube heat exchanger
multi-channel combustor/heat exchanger
convection heat transfer
Jun, Hyoung Yoll (2003). Development of a fuel-powered compact SMA (Shape Memory Alloy) actuator system. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from