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Proceedings Paper

SMA actuators: a viable practical technology (Presentation Video)
Author(s): Alan L. Browne; Jeffrey Brown; Darel E. Hodgson
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Paper Abstract

Diverse products either based solely on or incorporating Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) have and are being made in a wide range of industries, and IP is being captured. Why then compared to SE (superelastic) Nitinol, and especially conventional technology, do so few ideas reach production? This presentation delves deeply into this topic in reaching the final assessment that SMA actuators are indeed now a viable practical technology. The presentation begins with an introduction to and description of the fundamental basis of SMA actuator technology. Examples of multiple commercially available geometric forms of SMA actuators are given and the functionalities that they provide are described. This is followed by examples of multiple commercial products incorporating such SMA actuators. Given that there are literally millions of commercial products incorporating conventional actuator technologies, indications are given as to why there are their less than 1000 that utilize SMA. Experience based challenges to the commercial use of SMA actuators are described. Besides having to compete with existing non-SMA technology which is quite mature additional challenges that are unique to SM actuators are indicated these including a wider than expected set of technical engineering problems and challenges and that a broader scope of dynamics is required.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2015
PDF: 2 pages
Proc. SPIE 9433, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2015, 94330J (13 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2084215
Show Author Affiliations
Alan L. Browne, Consultant, Retired (United States)
Jeffrey Brown, Dynalloy, Inc. (United States)
Darel E. Hodgson, Nitinol Technology, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9433:
Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2015
Kevin M. Farinholt; Steven F. Griffin, Editor(s)

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