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Proceedings Paper

Thermoelectric control of shape memory alloy microactuators: a thermal model
Author(s): J. Abadie; Nicolas Chaillet; Christian Lexcellent; Alain Bourjault
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Paper Abstract

Microtechnologies and microsystems engineering use new active materials. These materials are interesting to realize microactuators and microsensors. In this category of materials, Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) are good candidates for microactuation. SMA wires, or thin plates, can be used as active material in microfingers. These microstructures are able to provide very important forces, but have low dynamic response, especially for cooling, in confined environment. The control of the SMA phase transformations, and then the mechanical power generation, is made by the temperature. The Joule effect is an easy and efficiency way to heat the SMA wires, but cooling is not so easy. The dynamic response of the actuator depends on cooling capabilities. The thermal convection and conduction are the traditional ways to cool the SMA, but have limitations for microsystems. We are looking for a reversible way of heating and cooling SMA microactuators, based on the thermoelectric effects. Using Peltier effect, a positive or a negative electrical courant is able to pump or produce heat, in the SMA actuator. A physical model based on thermal exchanges between a Nickel/Titanium (NiTi) SMA, and Bismuth/Telluride (Te3Bi2) thermoelectric material has been developed. For simulation, we use a numerical resolution of our model, with finite elements, which takes into account the Peltier effect, the Joule effect, the convection, the conduction and the phase transformation of the SMA. We have also developed the corresponding experimental system, with two thermoelectric junctions, where the SMA actuator is one of the element of each junction. In this paper, the physical model and its numerical resolution are given, the experimental system used to validate the model is described, and experimental results are shown.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 June 1999
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3667, Smart Structures and Materials 1999: Mathematics and Control in Smart Structures, (4 June 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.350124
Show Author Affiliations
J. Abadie, Lab. d' Automatique de Besancon and Lab. de Mecanique Appliquee R. Chaleat (France)
Nicolas Chaillet, Lab. d' Automatique de Besancon (France)
Christian Lexcellent, Lab. de Mecanique Appliquee R. Chaleat (France)
Alain Bourjault, Lab. d' Automatique de Besancon (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3667:
Smart Structures and Materials 1999: Mathematics and Control in Smart Structures
Vasundara V. Varadan, Editor(s)

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