Intro to Shape Memory Alloy Actuation Using Flexinol

From Jie Qi's projects page:

Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are metals that change shape when heated up. They are wonderful actuators in that they are light, silent and can be "turned on" by simply running current through. The shape that they change to can also be set, though this process is a bit more tricky. Flexinol is a particular brand of nitinol, which is an SMA made of nickel and titanium, and is pre-set to contract about 10% of its original length when heated.

In my projects, I generally used the 0.006" to 0.01" diameter, High-Temp wires.

Since Flexinol draws a lot of current (about 300mA for the diameters I used), you need a strong power supply like a wall supply or a good lithium-ion battery. I've used from 3.7V up to 6V (any more and my Flexinol wires would start overheating). To turn the Flexinol on, I would simply short the ends of the wire to the power. For digital control, I used a standard MOSFET circuit which is a digital switch that can be turned on and off using a microcontroller... (cont'd)

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

REIKU's Cable Saver™ - The Most Versatile Modular Robotic Cable Management Solution

REIKU's Cable Saver™ - The Most Versatile Modular Robotic Cable Management Solution

REIKU's Cable Saver™ Solution eliminates downtime, loss of revenue, expensive cable and hose replacement costs, maintenance labor costs. It's available in three sizes 36, 52 and 70 mm. All of the robots cables and hoses are protected when routed through the Cable Saver™ corrugated tubing.The Cable Saver™ uses a spring retraction system housed inside the Energy Tube™ to keep this service loop out of harms way in safe location at the rear of the Robot when not required. The Cable Saver™ is a COMPLETE solution for any make or model of robot. It installs quickly-on either side of the robot and has been tested to resist over 15 million repetitive cycles. REIKU is committed to providing the most modular, effective options for ensuring your robotic components operate without downtime due to cable management. www.CableSaver.com