Design optimisation of shape memory alloy linear actuator applications

Mohd Jani, J 2016, Design optimisation of shape memory alloy linear actuator applications, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Design optimisation of shape memory alloy linear actuator applications
Author(s) Mohd Jani, J
Year 2016
Abstract Shape memory alloy (SMA) actuators have drawn much attention and interest in recent decades due to their unique properties; and, are expected to be increasingly integrated within commercial automotive applications. Key advantages of SMA actuators include: potentially simplified construction, whereby the SMA can act as both sensor and actuator simultaneously; compatibility with Joule heating and convective ambient cooling; and, potential mass advantages over competing actuation technologies. These attributes potentially allow for the development of simpler, more reliable and cost effective actuation systems with significant reduction in mechanical complexity and size. SMA is readily available in commercial quantities and exhibits high wear resistance and durability, which make it an ideal candidate for application in automotive grade applications. Despite these identified advantages, SMA actuators are subject to a series of technical challenges associated with:

 - Relatively small strain (displacement or stroke)
 - Achievable frequency (actuation speed)
 - Controllability (and stability)
 - Positional accuracy
 - Energy efficiency

These technical challenges contribute to a relatively low success rate of commercial SMA actuator applications; and, provide motivation for this program to generate relevant research outcomes that enhance the commercialisation of SMA actuators. An extensive literature review of over 500 journal and patent documents was conducted to provide a clear roadmap for the commercial imperatives for SMA design. The formulated research methodology identifies milestones required for achieving the research objectives, which were addressed as research themes. Based on this literature review, the following research themes were identified:

 - Design methods to resolve SMA actuator limitations
 - Development of simple and practical numerical models for SMA actuator response
 - Data for SMA linear actuator design

Specific research contributions within these themes are presented within the thesis, with the objective of enhancing the commercial application of shape memory alloy (SMA) linear actuators, and include:

 - A comprehensive analysis of SMAs: history, commercial applications, strength and limitations, design challenges and         opportunities.
 - A novel investigation of transient heat transfer scenarios for cylindrical systems associated with their crossover and critical radii.
 - Development of novel latent heat models for analytical and numerical applications, and proposal of readily applied activation and deactivation charts compatible with the requirements of SMA actuator designers.
 - A novel investigation of the morphological effects of SMA-pulley systems (i.e. pulley diameter, SMA and lagging diameter) on structural and functional fatigue.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Subjects Mechanical Engineering not elsewhere classified
Numerical Modelling and Mechanical Characterisation
Keyword(s) Shape memory alloy
Engineering design
Smart materials
Design of experiment
Numerical model
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Created: Thu, 04 Aug 2016, 16:02:45 EST by Keely Chapman
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