Conglomerate Stabilization Curve Design Method for Shape Memory Alloy Wire Actuators With Cyclic Shakedown

Author(s): WonHee Kim, Brian M. Barnes, Jonathan E. Luntz, Diann E. Brei,
Volume: 133(11) - November, 2011

The high energy density actuation potential of shape memory alloy (SMA) wire is tempered by conservative design guidelines set to mitigate complex factors such as functional fatigue (shakedown). In addition to stroke loss, shakedown causes practical problems of interface position drift between the system and the SMA wire under higher stress levels if the wire does not undergo a pre-installation shakedown procedure. Constraining actuation strain eliminates interface position drift and has been reported to reduce shakedown as well as increase fatigue life. One approach to limit actuation strain is using a mechanical strain limiter, which sets a fixed Martensite strain position—useful for the development of in-device shakedown procedures, which eliminates time-consuming pre-installation shakedown procedures. This paper presents a novel conglomerate stabilization curve design method for SMA wire actuators, which accounts for shakedown with and without the use of mechanical strain limiters to enable higher stress designs to maximize actuator performance. Shakedown experimental data including the effect of strain limiters along with stroke and work density contours form the basis for this new design method. For each independent mechanical strain limiter, the maximum of the individual postshakedown Austenite curves at a range of applied stress are combined into a conglomerate stabilization design curve. These curves over a set of mechanical strain limiters including the zero set provide steady-state performance prediction for SMA actuation, effectively decoupling the shakedown material performance from design variables that affect the shakedown. The use and benefits of the conglomerate stabilization curve design method are demonstrated with a common constant force actuator design example, which was validated in hardware on a heavy duty latch device. This new design method, which accounts for shakedown, supports design of SMA actuators at higher stresses with more economical use of material/power and enables the utilization of strain limiters for cost-saving in-device shakedown procedures.

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