Film and Foil-Based Shape Memory Alloy Microactuators for Fluid Handling
In this contribution, the potential of film and foil-based shape memory alloy (SMA) microactuators for fluid handling applications is explored. SMAs provide a high work density and allow for compact and robust actuator designs based on the one-way shape memory effect. Compared to more commonly used wires, actuators fabricated from thin film or foil material allow for more complex designs having several degrees of freedom and enable shorter switching times in the range of 10 ms. In order to commercialize such actuators, the “memetis GmbH” was founded as a high-tech spin-off of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany. Memetis is focused on miniature fluid handling products and combines rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing, laser cutting and CNC milling of polymer housings for customer-specific device development. A normally open microvalve is presented here as an example, which is actuated by a novel fatigue-free TiNiCu film actuator.
KeywordsShape memory alloy Fatigue-free Miniature valve Fluid handling
The authors acknowledge funding by Exist Forschungstransfer, a program of ESF and BmWi.
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