Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) are metals that “remember” their original shapes. SMA technology can provide the same mechanical movement and required forces of an electromagnetic actuator, but in a more compact form, while removing the need for motors, gearing, or springs. This SMA technology has shown a reduction in weight of up to 50%, a reduction in the space required of up 70%, and a cost reduction of up to 30% compared to traditional electromagnetic actuators. The technology can deliver mechanical movement as well as electrical connectivity, it is intrinsically safe, can be made into a flat but flexible actuator, and can operate around curvatures.
Examples of applications are compact and low-weight linear electromechanical actuators; active Bowden cable devices; and temperature-dependent shape-changing actuation, displacement, or reversible surface modification. The technology could be used by the white goods, automation, medical devices, transportation, consumer goods, and leisure goods industries.
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