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2023 - Development and prototyping of SMA-metamaterial biaxial composite actuators [Articolo su rivista]
Mizzi, L; Hoseini, Sf; Formighieri, M; Spaggiari, A

Shape memory alloys (SMA) are excellent candidates for implementation in actuator systems due to their ability to recover their original shape after high-strain loading through a thermally-induced phase transition. In this work, we propose and develop a novel SMA-metamaterial actuator which is capable of exhibiting a reversible, global elongation in multiple directions induced by the unidirectional contraction upon heating of a single SMA component. This actuator consists of (a) an SMA component, (b) a bias component and (c) the metamaterial geometry, with each component having a distinct function: (a) actuation activation, (b) reversibility of actuation upon deactivation and (c) amplifying and re-directing the uni-directional SMA actuation globally throughout the actuator, respectively. A prototype actuator was designed and tested in various configurations over multiple activation/deactivation cycles in order to demonstrate the functionality and reusability of this system. Furthermore, a theoretical model which predicts the actuation stroke of the system on the basis of the material properties of the SMA and bias components as well as the geometry of the metamaterial system was developed and validated. The findings of this work demonstrate the considerable potential of SMA-metamaterial actuators for implementation in systems requiring a multi-axial actuation output.