Shape memory alloys (SMA) are thermally activated smart materials. Due to their ability to change into a previously imprinted actual shape through the means of thermal activation, they are suitable as actuators for mechatronical systems. Despite of the advantages shape memory alloy actuators provide, these elements are only seldom integrated by engineers into mechatronical systems. Reasons are the complex characteristics, especially at different boundary conditions and the missing simulation- and design tools. Also the lack of knowledge and empirical data are a reason why development projects with shape memory actuators often lead to failures. This paper deals with the dynamic properties of SMA-actuators (Shape Memory Alloy) — characterized by their rate of heating and cooling procedures — that today can only be described insufficiently for different boundary conditions. Based on an analysis of energy fluxes into and out of the actuator, a numerical model of flat-wire used in a bow-like structure, implemented in MATLAB/SIMULINK, is presented. Different actuation parameters, depending on the actuator-geometry and temperature are considered in the simulation in real time. Additionally this publication sums up the needed empirical data (e.g. fatigue behavior) in order to validate the numerical two dimensional model and presents empirical data on SMA flat wire material.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.