In the current microtechnology for actuation field, shape memory alloys (SMA) are considered one of the best candidates for the production of mini/micro devices thanks to their high power-to-weight ratio as function of the actuator weight and hence for their capability of generating high mechanical performance in very limited spaces. In the microscale the most suitable conformation of a SMA actuator is given by a planar wavy formed arrangement, i.e., the snake-like shape, which allows high strokes, considerable forces, and devices with very low sizes. This uncommon and complex geometry becomes more difficult to be realized when the actuator dimensions are scaled down to micrometric values. In this work, micro-snake-like actuators are laser machined using a nanosecond pulsed fiber laser, starting from a 120-μm-thick NiTi sheet. Chemical and electrochemical surface polishes are also investigated for the removal of the thermal damages of the laser process. Calorimetric and thermo-mechanical tests are accomplished to assess the NiTi microdevice performance after each step of the working process. It is shown that laser machining has to be followed by some post-processes in order to obtain a micro-actuator with good thermo-mechanical properties.

Laser and surface processes of NiTi shape memory elements for micro-actuation

BIFFI, CARLO ALBERTO;PREVITALI, BARBARA;VILLA, ELENA;TUISSI, AUSONIO
2014

Abstract

In the current microtechnology for actuation field, shape memory alloys (SMA) are considered one of the best candidates for the production of mini/micro devices thanks to their high power-to-weight ratio as function of the actuator weight and hence for their capability of generating high mechanical performance in very limited spaces. In the microscale the most suitable conformation of a SMA actuator is given by a planar wavy formed arrangement, i.e., the snake-like shape, which allows high strokes, considerable forces, and devices with very low sizes. This uncommon and complex geometry becomes more difficult to be realized when the actuator dimensions are scaled down to micrometric values. In this work, micro-snake-like actuators are laser machined using a nanosecond pulsed fiber laser, starting from a 120-μm-thick NiTi sheet. Chemical and electrochemical surface polishes are also investigated for the removal of the thermal damages of the laser process. Calorimetric and thermo-mechanical tests are accomplished to assess the NiTi microdevice performance after each step of the working process. It is shown that laser machining has to be followed by some post-processes in order to obtain a micro-actuator with good thermo-mechanical properties.
Condensed Matter Physics; 2506; Mechanics of Materials
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/968943
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