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Design and Characterization of a Continuous Rotary Minimotor Based on Shape Memory Wires and Overrunning Clutches

[+] Author Affiliations
Giovanni Scirè Mammano, Eugenio Dragoni

University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy

Paper No. SMASIS2015-8806, pp. V001T03A002; 8 pages
  • ASME 2015 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • Volume 1: Development and Characterization of Multifunctional Materials; Mechanics and Behavior of Active Materials; Modeling, Simulation and Control of Adaptive Systems
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, September 21–23, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5729-8
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


An attractive but little explored field of application of the shape memory technology is the area of rotary actuators, in particular for generating endless motion. This paper presents a miniature rotary motor based on SMA wires and overrunning clutches which produces high output torque and unlimited rotation. The concept features a SMA wire tightly wound around a low-friction cylindrical drum to convert wire strains into large rotations within a compact package. The seesaw motion of the drum ensuing from repeated contraction-elongation cycles of the wire is converted into unidirectional motion of the output shaft by an overrunning clutch fitted between drum and shaft. Following a design process developed in a former paper, a six-stage prototype with size envelope of 48×22×30 mm is built and tested. Diverse supply strategy are implemented to optimize either the output torque or the speed regularity of the motor with the following results: maximum torque = 20 Nmm; specific torque = 6.31×10−4 Nmm/mm3; rotation per module = 15 deg; free continuous speed = 4 rpm.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Wire , Design , Shapes



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