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Nitinol Muscle Wire

Nitinol muscle wire (also named as shape memory actuator wire) presents many intriguing possibilities for robotics. Nitinol actuator wires are able to contract with significant force, and can be useful in many applications where a servo motor or solenoid might be considered.

Nitinol is titanium nickel alloy that demonstrates the shaped memory effect. When cool it can be bent or stretched, and when heated this alloy returns to its original shape. In most robotics applications the heat required for this transition is generated by conducting electricity through the wire. Actuator wire will contract by about 3-7% of its length in the transition. The contraction might seem small, but it is accompanied by such force that it can easily be applied through levers and linkages to achieve much larger movements. Nitinol returns to its original shape with a pulling force of about 25,000 pounds per square inch. An actuator wire with a thickness of just 1/100 inch can lift 2 pounds.

The properties of an actuator wire are highly dependent on the manufacture of the Nitinol and the preparation of the wire. Nitinol can be formulated to transition across a wide range of temperatures. When intended to be an actuator, Nitinol is usually formulated to transition at a temperature achievable with electric current. Our nitinol is available in a both low temperature and high temperature formulations to support different applications.

The thickness (or gauge) of the actuator wire will dictate the maximum force that can be applied. The thickness/diameter also dictates the wire& #39;s resistance to electric current, the available current required to reach transition, and the time the wire will require to heat and cool. Actuators made with .006" wire and below can easily be controlled by basic microcontroller techniques and powered by simple transistor arrays. To achieve greater pull from the thinner wires, more actuators can be used. Our thinnest nitinol actuator wire is 0.02mm thick.

Another advantage to working with Nitinol actuators is that the activation mechanism is heat rather than magnetism, these solutions do not introduce magnetic noise to a circuit.

In order to get a quite quote, transition temperature, thickness, quantity, surface requirements are needed. Click Here to submit your inquiry. 

Related Nitinol Products

Nitinol Wire            Nitinol Rod            Nitinol Spring


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