Design of Spring Actuators Based on Ferromagnetic Shape Memory

Introduction Shape memory alloys (SMA) and ferromagnetic shape memory alloys (FSMA) have shown tremendous promise for a wide variety of applications because of their ability to
“remember” a previous state when either heat or a magnetic field is applied, respectively. This is especially important for novel actuators and sensors as a way to transduce either heat or a magnetic field directly into mechanical energy for work or signaling. Technology Description Professor Taya and others at the University of Washington have developed a multitude of actuators based on shape memory alloys (SMA) and ferromagnetic shape memory alloys
(FSMA). These devices change their state upon the application of either heat or a magnetic field, and in so doing, perform work. These processes typically demonstrate high conversion efficiency and high displacements. An example technology comprises an FSMA spring that compresses upon the activation of a magnetic field. This device has a very high efficiency owing to the majority of magnetic flux being in a position to affect the device and a very large linear stroke. The power of the electromagnet is easily tuned for increased flexibility in device application. Business Opportunity The ability to effect physical change upon the application of heat or a magnetic field presents opportunities for a wide array of actuators and sensors. New devices need not rely on conventional methods for performing mechanical work, for these devices are ready to be designed into new applications and re-imagined old applications. Just a few of the many possible types of components that have already been developed using this technology include pressure sensors and spring, torque, coiling/uncoiling, fish-fin, membrane, and inchworm actuators. Stage of Development Working prototypes of this technology are in development. Intellectual Property Position The UW is currently reviewing this technology for worldwide patent protection. For more information on this technology contact:
Patrick Shelby Technology Manager

Type of Offer: Licensing

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