Incorporation of Shape Memory Alloy Actuators into Morphing Aerostructures
This mechanical (shape) memory, which is otherwise unknown in engineering alloy systems, furnishes design engineers with the opportunity to design on the basis of an entirely new principle
—(Jackson et al. 1972)
Shape memory alloys (SMAs) have become a key enabling technology in the development of many new morphing aerostructure designs. This chapter provides a fundamental introduction to SMAs, including their unique engineering behaviors. In particular, the shape memory effect and its ability to convert thermal energy into mechanical output has shown promise for aerospace applications. Following the introduction, a description of some recent aerospace applications that incorporate SMAs into active structures is presented. Some of the proposed applications discussed include SMAs as actuators in morphing wings, rotor blades, and deployable space structures. The experimental methods pertaining to material characterization are also presented. An understanding of these methods is essential both to assess the material performance capabilities and to calibrate the analytical tools used for the development of SMA applications. Finally, this chapter describes the current state-of-the-art in analytical tools for modeling SMA-based applications, and example results are provided.
10.1 Introduction to Shape Memory Alloys
Shape memory ...