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Smart Structures and Systems   Volume 14, Number 4, October 2014, pages 541-558
Design and investigation of a shape memory alloy actuated gripper
S. Krishna Chaitanya and K. Dhanalakshmi

Abstract     [Buy Article]
    This paper proposes a new design of shape memory alloy (SMA) wire actuated gripper for open mode operation. SMA can generate smooth muscle movements during actuation which make them potentially good contenders in designing grippers. The principle of the shape memory alloy gripper is to convert the linear displacement of the SMA wire actuator into the angular displacement of the gripping jaw. Steady state analysis is performed to design the wire diameter of the bias spring for a known SMA wire. The gripper is designed to open about an angle of 22.5 when actuated using pulsating electric current from a constant current source. The safe operating power range of the gripper is determined and verified theoretically. Experimental evaluation for the uncontrolled gripper showed a rotation of 19.97. Forced cooling techniques were employed to speed up the cooling process. The gripper is simple and robust in design (single movable jaw), easy to fabricate, low cost, and exhibits wide handling capabilities like longer object handling time and handling wide sizes of objects with minimum utilization of power since power is required only to grasp and release operations.
Key Words
    actuator; shape memory alloy (SMA); gripper; forced air cooling; response time
S. Krishna Chaitanya: Vignan\'s University, Vadlamudi 522213, India
K. Dhanalakshmi: National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli 620015, India

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