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Mass is a solid

Subclass of:

060 - Power plants

060516000 - MOTOR OPERATED BY EXPANSION AND/OR CONTRACTION OF A UNIT OF MASS OF MOTIVATING MEDIUM

Patent class list (only not empty are listed)

Deeper subclasses:

Class / Patent application numberDescriptionNumber of patent applications / Date published
060528000 Mass heated because of resistance to flow of electric current 33
060529000 Mass is bimetallic 5
20120216527SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY HEAT ENGINES AND ENERGY HARVESTING SYSTEMS - A heat engine includes a first rotatable pulley and a second rotatable pulley spaced from the first rotatable pulley. A shape memory alloy (SMA) element is disposed about respective portions of the pulleys at an SMA pulley ratio. The SMA element includes a first wire, a second wire, and a matrix joining the first wire and the second wire. The first wire and the second wire are in contact with the pulleys, but the matrix is not in contact with the pulleys. A timing cable is disposed about respective portions of the pulleys at a timing pulley ratio, which is different than the SMA pulley ratio. The SMA element converts a thermal energy gradient between the hot region and the cold region into mechanical energy.08-30-2012
20120216526SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY HEAT ENGINES AND ENERGY HARVESTING SYSTEMS - An energy harvesting system in thermal communication with a hot region and a cold region includes a hot end heat engine in thermal communication with the hot region, a cold end heat engine in thermal communication with the cold region, and an intermediate heat engine disposed between the hot end heat engine and the cold end heat engine. The hot end heat engine includes a hot end shape memory alloy (SMA) element, the cold end heat engine includes a cold end SMA element disposed, and the intermediate heat engine includes an intermediate SMA element. A hot side of the intermediate SMA element is in thermal communication with a cold side of the hot end SMA element. A cold side of the intermediate SMA element is in thermal communication with a hot side of the cold end SMA element.08-30-2012
20130067909CURVED MULTIMORPH MICROACTUATORS THAT BEND AND/OR TWIST - A curved multimorph actuator is provided composed of a plurality of materials, each material exhibiting different deformations in response to a stimulus, such as heat. Application of different stimuli causes the actuator to bend and/or twist. In an embodiment, the actuator is capable of rotating an object about its center without significantly shifting the center in one or more dimensions. In a further embodiment, the actuator can be used to rotate an object about a first axis and a second axis, wherein the first axis and the second axis are mutually perpendicular. In an embodiment, rotation about the first axis and the second axis are achieved in combination. In another embodiment, rotation about the first axis is produced in response to a first stimulus and rotation about the second axis is produced in response to a second stimulus.03-21-2013
20120042646METHOD OF COOLING - A method of cooling a first region that is above the transition temperature of a phase change material having a cold phase and a warm phase and that is proximal to a second region into which heat may be exhausted. The method utilizes an article of the phase change material, and starting in the cold phase, places the article into thermal contact with the first region, thereby causing the phase change material to undergo a phase transition, changing size. When the phase transition is substantially complete, the article is taken out of thermal contact with the first region and is placed into thermal contact with the second region. At this point, force is applied to the article, causing it to transition to the cold phase, thereby exhausting heat into the second region. The process is begun again, by placing the article, once again, into thermal contact with the first region.02-23-2012
20120017583SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY POWERED HYDRAULIC ACCUMULATOR HAVING ACTUATION PLATES - A system, in certain embodiments, includes an accumulator having a first plate with a first plurality of holes and a second plate with a second plurality of holes. The second plate is positioned at an offset from the first plate, and the second plate is moveable relative to the first plate to adjust a fluid pressure. The accumulator also includes a plurality of shape memory alloy wires extending between the first and second plates, wherein the plurality of shape memory alloy wires extend through the first and second plurality of holes.01-26-2012
Entries
DocumentTitleDate
20130081389Composite Bi-Stable Device - A deformable bi-stable device includes an elastically deformable member having at least two stable configurations and capable of being deformed from a first stable configuration to a second stable configuration, the element passing through an unstable configuration as it is deformed from the first stable configuration to the second stable configuration, and a shape memory polymer layer on or in the elastically deformable member. A method of using this device includes heating the shape memory polymer to a temperature sufficient to reduce the modulus of the shape memory polymer, deforming the deformable member to move from one of the first and second stable configurations to another of the first and second stable configurations, and cooling the device to a temperature sufficient to increase the modulus of the shape memory polymer.04-04-2013
20120174573MULTI-SEGMENTED ACTIVE MATERIAL ACTUATOR - A multi-segmented active material actuator producing a variable, tailored, or staged/staggered stroke in response to an activation signal, including a plurality of segments joined in series, having differing constituencies and geometric configurations, and presenting differing activation thresholds, activation periods/rates, and/or strokes as a result.07-12-2012
20120174572METHOD FOR MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL INTEGRATION OF SMA WIRES TO MICROSYSTEMS - The present invention relates to methods for the batch fixation and electrical connection of pre-strained SMA wires on a microstructured substrate using electroplating, providing high bond strength and electrical connections in one processing step. The integration process here developed relies on conventional micro machining techniques and it provides an efficient solution to some problems that have hindered the widespread diffusion of bulk SMA to MEMS, such as the lack of cost-efficient integration methods of bulk SMA and the difficult electrical contacting of the actuator material at small scale. Also disclosed herein is a Joule-heated SMA wire actuator on silicon MEMS.07-12-2012
20120174571SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY (SMA) ACTUATORS AND DEVICES INCLUDING BIO-INSPIRED SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY COMPOSITE (BISMAC) ACTUATORS - An actuator comprising a flexible spring affixed at a separation distance from a shape memory alloy or artificial muscle element amplifies strain developed by the shape memory alloy or artificial muscle element while maintaining a substantial fraction of the force developed during activation of the shape memory alloy or artificial memory element. A plurality of such actuators positioned relative to each other by encapsulation or attachment to a body of material such as a terminal hub can emulate a wide variety of biological movements such as for providing gripping in the manner of an opposed human thumb or propulsion in the manner of a jellyfish.07-12-2012
20100162698MEMORY ALLOY SPRING ENGINE - A memory alloy spring engine includes a spring (07-01-2010
20100107628METHOD FOR IMPARTING IMPROVED FATIGUE STRENGTH TO WIRE MADE OF SHAPE MEMORY ALLOYS, AND MEDICAL DEVICES MADE FROM SUCH WIRE - Wire products, such as round and flat wire, strands, cables, and tubing, are made from a shape memory material in which inherent defects within the material are isolated from the bulk material phase of the material within one or more stabilized material phases, such that the wire product demonstrates improved fatigue resistance. In one application, a method of mechanical conditioning in accordance with the present disclosure isolates inherent defects in nickel-titanium or NiTi materials in fields of a secondary material phase that are resistant to crack initiation and/or propagation, such as a martensite phase, while the remainder of the surrounding defect-free material remains in a primary or parent material phase, such as an austenite phase, whereby the overall superelastic nature of the material is preserved.05-06-2010
20120216524SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY HEAT ENGINES AND ENERGY HARVESTING SYSTEMS - A heat engine includes a first rotatable pulley and a second rotatable pulley spaced from the first rotatable pulley. A shape memory alloy (SMA) element is disposed about respective portions of the pulleys at an SMA pulley ratio. The SMA element includes first spring coil and a first fiber core within the first spring coil. A timing cable is disposed about disposed about respective portions of the pulleys at a timing pulley ratio, which is different than the SMA pulley ratio. The SMA element converts a thermal energy gradient between the hot region and the cold region into mechanical energy.08-30-2012
20120216523ENERGY HARVESTING SYSTEM - An energy harvesting system for converting thermal energy to mechanical energy includes a heat engine that operates using a shape memory alloy active material. The shape memory alloy member may be in thermal communication with a hot region at a first temperature and a cold region at a second temperature lower than the first temperature. The shape memory alloy material may be configured to selectively change crystallographic phase between martensite to austenite and thereby one of contract and expand in response to the first and second temperatures. A driven component, such as an electric generator, may be selectively coupled with the heat engine through a coupling device, which may be controlled via a controller.08-30-2012
20120216522ENERGY HARVESTING SYSTEM - An energy harvesting system for converting thermal energy to mechanical energy includes a heat engine that operates using a shape memory alloy active material. The shape memory alloy member may be in thermal communication with a hot region at a first temperature and a cold region at a second temperature lower than the first temperature. The shape memory alloy material may be configured to selectively change crystallographic phase between martensite to austenite and thereby one of contract and expand in response to the first and second temperatures. A thermal conduction element may be in direct contact with the SMA material, where the thermal conduction element is configured to receive thermal energy from the hot region and to transfer a portion of the received thermal energy to the SMA material through conduction.08-30-2012
20130055708ACTUATOR - An actuator using a superelastic material characterized by a low heating temperature, excellent durability, and no necessity of composition adjustment is provided.03-07-2013
20130067907SINGLE STEP SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY EXPANSION - Exposing nitinol to a shape setting temperature while the nitinol is in an unstrained or minimally strained condition. The nitinol is then substantially deformed in shape while at elevated temperature. After deformation, the nitinol remains at the elevated temperature for a time to shape set the material. The nitinol is then returned to approximately room temperature 20° C. by means of water quenching or air cooling for example.03-21-2013
20090013684SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY ACTUATOR - To provide a shape memory alloy actuator using a shape memory alloy that mechanically restrains a moving body in position to prevent oscillation, the actuator has a moving body pushing member adapted to be capable of abutting to the moving body, a bias spring for the moving body pushing member that exerts an external force on the moving body pushing member in the direction opposite to the direction of change in the shape of a shape memory wire caused by heating, a bias spring for the moving body that exerts an external force on the moving body in the direction same as the direction of change, a first stopper that restricts the movement of the moving body to a predetermined position upon cooling. One end of the shape memory wire is fixed, the other end is mechanically linked with the moving body pushing member. The moving body pushing member and the moving body are moved by deformation caused by heating, and the moving body and the moving body pushing member are separated, when the moving body is stopped at the position of the first stopper.01-15-2009
20130160445SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY ACTUATOR - A device or actuator includes a first component made of Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) that applies force to a second component of the device to provide a controllable actuator. The SMA component is selectively energized by using active electric current through it.06-27-2013
20130014501TUNABLE STIFFNESS ACTUATORAANM Brammajyosula; RavindraAACI GunturAACO INAAGP Brammajyosula; Ravindra Guntur INAANM Buravalla; Vidyashankar R.AACI BangaloreAACO INAAGP Buravalla; Vidyashankar R. Bangalore IN - An actuator configured for tunable stiffness control and method is provided. The actuator includes a plurality of stiffness elements, one or more of the stiffness elements including a shape memory alloy (SMA). At least one of the elements has a stiffness characteristic different from another of the stiffness elements. The stiffness elements are actuable individually or in combination to provide an intermediate actuation output, which may be provided by partially transforming the smart material of one or more stiffness elements during actuation. Two or more of the stiffness elements may be actuable in combination to provide a combined output which may be non-linear, or may be functionally substitutional for an individual output of another stiffness element. The actuator may be actuable to provide a first and second output for the substantially same input, or may be selectively actuable to offset degradation of one or more of the stiffness elements.01-17-2013
20110277463DRIVING MODULE AND ELECTRONIC DEVICE - Provided is a driving module, including: a tubular or cylindrical body to be driven (11-17-2011
20110277462CONTROL OF A SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY ACTUATION ARRANGEMENT - An SMA actuation apparatus comprises: an SMA actuator arranged to drive movement of a movable element; a current supply supplying a drive current; a detection circuit detecting a measure of the resistance of the SMA actuator; and a control unit operative to generate a closed-loop control signal supplied to current supply for controlling the power of the drive current to drive the resistance of the SMA actuator to a target value. The control unit derives: an estimate of a characteristic temperature of the SMA actuation apparatus on the basis of the supplied power, using a thermal model; and a resistance offset on the basis thereof. The closed-loop control signal is generated on the basis of the error between the measure of the resistance of the SMA actuator and the target value of the resistance of the SMA actuator, adjusted by the resistance offset to compensate for variations in resistance.11-17-2011
20110277461ACTIVE MATERIAL-BASED CLAMP AND RELEASE DEVICE - An active material-based device for and related method of clamping and releasing objects. Broadly, the device includes an elongated piece of active material, such as a wire, having an actuation temperature and arranged to form a sleeve defining a volume of space. When the active material reaches the actuation temperature the material changes, which causes one or more dimensions of the volume of space to change. An object located within the sleeve experiences either a clamping or releasing force resulting from the change in the volume of space.11-17-2011
20110296826CONTROLLING HEAT IN A SYSTEM USING SMART MATERIALS - A cooling assembly adapted for use with an exothermic system, includes a manipulable cooling member and/or source, and an active material element operable to selectively inter-engage or further engage the member or source and the system through displacement or formation of a thermal link.12-08-2011
20080307786Multi-Stable Actuator Based on Shape Memory Alloy and Touch-Sensitive Interface Using Same - The multistable actuator (12-18-2008
20110083431Thermally-Active Material Assemblies Including Phase Change Materials and Methods for Using Them - A thermally-activated material assembly transformable between an actuated condition and a non-actuated condition including an actuator material that, in response to being heated and cooled above/below an actuation temperature, causes the actuator element to actuate from a non-actuated shape to an actuated shape, and vice versa, respectively. The assembly also includes a drive mechanism connected to the actuator element and a phase-change material (PCM) associated with the drive mechanism. The drive mechanism causes the PCM to either (i) directly engage the actuator element when the actuator assembly is in the non-actuated condition and to be disengaged from the actuator element when the actuator assembly is in the actuated condition or (ii) directly engage the actuator element when the actuator assembly is in the actuated condition and to be disengaged from the actuator element when the actuator assembly is in the non-actuated condition.04-14-2011
20110197579Thermostatic working element and method for manufacturing a thermostatic working element - A thermostatic working element has a housing that contains an expansion material, the volume of which is dependent on temperature, and which is used as a means for expelling a working piston. An additive of ground natural graphite is blended with the expansion material.08-18-2011
20130098028Thermal Ratchet System - A thermal ratchet system includes a ratchet housing, a ratchet mandrel, a first ratchet, and a second ratchet. The first ratchet is disposed at a position generally fixed with respect to the ratchet housing and is urgeable with respect to the ratchet mandrel in an axial direction by a change in environmental temperature in a first direction. The second ratchet is disposed at a position generally fixed with respect to the ratchet housing and is urgeable with respect to the ratchet mandrel in the axial direction by a change in environmental temperature in a second direction opposite to the first direction. At least one of the first ratchet and the second ratchet is engaged with the ratchet mandrel.04-25-2013
20090277169OVERHEATING PROTECTION FOR SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY ACTUATORS - An overheating protection system adapted for use with a shape memory alloy actuator element, includes at least one switching shape memory alloy element presenting a slower activation period than that of the actuator element, and configured to selectively prevent activation of the actuator element, when the actuator element is actually or predicted to be experiencing overheating; and a circuit comprising the system, wherein the switching element and/or a circuit implement functions to modify activation of the actuator element.11-12-2009
20100139264SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY SEPARATING APPARATUSES - Embodiments of separating apparatuses are generally described herein. Other embodiments may be described and claimed. In an embodiment, a separating apparatus is provided that comprises a pre-strained member formed from a shape memory alloy that is configured to separate upon application of heat.06-10-2010
20090019847Stepping Actuator and Method of Fabrication - The current invention provides a stepping actuator, achieving large range up to ±35 μm with low operating voltages of 15V or lower and large output forces of up to ±110 μN. The actuator has an in-plane-angular deflection conversion which allows achieving step sizes varying from few nanometers to few micrometers with a minor change in the design. According to certain embodiments of the invention, the stepping actuator comprises a geometrical structure with a displacement magnification ratio of between 0.15 and 2 at operating voltages of 15V or lower. The present invention also provides a method for forming such stepping actuators.01-22-2009
20080264058Flexible Foil Moveable by Non-Mechanical Means - A foil moveable by non-mechanical means, such as light or heat, comprises an alternating array of first and second foil sections each resiliently and non-mechanically moveable between a flattened state and a bent state. The direction in which the first foil sections bend, when moved from the flattened to the bent state, is opposite to the direction in which the second foil sections bend when moved from the flattened to the bent state. When, in the flattened state, non-mechanically stimulating the first and second foil sections in unison, the first and second foil sections bend in opposite directions causing the foil to wrinkle, which results in a movement which is substantially linear. Using a different or removing the non-mechanical stimulus, the foil sections can be made to unbend resulting in a flattening and expansion of the foil to its original shape.10-30-2008
20110138800Electricity-Generating Heat Conversion Device and System - A heat conversion device configured for generating electricity and converting thermal energy includes a heat engine configured for converting thermal energy to mechanical energy. The heat engine includes a pseudoplastically pre-strained shape-memory alloy having a crystallographic phase changeable between austenite and martensite in response to thermal energy from a temperature difference between fluids of less than or equal to about 300° C. The heat engine also includes a generator driven by the heat engine and configured for converting mechanical energy to electricity. A heat conversion system configured for generating electricity and converting thermal energy includes a source of thermal energy provided by a temperature difference of less than or equal to about 300° C. between a primary fluid having a first temperature and a secondary fluid having a second temperature that is different from the first temperature, and the heat conversion device.06-16-2011
20110138801Operating mechanism for a furniture part including a shape memory element - In an operating mechanism for a moving a furniture part via a drive arrangement including a shape memory element, the shape memory element is connected between a stationary support point and a part to be moved via a force- or form-locking coupling structure having a limited holding force to prevent over-stressing the shape memory element.06-16-2011
20090241537ENERGY HARVESTING, STORING, AND CONVERSION UTILIZING SHAPE MEMORY ACTIVATION - A system for and method of harvesting, storing and converting naturally occurring energy, includes exposing an active material, and more preferably a shape memory element to an ambient activation signal or condition, harvesting a portion of the energy by pseudoplastically straining or superelastically deforming the element, storing the energy by causing a change in the element and/or engaging a locking mechanism, and converting the energy by exposing the mechanism to an activation signal and/or otherwise releasing the mechanism.10-01-2009
20090260356Power transmission for a thermal elastic wire - A power transmission for a thermal elastic wire including a frame for supporting a pair of anchor posts which stretch said wire there between. One of the posts being pivoted in the frame and having an extension arm projecting therefrom towards the other post. A spring biased rotator drum is rotatably supported in the frame proximate to the end of the extension arm. A flexible connection interconnects the periphery of the rotator drum with the end of the extension arm of the pivoted anchor post. A power takeoff connection on the rotator drum is provided for the attachment of a connecting link there to whereby as the thermal elastic wire changes phase, a smooth power stroke can be extracted from the transition at the power takeoff connection and stored in a spring.10-22-2009
20130213032FLUID PRESSURE ACTUATOR - An actuator including an actuation member at least partially defining a chamber and a fluid generating media disposed in the chamber. The fluid generating media includes a first electrochemical composition and a second electrochemical composition. The first and second electrochemical compositions are together electrochemically responsive to a first fluid for generating a second fluid. The actuation member is actuatable via a pressure of the second fluid. A method of controlling an actuator is also included.08-22-2013
20090077962CORRUGATED THERMAL ACTUATOR - A thermal actuator for micro mechanical or micro electro-mechanical devices comprises a supporting substrate; an actuator extension portion; an anchor block extending from the substrate; a first group of at least two elongate corrugated arms attached at a first end thereof to a heating circuit at the anchor block and at a second end to the extension portion, the first group being arranged to be conductively heated through connection to the heating circuit; and a second group of at least two elongate corrugated arms attached at a first end to the anchor block and at a second end to the extension portion, the second group not being connected to a heating circuit and being spaced apart from the first group. The first edge of the at least two elongate corrugated arms of the first group and a first edge of the at least two elongate corrugated arms of the second group are in a common plane.03-26-2009
20100212312Stacked Morphing Actuator - This invention relates to a stacked, bending actuator 08-26-2010
20100236236ACCELERATING COOLING IN ACTIVE MATERIAL ACTUATORS USING HEAT SINKS - An actuator includes a thermally activated active material element, such as at least one shape memory alloy wire, and a heat sink configured to operatively engage the element and accelerate cooling after activation, so as to improve bandwidth.09-23-2010
20090320463STIMULATION ACTUATOR FOR MOVING SUPPORTING SURFACES - Underspringing arrangements for mattresses are known, in particular for mattresses of furniture for sleeping on, which have resilient slats that act as support elements for the mattress and that at opposite ends are mounted with elastic bearing means on a frame. The bearing means and the resilient slats yield elastically when the mattresses are subjected to a load. Otherwise, however, the bearing means and the resilient slats are passive.12-31-2009
20100293940DRIVE MECHANISM AND DRIVE DEVICE - A drive mechanism and a drive device each comprise a driven body (11-25-2010
20090071146Self assembling/quick assembly structure using shape memory alloy materials - A shape memory alloy material may be incorporated in an assembly structure.03-19-2009
20110030368DRIVING MODULE AND ELECTRONIC APPARATUS PROVIDED WITH THE SAME - Disclosed are a driving module that can reduce fears of breakage and failures due to impact force caused by dropping or the like and can be miniaturized, and an electronic apparatus provided with the driving module. The driving module includes: a lens frame (02-10-2011
20120266591THERMO-MAGNETIC ENGINE APPARATUS AND REVERSIBLE THERMO-MAGNETIC CYCLE APPARATUS - A thermo-magnetic engine apparatus includes a magnetic element having a high temperature end to which hot energy is supplied and a low temperature end to which cold energy is supplied, a magnetic-field applier device, and a power source device. Curie temperature of the magnetic element is set between a temperature of the high temperature end and a temperature of the low temperature end. The power source device gains a magnetic power generated between the magnetic element and the magnetic-field applier device as kinetic energy.10-25-2012
20100058756MOVEMENT DEVICE - A movement device suitable for performing a mechanical movement upon being powered by a power source includes a control element, a temperature chip, and two memory deforming elements. The temperature chip has a first surface and a second surface. The two memory deforming elements have a connection part and a movement part respectively. The temperature chip is electrically connected to the control element. The connection parts of the two memory deforming element are respectively disposed on the first surface and the second surface. The control element controls a direction of a current from the power source when passing through the temperature chip, and the first surface and the second surface respectively generate an exothermic effect or an endothermic effect according to a direction of the current from the power source, so the two memory deforming elements are heated or cooled, thus the movement part produces a movement through temperature control.03-11-2010
20110056197LANDING GEAR UPLOCK MECHANISM EMPLOYING THERMAL PHASE-CHANGE ACTUATION - An uplock assembly for retaining and releasing landing gear systems, said uplock assembly comprising: a thermal actuator comprising: a chamber configured to contain expansible material therein; a heating mechanism coupled to said chamber for heating said expansible material and causing volumetric expansion thereof; a piston slidably coupled to said chamber and adapted to extend in response to said volumetric expansion; and an uplock release mechanism releasably engaged by said piston when extended such that said engaged uplock release mechanism causes the release of said landing gear.03-10-2011
20110252782DRIVE MODULE AND ELECTRONIC DEVICE - A drive module includes: a cylindrical or columnar driven body 10-20-2011
20120198835ACTIVE MATERIAL WIRE ACTUATORS HAVING REINFORCED STRUCTURAL CONNECTORS - An assembly for and method of reinforcing interconnection between an active material wire actuator, such as a shape memory alloy wire, and structure, includes the generation and engagement of an enlarged formation affixed to or integrally formed with the actuator.08-09-2012
20110252781Prevention, Actuation and Control of Deployment of Memory-Shape Polymer Foam-Based Expandables - Actuation and control of the deployment of a polymeric memory-shape material on a wellbore device on a downhole tool may be accomplished by treating a compacted or compressed polymeric memory-shape material with a deployment fluid to lower its T10-20-2011
20110120119VEHICLE ENERGY HARVESTING DEVICE HAVING DISCRETE SECTIONS OF SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY - An energy harvesting system comprises a first region and a second region having a temperature difference therebetween. A heat engine is configured for converting thermal energy to mechanical energy. The heat engine includes a first discrete element of a shape memory alloy having a crystallographic phase changeable between austenite and martensite in response to the temperature difference between the first region and the second region. The first discrete element of the shape memory alloy expands and contracts in response to the phase change to exert a linear force. A motion conversion mechanism is operatively connected to the first discrete element to be driven by the linear force and a component is driven by the motion conversion mechanism.05-26-2011
20110131971ACTUATING APPARATUS - An actuating apparatus which may be arranged to provide an actuating rotation or force on demand. The actuating apparatus comprises a resilient member having a plurality of co-acting elements such as a plurality of elongate rods and end-mounts arranged to move relative to each other. The resilient member is arrangeable in a first configuration and a second configuration such as a twisted configuration. An actuator which is preferably elongate is secured to the resilient member at least two points, preferably to each of the end mounts of the resilient member. The actuator is arranged to force the resilient member into one of or between the two configurations. The resilient member preferably includes a matrix which preferably surrounds at least a portion of the elongate rods.06-09-2011
20120204551SELF-ASSEMBLED FILMS AND PROCESSES THEREOF - An apparatus (e.g. a shape memory device) and/or methods thereof that may include employing a nano-particle layer, a linking agent layer, and a shape memory layer. An electrode for heating shape memory material during shape transitions of the shape memory layer may include the nano-particle layer and the linking agent layer. The nano-particle layer may include conductive nano-size particles (e.g. gold clusters having a diameter less than 100 nanometers or less than 50 nanometers). The electrode may be substantially resilient to deformation of the shape memory material due to individual bonding of individual particles of the nano-particle layer to the shape memory layer and/or the linking agent layer.08-16-2012
20110185722Dialysis machine - The present invention relates to a dialysis machine having a coupling surface for the coupling of a fluid system, in particular for the coupling of a cassette, and having an actuator arranged on the coupling surface for the movement of an actuator region of the fluid system. In accordance with the invention, a heating element is now provided for the heating of the actuator, with the liquid being able to be heated via the actuator in the actuator region of the fluid system.08-04-2011
20100199662Guiding Blade for a Proof Mass and Micromachined Electromechanical System Using Such Blade - The invention pertains to the field of micro-machined electromechanical systems including a proof mass capable of displacement. The invention relates to a guiding blade for a mobile proof mass in a monolithic electromechanical system which is micro-machined in a plate having a thickness H and defining a plane O,x,y, wherein the electromechanical system includes a base and at least one measurement cell including the proof mass connected to the base by the guiding blade and capable of translation displacement along the axis Oy, said blade extending along an axis Ox and being connected to a fixed portion of the base, and said blade limiting the movement of the proof mass (08-12-2010
20120000195Tube Actuator - This invention relates to an actuator (01-05-2012
20120011843Shape Memory Alloy Trigger for Pressure Relief Valve - This disclosure describes an apparatus having a valve and an elongated shape memory alloy element. The valve has a lever in a first position, whereby the valve is closed. The elongated shape memory alloy element has a first end connected to the lever. The shape memory alloy element has been strained to have a first length, wherein exposure of at least a portion of the shape memory alloy element to a temperature at or exceeding its austenite transformation temperature causes the shape memory alloy element to shorten to a second length, the second length being less than the first length, thereby causing the first end of the shape memory alloy element to pull the lever to a second position, whereby the valve is opened.01-19-2012
20120234000SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY ACTUATOR WITH ENHANCED HEAT TRANSFER CHARACTERISTICS - A shape memory alloy (SMA) actuator includes an SMA element and a flexible outer coating or layer. The element is respectively activated by a heating source. The layer surrounds the element, and enhances the heat transfer characteristics of the element to increase the speed of the actuation cycle. The nominal geometry and/or thermal conductivity may be altered during an activation phase, and may include discrete elements oriented with respect to the element, and partially embedded in the layer. An end gripper assembly may be used to cause the layer to move in concert with the element during a phase transformation. An electro-mechanical system includes the cooling source and the actuator. A method includes connecting the actuator to a load, activating the element using the heating source, and deactivating the element using a cooling source or free/ambient air.09-20-2012
20110094215ACTIVE MATERIAL-BASED IMPULSE ACTUATORS - An apparatus for and method of displacing a body, such as a projectile, piston, or the distal edge of a sunshade cover or energy absorbing honeycomb matrix, utilizing momentum generated by the rapid actuation of an active material element, such as a Martensitic shape memory alloy wire.04-28-2011
20110094216VEHICLE ENERGY HARVESTING DEVICE USING VEHICLE THERMAL GRADIENTS - A vehicle includes an energy harvesting system. The energy harvesting system includes a fluid, a heat engine, and a component. The fluid has a first fluid region at a first temperature and a second fluid region at a second temperature that is different from the first temperature. The heat engine is configured for converting thermal energy to mechanical energy and includes a shape-memory alloy disposed in contact with each of the first fluid region and the second fluid region. The component is driven by the heat engine in response to the temperature difference.04-28-2011
20120151913MEMORY ALLOY-ACTUATED APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR MAKING AND USING THE SAME - Actuator apparatus having a multi-stable element actuated by memory alloy actuating elements. In one embodiment, the multi-stable actuator comprises a bistable (two-state) diaphragm element adapted to alternate between two stable configurations via forces exerted on the diaphragm by more than one memory alloy filaments in response to thermal activation. The bistable diaphragm element is coupled to a magnetic actuator element resident on a dry portion of a valve fitting, while a plunger actuated by the magnetic actuator element is resident on a wet portion of a valve fitting. Methods for making and using the bistable actuator apparatus are also disclosed.06-21-2012
20100095669Wax Actuator and a Method of Actuating by Means of a Wax Actuator - The invention relates to a method of actuating by means of a wax actuator and to a wax actuator. The wax actuator (04-22-2010
20110088387Methods of manufacturing highly integrated SMA actuators - A shape memory alloy (SMA) actuator assembly is provided that includes an SMA component. The SMA component is used to impart motion in an output shaft. Also provided is a return force component that provides a variable, tailored return force to the SMA component. Additionally, a variety of protective mechanisms are disclosed and utilized to prevent damage to the internal workings and components within the SMA actuator assembly as well as provide protection and safety for external workings.04-21-2011
20090133398SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY ACTUATOR, APPARATUS FOR MANUFACTURING SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY ACTUATOR, METHOD FOR STRINGING SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY, AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY ACTUATOR - A method of string an SMA, method of manufacturing the SMA actuator, SMA actuator and apparatus for manufacturing the SMA actuator, wherein a drive member made up of an SMA is extended between a moving member and wire supporting member via a drive member supporting member, and current is applied to the unnecessary portion of the drive member located between the wire supporting member and drive member supporting member, whereby the unnecessary portion of the drive member is cut off by melting, with the result that the size of the protrusion left behind after cutting of the SMA is reduced, and there is no need of giving consideration to the durability of a cutter otherwise used for cutting purposes.05-28-2009
20110120114VEHICLE ENERGY HARVESTING DEVICE HAVING A CONTINUOUS LOOP OF SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY - An energy harvesting system comprises a first region having a first temperature and a second region having a second temperature. A conduit is located at least partially within the first region. A heat engine configured for converting thermal energy to mechanical energy includes a shape memory alloy forming at least one generally continuous loop. The shape memory alloy is disposed in heat exchange contact with the first region and the second region. A carrier surrounds the conduit such that the carrier is driven to rotate around the conduit by the shape memory alloy in response to the temperature difference between the first region and the second region.05-26-2011
20110179786SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY ACTUATION APPARATUS - A shape memory alloy actuation apparatus comprises a movable element suspended on a support structure by a plurality of flexures which are non-uniformly configured to apply forces having differing components perpendicular to the movement axis generating a net moment around the centre of mass of the movable element in an opposite sense from the moment generated by the actuation force. A shape memory alloy wire is coupled between the support structure and an intermediate body engaging the movable element through a pivotal contact to avoid lateral force transfer. Also coupled between the support structure and the intermediate body is a resilient biassing flexure plastically deformed in a partial region thereof. The shape memory alloy wire is crimped by a crimping member fixed to the support structure holding the shape memory alloy wire against a curved surface from which the shape alloy memory wire extends to the movable element.07-28-2011
20100326071RECONFIGURABLE LITHOGRAPHIC STRUCTURES - A lithographically structured device has an actuation layer and a control layer operatively connected to the actuation layer. The actuation layer includes a stress layer and a neutral layer that is constructed of materials and with a structure such that it stores torsional energy upon being constructed. The control layer is constructed to maintain the actuation layer substantially in a first configuration in a local environmental condition and is responsive to a change in the local environmental condition such that it permits a release of stored torsional energy to cause a change in a structural configuration of the lithographically structured device to a second configuration, the control layer thereby providing a trigger mechanism. The lithographically structured device has a maximum dimension that is less than about 10 mm when it is in the second configuration.12-30-2010
20100326070ACTUATOR SYSTEM INCLUDING AN ACTIVE MATERIAL - A linear actuator associated with an actuator system for a device includes a wire cable fabricated from an active material. The linear actuator couples to the device and to the moveable element. The active material induces strain in the linear actuator in response to an activation signal. The linear actuator translates the moveable element relative to the device in response to the induced strain. An activation controller electrically connects to the linear actuator and generates the activation signal. A position feedback sensor monitors a position of the moveable element.12-30-2010
20110120120Novel Positioner Apparatus and Methods - Disclosed herein are embodiments of inventive multipositioner technology relating to multipositioner apparatus having discrete positioning capability and, relative to each discrete position, incremental positioning capability. As compared with prior art apparatus, embodiments of the inventive technology may afford: operational resolution for larger positional ranges, reduced cylinder length to achieve positioning as desired, enhanced positioning capability and/or robustness of design.05-26-2011
20110120118EXHAUST SYSTEM - An exhaust system configured for converting thermal energy to mechanical energy includes a source of thermal energy provided by a temperature difference between an exhaust gas having a first temperature and a heat sink having a second temperature that is lower than the first temperature. The exhaust system also includes a conduit configured for conveying the exhaust gas, a heat engine disposed in thermal relationship with the conduit and configured for converting thermal energy to mechanical energy, and a member disposed in contact with the conduit and configured for conducting thermal energy from the conduit to the heat engine. The heat engine includes a first element formed from a first shape memory alloy having a crystallographic phase changeable between austenite and martensite at a first transformation temperature in response to the temperature difference between the exhaust gas and the heat sink.05-26-2011
20110120117METHOD OF STARTING A HEAT ENGINE - A method of starting a heat engine includes exposing an element of the heat engine to a source of thermal energy provided by a temperature difference between a heat source having a first temperature and a heat sink having a second temperature that is lower than the first temperature. The element is formed from a first shape memory alloy having a crystallographic phase changeable between austenite and martensite at a first transformation temperature in response to the temperature difference between the heat source and the heat sink. The method further includes changing the crystallographic phase of the first shape memory alloy to thereby convert thermal energy to mechanical energy, and inducing initial movement of the element in a desired operational direction to thereby start the heat engine.05-26-2011
20110120116HEAT ENGINE SYSTEM - A heat engine system configured for converting thermal energy to mechanical energy includes a source of thermal energy provided by a temperature difference between a heat source having a first temperature and a heat sink having a second temperature that is lower than the first temperature. The heat engine is configured for converting thermal energy to mechanical energy and includes an element formed from a first shape memory alloy having a crystallographic phase changeable between austenite and martensite at a first transformation temperature in response to the temperature difference between the heat source and the heat sink. The heat engine system also includes a start-up mechanism configured for inducing initial movement of the element in a desired operational direction to thereby start the heat engine.05-26-2011
20110120115ENERGY HARVESTING SYSTEM FOR A VEHICLE - An energy harvesting system includes a heat engine and a component configured to be driven by operation of the heat engine. The heat engine includes a first member, a second member, a shape memory alloy material, and a tensioner. The second member is spaced from the first member. The shape memory alloy material operatively interconnects the first member and the second member. The shape memory alloy material is configured to selectively change crystallographic phase from martensite to austenite and thereby contract in response to exposure to a first temperature. The shape memory alloy material is also configured to selectively change crystallographic phase from austenite to martensite and thereby expand in response to exposure to a second temperature. The tensioner is configured to apply tension to the shape memory alloy material as the shape memory alloy material selectively expands and contracts such that the shape memory alloy material is taut.05-26-2011
20110120113VEHICLE ENERGY HARVESTING DEVICE HAVING DISCRETE SECTIONS OF SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY - An energy harvesting system comprises a first region having a first temperature and a second region having a second temperature. A heat engine is configured for converting thermal energy to mechanical energy. The heat engine includes a plurality of discrete elements of a shape memory alloy each having a crystallographic phase changeable between austenite and martensite in response to a temperature difference between the first region and the second region. At least one member of the heat engine is driven to rotate about a first axis by the phase change of the plurality of discrete elements.05-26-2011
20110120112VEHICLE ENERGY HARVESTING DEVICE HAVING A CONTINUOUS LOOP OF SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY MATERIAL - An energy harvesting system includes a heat engine and a component. The heat engine includes first and second regions, a conduit, and a shape memory alloy (SMA) material. The conduit extends along a central axis. The SMA material surrounds the conduit and is disposed in one of the regions. The SMA material is radially spaced from a secondary axis that surrounds the central axis. A localized region of the SMA material changes crystallographic phase from martensite to austenite and contract in response to exposure to the first temperature. The localized region of the SMA material also changes crystallographic phase from austenite to martensite and expands in response to exposure to the second temperature. The SMA material rotates about the secondary axis in response to the contraction and expansion of the localized region of the SMA material. Rotation of the SMA material about the secondary axis drives the component.05-26-2011
20110120111METHOD OF CONTROLLING A THERMAL ENERGY HARVESTING SYSTEM - A method of controlling an energy harvesting system that converts excess thermal energy into mechanical energy and includes a Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) member, includes obtaining current operational parameters of the energy harvesting system, such as a maximum temperature, a minimum temperature and a cycle frequency of the SMA member. The current operational parameters are compared to a target operating condition of the energy harvesting system to determine if the current operational parameters are within a pre-defined range of the target operating condition. If the current operational parameters are not within the pre-defined range of the target operating condition, then a heat transfer rate to, a heat transfer rate from or a cycle frequency of the SMA member is adjusted to maintain operation of the energy harvesting system within the pre-defined range of the target operating condition to maximize efficiency of the energy harvesting system.05-26-2011
20120297764ELECTRO-THERMAL ACTUATOR DEVICE - An electro-thermal actuator device includes a case defining a cavity in which are housed a thermal actuator, an electrical heater and, at least partially, an actuating shaft. The device comprises a multipolar connector for the rapid, secure and reliable coupling to a respective source of electrical power supply for the heater. The connector can be configured as an adapter unit distinct from the case, suitable to transform a traditional electro-thermal actuator device into the actuator device described above.11-29-2012
20120297763QUICK-RETURN ACTIVE MATERIAL ACTUATOR - A quick-return active material actuator adapted for more rapidly returning a load, so as to reduce the de-actuation time of a system, includes in a first aspect a thermally activated active material actuation element drivenly coupled to the load, an active material de-actuation element drivenly coupled to the load non-antagonistic to the actuation element, and a reconfigurable mechanism interconnecting the elements and load, wherein the de-actuation element and mechanism are cooperatively configured to return the load while the actuation element is still activated, and, in a second aspect a thermally activated active material actuation element drivenly coupled to a biased load and operable to autonomously release, so that the load is caused to be returned while the actuation element is still activated, and subsequently re-engage the load.11-29-2012
20110252783ENERGY CELL - The present invention relates to an energy cell (10-20-2011
20120137672METHODS OF ACTIVATING THERMALLY RESPONSIVE ACTIVE MATERIALS USING WIRELESS TRANSMISSION - Actuation assemblies for and methods of activating a thermally actuated active material actuator utilizing wireless transmissions of energy.06-07-2012
20130008160ACTUATOR ELEMENT INCLUDING FAT AND OIL OR WATER REPELLENT - A conductive thin film is composed of a polymer gel including carbon nanotubes, an ionic liquid, and a polymer. At least one selected from the group consisting of fat and oil and a water repellent is included in the polymer gel or in a surface of the polymer gel.01-10-2013
20110146265Actuator and Method of Actuating - An actuator includes, a housing, an expandable member housed within the housing configured to expand and contract, an elongated member in operable communication with the expandable member, and a ratchet in operable communication with at least one of the expandable member and the elongated member. The ratchet is configured to allow movement of the elongated member in a first direction relative to the housing in response to expansion of the expandable member and to prevent movement of the elongated member in a second direction in response to contraction of the expandable member until the elongated member has moved a selected dimension, after which the ratchet automatically permits movement of the elongated member in the second direction.06-23-2011
20110232278SHAPE MEMORY STORED ENERGY ASSEMBLIES AND METHODS FOR USING THE SAME - A shape memory stored energy assembly includes a projectile housing having a projectile lumen. A projectile is within the projectile lumen and the projectile is movable relative to the projectile housing. A shape memory actuator is coupled between the projectile anchored end and the projectile housing. The shape memory actuator is configured to transition from a strained energy stored configuration to a fractured kinetic delivery configuration at a specified temperature range to propel the projectile through the projectile lumen. A method includes storing energy in a shape memory actuator coupled with a projectile. The stored energy in the shape memory actuator is released and propels the projectile. Releasing the stored energy includes heating the shape memory actuator, tensioning the shape memory actuator, and fracturing the tensioned shape memory actuator at a fracture locus to propel the projectile away from the fracture locus.09-29-2011
20130174542SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY ACTUATOR - A shape memory alloy actuator includes a wire portion which is inserted through a first tube member, a shape memory alloy wire portion which is inserted through a second tube member, a movable body which is movable in a direction in which, a length of the shape memory alloy wire portion changes, an elastic member which exerts an external force in a direction in which, the shape memory alloy wire portion elongates, and a fixing member to which, one end of the second tube member and one end of the shape memory alloy wire portion are fixed, and one end of the wire portion is connected to the movable body, and one end of the shape memory alloy wire portion and one end of the wire portion are joined to a joining portion, and the joining portion includes a plurality of crimp terminals.07-11-2013
20130111896MEMORY ALLOY-ACTUATED APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR MAKING AND USING THE SAME - Improved actuator apparatus and methodologies for manufacturing and using the same. In one exemplary embodiment, the actuator apparatus includes an SMA filament that: (1) minimizes size and increases stroke length via a serpentine-like routing of the SMA filament within the device itself; (2) reduces power consumption as a result of a relatively flat stroke force as a function of stroke displacement operating profile; (3) enables the actuator assembly to remain in a fully actuated state, at a consistent stroke force, for longer periods of time; and (4) is also fully reversible so as to be capable of use in both push-based and pull-based actuator applications. Methods of operation and manufacturing associated with the aforementioned actuator apparatus are also disclosed.05-09-2013
20100293939THERMO ELEMENT - An object of the present invention is to prevent a sealing member from being degraded and to provide a thermo-element having a good responsiveness and an improved durability.11-25-2010
20130199172ACTIVE MATERIAL ELEMENTS HAVING REINFORCED STRUCTURAL CONNECTORS - A load-carrying active material assembly and a method of preparing such an active material assembly suitable for attachment to a movable component of a mechanism is described. The assembly includes a shape memory alloy (SMA) element, a connector adapted to engage the moveable component mechanically crimped to the SMA element, and a filler material disposed intermediate the connector and SMA element. The filler may be a solder or a polymer. Methods for appropriately distributing the filler material and for promoting good adhesion of the filler to the SMA element and the connector are described.08-08-2013
20120060491REMOTELY ACTUATED WIND TUNNEL MODEL RUDDER USING SHAPE MEMORY ALLOY - A rotational actuator assembly employs a first torsion actuator having a shape memory alloy (SMA) tube with a first trained twist direction and a second torsion actuator having a SMA tube with an opposite trained twist direction collinear with the first torsion actuator with abutting proximal ends. A central fitting joins the proximal ends. A control system for temperature control of the first torsion actuator and second torsion actuator about an average temperature provides combined antagonistic rotation of the central fitting.03-15-2012
20130098029PUMPING ASSEMBLY USING ACTIVE MATERIALS - A pumping assembly is provided. The assembly includes a first movable element selectively movable within a first pump housing and an actuator including an active material. The active material is configured to undergo a change in attribute in response to an activation signal. The active material is operatively connected to the first movable element such that the change in attribute causes the first movable element to move within the first pump housing. In one example, the active material is a shape memory alloy material having a crystallographic phase that is changeable between Austenite and Martensite in response to the activation signal.04-25-2013
20130205770METHODS OF PRIMING THERMALLY ACTIVATED ACTIVE MATERIAL ELEMENTS - A method of achieving a target activation parameter, such as a predetermined response time and/or consistency when thermally activating at least one active material element, such as a shape memory alloy actuator or shape memory polymer hinge, includes deciding whether to prime the element based on energy efficiency and/or overall system costs/performance.08-15-2013

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