Planar Bending actuator - Technology in Motion

Shape memory alloys are metals that can generate large changes in geometry even at low temperature changes. Due to the direct integration of the actuator – the shape memory alloy elements – into a fiber-plastic composite, the actuator system is transferred to the hybrid structure and an active shape adaptation of the component is possible. The tailor-made hybrid assembly with integrated actuator elements offers a number of advantages by dispensing with a mechanical system with mechanical couplings and local load introduction points. With this scalable actuator principle, it is possible to use an adjustment function for:

  • minimal space
  • lowest weight and
  • gap-free and kink-free contour

to realize.

These unique advantages make the technology of active hybrid composites a key to innovative functions that are not possible in the conventional way. Depending on the field of application and implemented functions, the active hybrid assemblies are able to increase the performance, efficiency and / or comfort of technical products.

Working principle Curve Actuator

Single Shape-Memory-Alloy Wire

Mechanical System

Fully Integrated

At the push of a button
Direct heating by electricity

The active hybrid compounds can be controlled by the use of accumulators or an electrical control system. Another possibility is to build up the active hybrid networks as a self-sufficient system.

External heating near heat sources








Tailor-made Modules with Integrated Actuators for Every Application

The adaptable properties of the modules allow a needs-based actuation, so that each module is tailored to the individual needs and requirements of the innovative application.

  • Size l * b
  • Excursion path s
  • Load carrying capacity F
  • Electrical resistance R
  • Mechanical interface
  • Electrical interface

Electrical interface

Mechanical interface

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Three Moving Modes for Varied Applications

Actuator Modules enable the integration of different motion principles in components. Three product types will be introduced to the market in the future – Curve®, ReCurve® and BiCurve®.

The product type Curve®, which is scheduled for volume production first, uses a „trained“ shape memory alloy, a so called two-way-effect wire. The wire contracts on heating and expand on cooling. To generate a deflection of the component the wire must be heated and kept at an elevated temperature.

The product type ReCurve®, containing an untrained shape-memory-alloy wire, requires a mechanical deformation of active components in advance. The activation of the actuator resets this deformation.

The product type BiCurve® with a partly pre-stretched shape-memory-alloy wire is an actuation system, consisting of two actuation modules in one component. Both actuation modules work in opposite directions and allow on demand a curvature in one of the two directions by alternating activation. After cooling, a deflected shape is generated and can be hold without energy supply.