Categories

Automotive

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for decades, the automotive industry has been working on concepts to minimize the annoying air resistance at the fast-turning wheel. This accounts for a significant proportion of total air resistance. The designs of newer electric vehicles show that closed rim designs with smaller openings are gaining ground for reasons of efficiency and range. This can reduce drag by single-digit percentages, but no more. Only complete closure of the rim can completely eliminate airflow and the damaging rotor effect of the wheel. This, however, conflicts with the necessary cooling of the brake chamber in the event of an emergency, e.g. after a pass descent. Actuator modules from CompActive now make it possible to integrate several ventilation flaps into the rim, which open automatically due to the waste heat from the braking system and initiate cooling through the wheel surface. Since they do not require a power source here, they can also be easily applied to the rotating components: The flat bending actuators offer sufficient travel and the necessary robustness of an element that is moved in rapid rotation in road traffic.

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Furniture, Light and Living

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Think about the lid of your kitchen garbage can, the handles of your drawers sticking out, the flap of the garbage can at your central station, the lid of the buffet at your favorite hotel… wouldn’t it be nice if things would move by themselves?

If you want to reduce hand movements for people, you have to be at least as fast as the movement itself. It is expected that there will be no loss of comfort elsewhere, such as noise or vibrations.
This is where two major advantages of bending actuators come into play:

1. They can be very fast: The large deflection of the bending actuators are generated by a solid-state actuator, a shape memory alloy (SMA). The activation can be as fast as desired, whether with 12 V in the range of seconds or with 48V in the range of milliseconds.


2. They are absolute noiseless and vibration-free: without gears and bearings, there are no starting points where noise or vibration could occur. So every function runs frictionless and smooth!

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Aviation and Aerodynamics

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The flight tests were carried out as part of a ZIM cooperative project, partner Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe and DG Flugzeugbau. Adaptive turbulators can be used to improve aerodynamic performance in almost any airfoil aircraft. They offer the possibility to reduce the minimum airspeed without disadvantages for cruise efficiency. The constraints of the application – a very limited design space, the lowest possible weight and the realization of a large number of small actuators – make it difficult to realize this functionality with conventional mechanical systems. Hybrid composites of FGL and FKV with material-integrated actuators enable an actively controllable function even under such requirements. A single active turbulator with an overall height of 1.8 mm and a weight of 1.5 g is capable of generating a peak deflection of 17 mm.

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Robotics

Robotics

1 Videos
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Even in agriculture there is the trend to use autonomous robots for time consuming tasks as picking. The challenge is to be with mechanical drives as soft as possible in handling fruits and vegetable on picking. Additionally, everything must withstand rough conditions compared to the automatization on common factory buildings. The solutions need to work properly under permanent exposure to sand, water, juices … and an easily cleaning is required to fulfill hygienic requirements.
The bending actuator can handle those requirements. Without using mechanics as hinges, bearing and guides problems are solved. Avoiding any relative movements and friction even highspeed function can be realized under rough conditions. The electrical risk for short circuit is not evident as only low voltage is required.
The presented end effector for picking can do both, a sensitive gripping of a wide range of fruit sizes and a gentle cutting from the plant with a high-speed cutter function. A sensitive solution for sensible fruits like tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries and more…

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Actuator principle

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CompActive’s Bending Actuators Curve® use shape memory alloys to realize novel adjustment functionality. This video explains in catchy animations how bending actuators efficiently use the motion of shape memory alloy wires.
This allows morphing solutions to be implemented without mechanics, motors, gears or levers. The operating principle allows robust, absolutely silent and very fast adjustment functions. Similar to bimetals but quite different – bending actuators from CompActive are the high-performance drives of tomorrow and an elegant alternative to solenoids, electric motors and pneumatics.

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How to use

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The CompActive sample actuator – easy to use
This video explains how easy the sample actuator can be controlled and activated.

If you are interested or have any questions about our technology, the sample actuator or about possible applications, please visit our homepage at www.compactive.de and contact us.
We are looking forward to hearing from you.

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