Friday, December 5, 2014

Nitinol Group is Still Doing Their Homework

Over the course of our last several classes, we have continued to reach out to Nitinol professionals
seeking any useful advice they may have. We also researched other types of shape memory
alloys, including Flexinol. These different SMAs (Shape Memory Alloys) are composed of various
metal mixtures.  One model of heat engine we are looking into consists of two different sized gears and a chain made partly of Nitinol that connects them. The linear deformation of the Nitinol
causes the gears to spin. This is known as the VT1 engine. Another model we have
learned about consists of pulleys and belts of Nitinol. One belt of nitinol wraps around two pulleys, one being slightly larger than the other. The temperature differential produces a spinning motion. Several pairs of pulleys are set up in a like and connected by the axes of the pulleys, allowing  constant rotation. Our plan is to continue learning about these as well as other existing models of Nitinol engines in addition to Nitinol itself. We are going to temporarily ignore the application side of the project so we can focus more on the development of an engine.