Smart materials includes any active or multifunctional material that can serve as a sensor or actuator as well as a structural element. These materials are oftentimes highly non-linear and hysteretic, but they can be customized to provide elegant, streamlined, and energy efficient actuator or sensor systems.
- Thermally-activated shape memory alloys
- Super-elastic shape memory alloys
- Electro-active polymers
- Material characterization
- Modeling/simulation of hysteretic materials (homogenized free-energy model)
- Feasibility analysis
- Concept design
- Prototype development and testing
- Precision, low force (<5 lbs) tensile testing
- Material modeling and characterization
- Museum Exhibit - At NC Museum of Natural Sciences Nature Research center, demonstrates how technology gets inspiration from nature by using 3d printing, super-elastic SMA, and thermally-activated SMA wires to replicate a bat's skeleton, joints, and muscles, respectively.
- Steerable Guidewire - 1 mm diameter guidewire with a super-elastic core that deflects thanks to a 50 micron diameter SMA to help guide a catheter through body cavities and reduce surgery time and infection risk.
- Adaptive Nozzle - two flexible joints in series controlled by an array of SMA wires to control the location and trajectory of the nozzle tip.
- SMA Characterization and Modeling - critical for feasibility analysis and development of control methods for hysteretic/non-linear materials.