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Model-based position control of shape memory alloy actuators

: Neugebauer, Reimund; Pagel, Kenny; Bucht, Andre; Drossel, Welf-Guntram


International Journal of Mechatronics and Manufacturing Systems 5 (2012), Nr.2, S.93-105
ISSN: 1753-1039
ISSN: 1753-1047
Fraunhofer IWU ()
mechatronic; shape memory alloy; heated SMA wire; model-based control; actuator; length-resistance correlation; resistance based position control; modelling; controller design; rapid prototyping; flexible sockets

Shape-memory-alloys (SMAs) are easy to integrate into mechanical structures and capable of handling high specific workloads. Therefore, SMAs possess an outstanding potential to serve as positioning devices in various applications. We present here the multi-domain modelling of an electrically heated SMA wire which includes changes of electrical parameters in conjunction to mechanical parameters. Due to the correlation between electrical resistance and mechanical stroke, it was possible to implement a resistance-based position control without the necessity of an external positioning sensor. In order to design a linear position controller by common rules, the highly complex and non-linear model was simplified. Controller development yielded a PID algorithm that was implemented on a rapid prototyping system as part of an SMA wire test bench. The models accuracy was verified by various measurements with different wires and multiple loads. Based on that, it was possible to design an actuator which utilises a flexible socket instead of fixed mountings.