Smart morphing based on shape memory alloy plate

19 Jul 2017

Purpose ? This article reports on the possibility of using nickel titanium shape memory alloy (NiTi SMA) plates rather than NiTi SMA wire for actuation application in the aerospace industries. Design/methodology/approach ? A scaled-down model of smart aileron was constructed based on NiTi SMA plate and aluminium plate. Prior to the manufacturing process, NiTi SMA plates had to be trained to suit our application. The leading edge was constructed using trained NiTi SMA plates, whereas the trailing edge was constructed using aluminium plates. Pop rivets were used in joining the parts or in the construction of the smart aileron, and riveting was preferred as it is mostly used in the aerospace industry for surface construction. The constructed smart aileron was tested for vertical upward and downward deflection using heat application, and the deflection was measured using deflection transducer. The heat was sourced from heater mat kits that were laminated inside the smart aileron. The temperature and the deflection data were recorded and analyzed. Findings ? It was found that NiTi SMA plates could give a deflection on the trailing edge of the smart aileron. The current maximum deflection was found to be 3 mm, which corresponds to aileron rotation of about 0.57 degrees. Originality/value ? The paper presents a hinge-less alternative in bringing the rolling motion of the flight. The constructed model of smart aileron can be used to replace the existing aileron, which is activated through hydraulic systems. So, the newly constructed smart aileron can be used with the benefit of reducing weight, because it does not use the hydraulic systems like the existing one.