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Andrea Spaggiari


Multiphysics Modeling and Design of Shape Memory Alloy Wave Springs as Linear Actuators
This paper explores the merits of shape memory wave springs as powering elements of solid-state actuators. Advantages and disadvantages of the wave construction in comparison to the traditional helical shape are presented and discussed by means of dimensionless functions. The main assets of the wave springs are the higher electrical resistance (leading to simpler electrical drives) and the lower cooling time (leading to enhanced working frequency). The wave geometry is also superior in purely mechanical terms to the helical counterpart when axial space is at a premium. A step-by-step design procedure is proposed, leading to the optimal wave spring meeting the multiphysics design specications and constraints. A case study is nally reported, showing the application of shape memory wave springs to the design of a telescopic linear actuator. [DOI: 10.1115/1.4004196] Keywords: spring design, shape memory alloys, wave spring

Eugenio Dragoni
e-mail: Department of Engineering Sciences and Methods, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 42122 Reggio Emilia, Italy


2 Materials and Methods
2.1 Design of the SMA Springs. The wave spring considered in the analysis is a crest to crest wave spring with multiple turns and no shim ends (Fig. 1(b)). This wave spring can be conveniently described using the design variables shown in Fig. 2. The main design variables are the mean diameter, D, the radial width of the cross section, b, the thickness of the cross section, t, the number of waves per turn, N, and the number of turns, Z. 2.1.1 Geometric Properties of the Wave Spring. The geometric properties of the wave spring can be easily written as functions of the main design variables. The area, Sw, and the perimeter, Pw, of the spring cross section are given by Sw bt
Manuscript received October 7, 2010; nal manuscript received May 2, 2011; published online June 16, 2011. Assoc. Editor: Nancy Johnson. Paper presented at the ASME 2010 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems (SMASIS2010), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, September 28October 1, 2010. Paper No. SMASIS2010-3711.

Shape memory alloys (SMAs) can be exploited successfully to build solid-state actuators of reduced complexity and lower weight than conventional competitors. Many SMA actuators use the material in shape of easily made straight wires or helical springs [14]. Despite the remarkable force they can develop, tension wires are undermined by very limited stokes, while traditional helical springs, although capable of greater strokes, suffer from modest output force [5], poor energetic efciency [6,7], and low mechanical bandwidth due to their high cooling times. This paper explores the merits of SMA wave springs as a means for enhancing the mechanical, thermal, and electrical performances of SMA actuators. Fabricated by winding an undulated strip in multiple, closely packed coils (see Fig. 1) [8], wave springs represent a valid alternative to more traditional springs (e.g., helical or Belleville) to provide high stiffness under substantial loads especially when the axial dimensional constraints are challenging. The merits of shape memory actuators exploiting the wave spring geometry are still unexplored. The research reported in this paper was performed to ll this gap, providing an analytical comparison between the wave spring and the traditional helical spring, used as benchmark. The main advantages in the context of SMA actuators are the lower cooling time of the wave springs due to the high area to volume ratio and the higher electrical resistance. The paper develops an analytical model for the multiphysics behavior of SMA wave springs. The constitutive equations provided are exploited to compare the performances of wave springs with conventional helical springs. The comparison is made assuming that the two springs are made from the same material, have the same mean diameter, have the same outer diameter, receive the same maximum force, undergo the same maximum deection (hence exhibit the same spring rate), and develop the same maximum stress.

The analytical comparison between wave and helical spring shows that the wave spring outperforms the traditional solution terms of reduced cooling time and improved electrical resistance, and due to the absence of dead turns can be exploited when the axial dimensional constraints are tight. In particular, the reduced cooling time can lead to working frequencies more than four times higher than helical springs. The paper also describes a step-by-step design procedure showing how the former equations can be used to identify the wave SMA spring that best meets the design specications (force, deection, heating and cooling time, power needs, strength condition) for an actuator spring. The design parameters for the wave spring are section width and thickness, mean diameter, number of waves, and number of coils. Application of the design procedure is exemplied for a case study. For all these reasons, the wave spring geometry can be considered a valid technological alternative for the design of SMA actuators with increased dynamic bandwidth and simple electronic control, especially in case of limited axial height and high stiffness.

(1) (2)

Pw 2b 2t

By disregarding the wavy shape of the spring turns, the length of the metal strip, Lw, can be calculated as JUNE 2011, Vol. 133 / 061008-1

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R Fig. 1 Examples of multiturn, crest-to-crest V wave springs [8]: with end shims (a) and without end shims (b)

Under this assumption, from Ref. [9] the maximum bending stress has the following expression: rmax p 3PD tan 2bt2 N 2N (8)

Fig. 2 Schematic drawing of the wave spring showing primary design variables

Lw pDZ (3) while the exact length is about 5% more than the simple approximation (3) proposed. Using Eqs. (1)(3), the lateral area, Aw Pw Lw , and the volume, Vw Sw Lw , of the spring can be written as Aw 2b tpDZ Vw btpDZ

This expression is more accurate than that provided by Ref. [8], because it takes into account the effect of the curvature on the bending moment. The deection formula proposed by Ref. [9] was developed for closed-ring (stamped), single-turn wave springs. For the open-ring (wound), multiple-turn springs examined here, Smalleys provides the following expression for the deection, containing the empirical coefcient, Ks, specically determined for this particular geometry: f Z Ks PD3 Di Ebt3 N 4 Do (9)



The value of Ks depends on the number of waves N and is given by Ref. [8] in tabular form (Ks 3.88 for 2.0 N 4.0; Ks 2.90 for 4.5 N 6.5; Ks 2.30 for 7.0 N 9.5; Ks 2.13 for N ! 10). For convenience of mathematical development, the following continuous interpolation, Ka, will be used to replace Ks: Ka 3 arctan12 2N 15 5 (10)

The free height of the wave spring depends on the manufacturing process and can be assessed by calculating the angle b between the spring wire and a plane normal to the spring axis. The height of a single turn is the minor cathetus of a triangle with basis pD=2N and thus the whole free height hw can be calculated as pD tanb (6) hw Z 2N Taking b % 12 produces values of the free height in agreement with the data reported by the manufacturer for stock springs. Even though the manufacturer suggests not to use the wave spring over 60% of the free height, for the sake of completeness the ideal solid height is given by Hw Zbt (7)

Letting Di D b, Do D b, and using Ref. [10], Eq. (9) becomes f Z PD3 D b Ka Ebt3 N 4 D b (11)

2.1.2 Mechanical Properties of the Wave Spring. As shown by Dragoni [9] the wave spring can be modeled as a at circular ring loaded normally to its plane. The model considers axial displacement and torsional rotation of the spring cross section as contributions to the total deection. Both contributions are calculated taking into account bending and torsional moments on the spring wire. For the multiple-turn springs considered here, the contact between wave crest of adjacent turns precludes the rotation of the cross section and limits the effects of the torsional moment. For the purpose of this work, only the bending moment due to the thrust load P is taken into account. 061008-2 / Vol. 133, JUNE 2011

2.1.3 Electrical Properties of the Wave Spring. The electrical resistance of the wave spring depends on the electrical behavior of the contact points between the crests of the waves. Two ideal cases may be considered, with the contacts behaving as open circuits (innite electrical resistance) or as a short circuit (zero electrical resistance). Under the rst assumption (open circuit), the resistance of the spring coincides with the resistance of the wire ROC qLw =Sw . Using Eqs. (1) and (3), the open-circuit resistance becomes ROC q pDZ bt (12)

The second assumption considers perfect contact between the crest of the wave and so we can split the wave spring in elements of length pD=2N. The whole resistance is decreased by a factor 2N due to the parallel connection in the single ring and increased by a factor Z due Transactions of the ASME

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to the series connection between the crests. Thus, the total shortcircuit resistance can be written as RSC q pD Z 2Nbt 2N (13)


8nPD3 Gd 4


The curvature correction factor, Kb , used in Eq. (18) is due to Bergstrasser [10] and is dened as Kb where C is the spring index, C D D d b (21) 4C 2 4C 3 (20)

2.1.4 Thermal Properties of the Wave Spring. If only convective cooling is considered, following Ref. [6] the cooling time, twc, of a body made of shape memory alloy with volume Vw, density n, and external area Aw is given by     nVw cAM Ms Tr ln twc (14) Aw h Mf Tr where cAM is a ctitious transformation specic heat that includes the enthalpic contribution, h is the coefcient of convection, Ms and Mf are the martensite start temperature and the martensite nish temperature, respectively, and Tr is the ambient temperature. The martensite start temperature, Ms, appears in Eq. (14) because it is assumed that after the achievement of the austenite nish temperature, Af, the hysteresis of the shape memory alloy is exploited to reduce the cooling time and the actuation energy by cooling the SMA down to Ms. In this way, the SMA remains austenitic at a lower temperature. The ctitious specic heat, cAM, in Eq. (14) is dened as cAM cA c M XAM 2 Ms Mf (15)

By reasoning as for the wave spring, the geometric, electrical, and thermal properties of the helical spring can be expressed as listed in the following. Whenever applicable, the equations are developed neglecting the dead end turns of the spring. Area of the cross section, Sh Perimeter of the cross section, Ph pd Length of the helical spring, Lh pDn (24) (23) pd2 4 (22)

Ah p2 dDn (25)

where cA and cM are the austenitic and the martensitic specic heats, respectively, and XAM is the transformation enthalpy from austenite to martensite. Recalling Eqs. (4) and (5), Eq. (14) becomes   bt cAM Ms Tr (16) ln n twc Mf Tr 2b t h 2.2 Comparison Between Wave Spring and Helical Spring.

Combing Eqs. (23) and (24) the lateral area of the helical spring is

Volume of the helical spring, recalling Eqs. (22) and (24), Vh p2 d2 Dn 4


2.2.1 Definition of the Problem. This section compares the mechanical and physical properties of the wave spring with the corresponding properties of a traditional helical springs made of the same shape memory material. The primary design variables of the helical spring are the section diameter, d, the mean coil diameter, D, and the number of coils, n. The comparison is made in terms of the properties calculated in Sec. 2.1 and assumes that wave and helical springs: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) are made of the same material receive the same force undergo the same deection for given force develop the same maximum stress for given force have the same mean diameter have the same outer diameter.

Free height,

hh pDn tanb Solid height, Hh dn Electrical resistance, Rh q 4Dn d2




Conditions (b) and (c) imply also the same spring rate for both springs, while conditions (e) and (f) imply that the wire diameter of the helical spring is equal to the radial wall of the wave spring, bd (17)

Cooling time, obtained using Eqs. (14), (25), and (26),     nd cAM Ms Tr ln thc h Mf Tr 4


Under these conditions, analytical relationships between the primary design variables of the two springs can be found (see the following). The textbook equations (Ref. [10]) for the stress, sh, and the deection, fh, of the helical spring are sh 8PD3 Kb pd 3 (18)

2.2.2 Relationships Between Primary Variables. The rst constraint to be enforced is the equivalence of the maximum stresses. As helical springs undergo torsional deformation and shear stresses while wave springs are mainly subjected to bending, which produces normal stresses, the Von Mises criterion is chosen to equalize the maximum stresses, p smax 3 rmax (31)

Using Eqs. (8), (18), and (20), the stress condition (31) can be cast as JUNE 2011, Vol. 133 / 061008-3

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p Nt2 4C 3 p 3  p  tan d2 4C 2 16 2N or, alternatively, t d s p 4C 3 p 3  p  tan 4C 2 16N 2N


turns, but since the single-turn wave springs can have more waves, the normalized diagrams in the following are reported for a wider range of N. Starting from the two dimensionless ratios in Fig. 3, it is possible to normalize the properties of the wave with respect to the corresponding properties of the helical spring. This approach makes the comparison very straightforward and compact. 2.2.3 Normalized Properties of the Wave Spring. The normalized properties of the wave spring are presented normalized with respect to the properties of the helical spring and the generic normalized property X is dened as the ratio X Xw =Xh between the wave and the helical properties. The rst property of interest is the normalized mass, expressed as a ratio between the mass of the wave spring over the mass of the equivalent helical spring m mw =mh . Since the material is the same, the mass ratio equals the volume ratio m Vw =Vh , from which, using Eqs. (5) and (26), m 4tZ pd n (37)


Condition (c), mentioned earlier, of equal deection is enforced by equating Eqs. (11) and (19), 8nPD3 PD3 D b Z Ka 4 Gd Ebt3 N 4 D b (34)

Using Eq. (17) and letting G 0:5E=1 , Eq. (34) becomes N 3 n Nt2 t 1 C1 Ka Z d2 d 161  C 1 (35)

Recovering the term Nt2/d2 from Eq. (32) and recalling Eq. (10), Eq. (35) gives p Z t 5pN 3 1  3 4C 3 C 1  p  tan (36) n d 3 arctan12 2N 15 4C 2 C 1 2N Equations (33) and (36) ensure the mechanical equivalence requested by the above-presented conditions (a)(f) and represent the key tools for comparison between the two springs. Once the values for N and C are decided, from Eq. (21) the dimensionless thickness t/d is calculated. Next, with the known values for N, C, and t/d, Eq. (36) gives the ratio Z/n. Since the spring index normally varies between 5 and 12, the effect of this variable on the results is quite weak and can be disregarded (see Sec. 3). The following calculations are based on the average spring index C 8, leaving the number of waves N as the only independent variable on which the comparison is built. Based on this assumption, Fig. 3 reports the dimensionless ratio Z/n and (for the sake of clarity) the inverse of ratio t/d as functions of N. Due to manufacture restrictions, N can assume only integer or half-integer values. Normally, the wave spring producers offer springs with N in the range from 2.5 to 5.5 when there are multiple

The normalized free height, h hw =hh , is calculated from Eqs. (6) and (27). Assuming a 6 and b 12 , as typical of commercial helical and wave spring, respectively, h* becomes h 2:02 Z 1 n 2N (38)

By dividing Eqs. (7) and (28), the normalized solid height, H Hw =Hh , can be expressed as H tZ dn (39)

Concerning the electrical resistance of the wave spring, it is necessary to distinguish between the two limits of open-circuit and close-circuit models. From Eqs. (12) and (29), the normalized open-circuit resistance R ROC =Rh is given by OC R OC 4dZ ptn (40) Likewise, from Eqs. (13) and (29) the short-circuit resistance R RSC =Rh takes the following form: SC R SC p Zd 16N 2 n t (41) Finally, using and Eqs. (16) and (30), the cooling time t tw =th can be written as t c 2 1 d t (42) It is seen that all the normalized properties depend on one or more of the three variables N, t/d, and Z/n. Using Fig. 3 to calculate t/d and Z/n for any given N, the normalized properties can be cast as functions of the only variable N. Figure 4 shows the charts for the entire set of normalized functions, plotted against N. The precise numerical values of the dimensionless ratios in Fig. 3 and of the normalized properties in Fig. 4 are collected in Table 1 for the range of number of waves N considered. 2.3 Design Procedure for SMA Wave Springs. This section describes the design procedure to be followed in order to optimize the design of a SMA wave spring. The input parameters of the procedure are the following: Transactions of the ASME

Fig. 3 Dependence of dimensionless geometrical properties Z/n and d/t on the number of waves N

061008-4 / Vol. 133, JUNE 2011

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Equation (14) can be rewritten letting x ncAM =h ln Ms Tr =Mf Tr , a parameter that depends only on the boundary conditions such as the material and the room temperature, twc bt x 2b t (46)

Equation (46) is used to calculate the maximum thickness of the cross section of the wave spring needed to meet the thermal constraint, t 2btwc bx 2twc (47)

Fig. 4 Dependence of normalized spring wave properties on the number of waves, N Table 1 Values of the dimensionless ratios and normalized properties of the wave spring for several number of waves N (reference equations in boldface) N 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 Equation
t d Z n

2.3.2 Step 2. Waves and Turns, First Attempt. The second step allows the designer to assess the two peculiar parameters of a wave spring, i.e., the number of turns, Z, and the number of waves, N. By combining Eqs. (47) and (8) we found an expression which is dependent only on the number of waves, N 3PD bx 2twc 2 32 rmax tanp=2N 8b twc (48)

R OC 0.79 0.72 0.69 0.67 0.66 0.67 0.68 0.71 0.82 0.97 1.04 (40)

R SC 12.6 17.9 24.7 32.9 42.5 53.9 67.5 85.7 117.5 163.1 204.2 (41)

t c 0.55 0.45 0.38 0.33 0.30 0.27 0.24 0.22 0.20 0.19 0.18 (42)

Once the number of turns N is known, recalling Eqs. (10) and (47) the number of turns can be calculated from Eq. (45), Zf 9p2 PE 1 D b 16tbKa D r2 D b max (50) P load f deection Do maximum outer diameter Di minimum inner diameter hw maximum axial height rmax maximum stress in the material E Youngs modulus of the material twc maximum cooling time. The design procedure leads to the determination of the mean diameter, D, the cross-section width, b, the cross-section thickness, t, the number of waves, N, and the number of turns, Z. 2.3.1 Step 1. Geometry Definition. The rst step of the design procedure involves the determination of the geometry of the strip used for the wave spring. The available volume should be optimized by maximizing the geometrical variables; thus we have D o Di (43) 2 Do D i (44) D 2 Recalling expression (11) for the deection, the number of turns can be expressed as b Zf Ebt3 N 4 D b Ka PD3 D b (45) 2.3.3 Step 3. Verification. The number of turns is obtained by rounding the result from Eq. (50) to the nearest integer. The design parameters should be veried after the procedure due to the approximation given by the rounding of the two discrete variables N and Z. This approximation, which allows N to be explicitly calculated, may lead to violation of both the constraint on maximum stress and desired deection. The design procedure must be iterated increasing N and Z until the design parameters do not respect the constraints and the nal wave spring geometry is obtained. By way of example, the step-by-step procedure is applied in Sec. 2.4 to the design of the powering wave springs of a linear telescopic actuator. 2.4 Case Study: Telescopic Actuator. This case study considers the application of SMA wave springs to a telescopic actuator previously presented by Spinella et al. [11]. The wave springs (Fig. 5) replace the hollow helical springs [12,13] used in the former concept of the actuator. The telescopic architecture of the actuator is exploited to enhance the stroke of the wave springs using a reasonable amount of turns. The actuator has three concentric stages, each powered by two equal antagonistic wave springs. Each spring acts as the backup element for the other spring in the same stage so as to allow symmetric bidirectional motion of the actuator. The design constraints for the new actuator are reported in Table 2 for an actuator with 15 mm of total stroke and 10 N of maximum payload F. Figure 5(a) shows the telescopic actuator in closed position, while Fig. 5(b) shows the actuator in the uppermost position, with JUNE 2011, Vol. 133 / 061008-5

0.38 0.29 0.24 0.20 0.17 0.15 0.14 0.12 0.11 0.10 0.10 (33)

6.11 6.63 7.43 8.37 9.39 10.51 11.81 13.59 17.03 21.78 25.29 (36)

2.96 2.45 2.24 2.13 2.07 2.05 2.06 2.15 2.47 2.91 3.13 (37)

2.33 1.92 1.76 1.67 1.63 1.61 1.62 1.69 1.94 2.28 2.46 (39)

3.09 2.68 2.51 2.42 2.37 2.36 2.39 2.50 2.87 3.39 3.65 (38)

Due to the constraint on N, which must be an integer or half-integer, it is possible to approximate tan(p/2N) % p/2N, thus obtaining from Eq. (48) an explicit expression for N, s 3pPD bx 2twc 2 (49) N rmax 16b3 t2 wc

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equal to 148 s mm1 , thus the dimensions of wave spring strip can be retrieved, Do Di 30 20 5 mm 2 2 Do Di 30 20 25 mm D 2 2 2btwc t 0:21 mm bx 2twc b (54) (55) (56)

2.4.2 Step 2. The geometry of step 1 is used in combination with the material values in the martensite state in order to obtain the unrounded number of waves and turns by means of Eqs. (10), (49), and (50), s 3pFD bx 2twc 2 N rmax 16b3 t2 wc s 3p 7:5 25 5 148 2 152 4:24 (57) 110 16 53 152 Zf
Fig. 5 Scheme of the telescopic actuator powered by SMA wave springs in closed (a) and extended position (b) Table 2 Design constraints for the new telescopic actuator Internal stage Do Di S! F! L0 rmax E twc 30 mm 20 mm 4 mm Middle stage External stage

9p2 FE 1 D b 16tbKa D r2 D b max 9p2 7:5 28; 000 1 25 5 6 10:9 16 0:21 5 3:77 25 1102 25 5


40 mm 50 mm 30 mm 40 mm 5 mm 6 mm 10 N 20 mm 600 MPa (austenite) 110 MPa (martensite) EA 84 GPa (austenite) EM 28 GPa (martensite) 15s

2.4.3 Step 3. The values calculated in step 2 have to be rounded because N can be an integer or half an integer, while the number of turns, Z, must be an integer. So N 4 and Z 11 are considered as the rst attempt values. So the nearest values are taken and a verication of the constraints is performed. Equation (8) gives rmax p  p  3FD 3 7:5 25 tan tan 131:1MPa 2N 24 2bt 2N 2 5 0:21 24 (59)

the active (extended) springs on the bottom which push up the inactive (compressed) springs on the top. Before applying the step-by-step procedure described in Sec. 3, some considerations about the peculiar architecture must be drawn. The SMA elements work as antagonistic springs, so from a mechanical consideration the precompression, p, needed to meet the specics must be retrieved. Letting KH be the wave spring stiffness in the hot (austenitic) phase, KC be the wave spring stiffness in the cold (martensitic) phase, and considering two identical springs yields KH E A 3 KC EM KH p s KC p s KH KC p F (51) (52) (53)

Being higher than the maximum stress, the number of waves must be increased. With N 4.5 the stress condition is satised rmax 102:4 MPa, while Eq. (9) is used to verify the deection f Z FD3 D b Ka Ebt3 N 4 D b 7:5 253 25 5 3:75 5:99mm : 11 28000 5 0:213 4:54 25 5


which is consistent with the desired deection. The other two stages are dimensioned following the same procedure and thus not reported in the paper. The nal design variables values are collected in Table 3. The global force-stroke performance of the actuator is as follows. Maximum stroke of 15 mm at zero force, 10 mm at 6 N, 5 mm at 3 N, and a maximum force of 10 N with no available stroke.
Table 3 Design variables values for the wave springs in the telescopic actuator Internal stage D b t N Z L0 25 mm 4 11 20 mm Middle stage 35 mm 5 mm 0.21 mm 4.5 8 19 mm External stage 45 mm 5 5 14 mm

By combining Eqs. (51)(53) the stiffness of a single stage can be found, so KC 1:25, p 4 mm. Thus, considering the SMA wave spring in martensitic phase the maximum deection is f p 0:5s 6 mm and the maximum load is F 7:5 N, the two input data for the step-by-step procedure. 2.4.1 Step 1. Recalling Eqs. (43), (44), and (46) and taking n 6450 kg m3 , cAM 230 J K1 kg1 , a moderate air ow h 12 Wm2 K, and a room temperature of 20  C (Ref. [6]), x is 061008-6 / Vol. 133, JUNE 2011

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The proposed actuator, powered by SMA wave springs, is compact, easy to assemble, and shows good performance in terms of available stroke and force.


Ah Aw Af As B C cAM cA cM d D Di Do E f hh hw P G h I Ka Kb KC KH Ks Lw Lh lateral area of the helical spring lateral area of the wave spring austenite nish temperature austenite start temperature radial width of the wave spring cross section spring index of the helical spring ctitious transformation specic heat austenitic specic heat martensitic specic heat section diameter of the helical spring mean coil diameter of helical and wave springs inner diameter of the helical spring outer diameter of the helical spring Youngs modulus of the SMA material generic deection of the springs free height of the helical spring free height of the wave spring Payload of the telescopic actuator shear modulus of the SMA material coefcient of convection generic electrical current supplied to the springs coefcient of deection for the wave spring (authors) Bergstrasser factor of the helical spring stiffness of the cold wave spring in (martensitic phase) stiffness of the hot wave spring in (austenitic phase) coefcient of deection for the wave spring (Smalley) length of the wave spring length of the helical spring JUNE 2011, Vol. 133 / 061008-7

The mechanical equivalence of the wave and helical spring is condensed in the curves of Fig. 3. Enforcing the conditions of same deection and same stress is a quite severe constraint for the wave spring which has a thin section and becomes very stiff by increasing the number of waves. The spring index C is disregarded in the analysis of the springs because there is only a weak dependence on the variables depicted in Figs. 3 and 4. The main differences are for low values of C (%5) and are below 5% of the values reported in Fig. 4 for all the normalized properties. The rst consideration about the wave spring is the quite high number of turns that comes out from the values of Z/n. The assumption made upon the dead turns may explain these high values. The analysis is performed considering no dead turns for both springs in order to obtain the expressive normalized equations, but this condition penalizes the wave spring. Due to the cyclic axisymmetry of the wave spring the shim ends (Fig. 1(a)) are not strictly necessary and their axial dimension is low. The helical spring on the contrary needs at least two dead turns, which substantially increase the height of the spring. The inuence of the dead turns becomes important especially in the case of reduced axial height, which is the main eld of application of wave springs. Moreover, in order to disregard the winding angle effect there is a need for at least two or better three active turns for the helical springs. These considerations lead to the conclusion that the helical springs are not suitable when the axial dimensional constraint is really tight, while wave springs can t well. The main outcomes of the present paper are condensed in Fig. 4, which shows the analytical comparison between wave springs and traditional springs by means of normalized properties. Since the comparison is performed being equal the spring rate, the deection, the load and the internal and external diameter dimension, the paper presents a quantitatively fair comparison between helical and wave SMA springs. The normalized properties of Fig. 4 shows that the mass, the free height and the solid height of the wave spring are higher compared to helical spring, mainly due to the high ratio Z/n. Again, all this normalized values improve when the dead turns are considered for the helical spring. Moreover the wave spring manufacturer considers a maximum of N 5.5 in the case of multiple-turn springs, which reduces the problem and combined with the dead coils to be added to the traditional spring lead to comparable height and mass. On the other hand, the wave springs show a lower cooling time, which is a key factor in the SMA exploitation. One of the most critical parameter in the SMA applications is the limited mechanical bandwidth (working frequency) caused by the high cooling times. The wave spring exhibits a reduction of the cooling time which ranges from nearly one-half to one-fth (Fig. 4, t ), which c means that an actuator equipped with wave springs can theoretically reach working frequencies ve time higher than an helical spring one. SMA helical springs have a quite low electrical resistance that makes necessary current controls and drivers to command many SMA devices. Considering the wave spring geometry, the electrical resistance is strongly affected by the contact of the crests, leading to two very different values for the open-circuit resistance (crests galvanically isolated) and short-circuit resistance (perfect galvanic contact) as noticed by comparing the curves for R and R in Fig. 4. SC OC Disregarding the contact leads to a very high normalized resistance (R , scaled down by a factor of 50 in Fig. 4), hundreds of OC times higher than for the helical spring. By contrast, assuming Journal of Mechanical Design

perfect galvanic contact leads to more or less the same electrical resistance as the helical spring (R in Fig. 4). Preliminary experiS mental observations were performed on commercial steel wave springs [8]. The tests showed that the electrical resistance is not far from the open-circuit approximation [12], because even when fully compressed the crests do not lead to a good electrical contact. In the case of SMA wave springs this condition would be the same, considering that often there could be an oxidation of the titanium (a thin layer of nonconductive TiO2) present on the SMA leading to an enhanced galvanic isolation. Since the open-circuit condition is better, because it leads to faster activation times and simpler control electronics, it can be convenient in preventing metal-to-metal contacts by means of exible insulating coatings or promoting supercial oxidation. The case study presented in Sec. 2.4 highlights the merits of the SMA wave springs and illustrates the application of the step-bystep procedure. The wave springs, combined with the telescopic architecture, are very compact and exploit the SMA better than traditional springs, especially when axial constraints are tight. To sum up, the wave springs exhibit mechanical performances generally lower than helical springs, but in the specic SMA eld they have an advantage due to the quicker cooling time and the greater electrical resistance.


This paper evaluates the merits of the wave spring geometry applied to the eld of shape memory actuators. When compared to the traditional helical design, the wave geometry has two crucial advantages in the higher electric resistance (implying simpler supply electronics) and the lower cooling time (leading to higher working frequency). Although generally longer and heavier than the helical counterpart, the wave spring has no match when it is called to generate medium-low forces in very tight axial spaces. A structured design procedure is proposed to identify the optimal wave spring that satises multiphysics design requirements and constraints. The optimal wave spring geometry is exploited to design a linear telescopic actuator. This case study shows a feasible application of SMA wave springs in the actuation eld.

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m* mh mw Mf Ms n N p P Pw Ph Rh R OC ROC R SC RSC s Sw Sh Hh Hw t t c thc twc Tr Vw Vh XAM Z a b 

normalized mass of the wave spring mass of the helical spring mass of the wave spring martensite nish temperature martensite start temperature number of coils of the helical springs number of waves per coil of the wave springs precompression in the telescopic actuator generic load applied to the springs perimeter of the wave spring cross section perimeter of the helical spring cross section resistance of the helical spring normalized open-circuit electrical resistance open-circuit electrical resistance of the wave spring normalized short-circuit electrical resistance short-circuit electrical resistance of the wave spring stroke of a stage of the telescopic actuator cross section of the wave spring cross section of the helical spring solid height of the helical spring solid height of the wave spring thickness of wave spring cross section normalized cooling time of the wave spring cooling time of the helical spring cooling time of the wave spring room temperature volume of the wave spring volume of the helical spring transformation enthalpy from austenite to martensite number of turns of the wave spring winding angle of the helical spring wave angle of the wave spring Poissons ratio of the SMA material

q n rmax smax

electrical resistivity of the material density of the SMA material maximum stress in the wave spring maximum shear stress in the helical springs

[1] Banerjee, B., Bhattacharya, B., and Mallik, A. K., 2010, Optimum Discrete Location of Shape Memory Alloy Wire for Enhanced Actuation of a Compliant Link, J. Mech. Des., 132(2), 021001. [2] Okabe, Y., Sugiyama, H., and Inayoshi, T., 2011, Lightweight Actuator Structure With SMA Honeycomb Core and CFRP Skins, J. Mech. Des., 133(1), 011006. [3] Georges, T., Brailovski, V., Morellon, E., Coutu, D., and Terriault, P., 2009, Design of Shape Memory Alloy Actuators for Morphing Laminar Wing With Flexible Extrados, J. Mech. Des., 131, 091006. [4] Liang, C., and Rogers, C. A., 1992, Design of Shape Memory Alloy Actuators, J. Mech. Des., 114(2), pp. 223230. [5] Spinella, I., and Dragoni, E., 2009, Design Equations for Binary Shape Memory Actuators under Dissipative Forces, J. Mech. Eng. Sci., 223(C3), pp. 531 543. [6] Reynaerts, D., and Brussel, H. V., 1998, Design Aspects of Shape Memory Actuators, Mechatronics, 8, pp. 635656. [7] Mavroidis, D., Pfeiffer, C., Mosley, M., and Rutgers, U., 2000, Conventional Motors, Shape Memory Alloys and Electrorheological Fluids, in The Topics on NDE (TONE) Series, 1st ed., Vol. 4, pp. 189214, ASNDT, Columbus, OH. [8] [9] Dragoni, E., 1988, A Contribution to Wave Spring Design, J. Strain Anal. Eng. Des., 23(3), pp. 145153. [10] Nisbett, Budynas, R. G., and Nisbett, K. J., 2008, Shigleys Mechanical Engineering Design, 8th ed., McGraw Hill, New York. [11] Spinella, I., Spaggiari, A., and Dragoni, E., 2010, Telescopic Linear Actuator Based on Hollow Shape Memory Springs, J. Mater. Eng. Perform. (in press) [12] Spinella, I., and Dragoni E., 2010, Analysis and Design of Hollow Helical Springs for Shape Memory Actuators, J. Intell. Mater. Syst. Struct., 21(2), pp. 185199. [13] Spinella, I., Dragoni, E., and Stortiero, F., 2010, Modeling, Prototyping, and Testing of Helical Shape Memory Compression Springs With Hollow Cross Section, ASME J. Mech. Des., 132(6), 061008.

061008-8 / Vol. 133, JUNE 2011

Transactions of the ASME

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