Description of Available Facilities Materials and Structures Lab Active Materials Lab

Active Materials Laboratory at Texas A&M-006

The Active Materials Laboratory at Texas A&M has recently added the ability to perform non-proportional loading experiments, thermo-mechanical tests, as well as thermal analyses. In addition, the material used in any or all of the aforementioned tests may be evaluated microstructurally by established metallographic techniques.

A mechanical test frame with the ability to load in tension and torsion enables successful 2-D characterization and modeling of Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs). To this same end, the Differential Scanning Calorimeter allows for measurement of transformation temperatures and latent heat associated with the phase transformation present in SMAs. In addition, a widefield metallograph and image analysis system permits the microstructural study SMAs. The metallograph and image analysis system complement an automatic polisher and provide detailed images that can relate microstructural changes to observed mechanical behavior.

Research Objectives

  • Use the test frame for constitutive measurement of SMAs thermomechanical fatigue life.
  • Establish a testing protocol for the evaluation of SMA actuator fatigue life.
  • Perform tests for the determination of fatigue life.
  • Determine the factors which govern the fatigue life of NiTi SMAs.
  • Develop a Compact SMA Actuator

Linear Actuator
Quench Furnace
Quench Furnace Glowing