A 4D printed active compliant hinge for potential space applications using shape memory alloys and polymers
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseIn Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
This paper presents the proof-of-concept for a 4D printed active compliant hinge with a selectively variable stiffness for the deployment and reorientation of satellite appendages. We use 4D printing to create an active compliant hinge capable of bending to a given angular position, holding the position without consuming energy and reorienting itself multiple times in a slow and controlled manner without using rigid mechanisms and, therefore, requiring no lubrication. The deployment and the reorientation of the hinge are achieved by exploiting thermally induced stiffness modulation of one of the constituting materials and two antagonistic shape memory alloy actuators. The hinge is specifically designed for the case study of a 6U CubeSat with two orientable solar panels. In this work, we first explain the working principle of the hinge and propose three different actuation strategies to increase the energy collection of the considered CubeSat. Second, we describe the specific functional and geometric requirements of the hinge, the resulting design and the fabricated functional prototype. The latter is tested in a standard laboratory environment to measure the range of motion, the energy consumption and the actuation time. Finally, the feasibility of the three proposed actuation strategies is evaluated considering the corresponding net increase in collected energy. The results show that the hinge is compatible with the stowing requirements and capable of achieving maximum angular positions larger than 90° in both directions and holding any intermediate position with an accuracy of less than 3°. The three actuation strategies considered lead, in a standard laboratory environment, to an increase in energy generation between 54% and 72%. Show more
Journal / seriesSmart Materials and Structures
Pages / Article No.
PublisherThe Electrochemical Society
Subject4D printing; Shape memory alloys; shape memory polymers; Satellite; Variable stiffness
Organisational unit02130 - Dep. Maschinenbau und Verfahrenstechnik / Dep. of Mechanical and Process Eng.
03954 - Shea, Kristina / Shea, Kristina
03507 - Ermanni, Paolo / Ermanni, Paolo
03692 - Spolenak, Ralph / Spolenak, Ralph
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