In a traditional automotive cooling system, energy optimization could be achieved by controlling the engine temperature by means of several sensors placed inside the cooling circuit. Nevertheless, in some cases the increasing use of a great number of sensor devices makes the control system too bulky, expensive and not sufficiently robust for the intended application. This paper presents the development of a heavy-duty automotive cooling axial fan with morphing blades activated by Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) strips that work as actuator elements in the polymeric blade structure. The blade was designed to achieve the activation of the strips (thermo-mechanically treated on purpose) by means of an air stream flow. With the aimof studying the morphing capability of the adaptive structure together with the recovery behavior of the NiTi strips, four different polymeric compounds have been compared in a specifically-designed wind tunnel. As the airstream flow increases its temperature, the strips recover the memorized bent shape, leading to a camber variation. To study the possibility of employing SMA strips as actuator elements, a comparison with common viscous clutchbehavior is proposed. The time range actuator response indicates that the SMA strips provide a lower frequency control that fits well with the engine coolant thermal requirement. The experimental results demonstrate the capability of SMA materials to accommodate the lower power actuators in the automotive field. This innovative passive control system results from the selection of (i) the memorized shape of the SMA strips and (ii) the polymeric compound used for the blade structure.

A Shape Memory Alloy-Based Morphing Axial Fan Blade: Functional Characterization and Perspectives

SUMAN, Alessio;FORTINI, Annalisa;MERLIN, Mattia
2015

Abstract

In a traditional automotive cooling system, energy optimization could be achieved by controlling the engine temperature by means of several sensors placed inside the cooling circuit. Nevertheless, in some cases the increasing use of a great number of sensor devices makes the control system too bulky, expensive and not sufficiently robust for the intended application. This paper presents the development of a heavy-duty automotive cooling axial fan with morphing blades activated by Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) strips that work as actuator elements in the polymeric blade structure. The blade was designed to achieve the activation of the strips (thermo-mechanically treated on purpose) by means of an air stream flow. With the aimof studying the morphing capability of the adaptive structure together with the recovery behavior of the NiTi strips, four different polymeric compounds have been compared in a specifically-designed wind tunnel. As the airstream flow increases its temperature, the strips recover the memorized bent shape, leading to a camber variation. To study the possibility of employing SMA strips as actuator elements, a comparison with common viscous clutchbehavior is proposed. The time range actuator response indicates that the SMA strips provide a lower frequency control that fits well with the engine coolant thermal requirement. The experimental results demonstrate the capability of SMA materials to accommodate the lower power actuators in the automotive field. This innovative passive control system results from the selection of (i) the memorized shape of the SMA strips and (ii) the polymeric compound used for the blade structure.
2015
Suman, Alessio; Fortini, Annalisa; Merlin, Mattia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2338838
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