Efficiency analysis of SMA-based actuators: Possibilities of configuration according to the application Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2021

start page

  • 63


  • 3


  • 10

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2076-0825


  • Shape memory alloy (SMA) actuators have recently demonstrated their potential for various applications in fields such as robotics, medicine, aerospace, and automotive. Its features, such as low weight and high force, simplicity, noiseless operation, and low cost compared with other conventional actuator, are only a few advantages of this actuator, which is receiving increasing interest among researchers. However, the use of these actuators is still limited by some of their characteristics: high position error in the cooling stage when the actuator works at frequencies that exceed the necessary cooling time and high electrical energy consumption. Different actuator configurations can help minimize these disadvantages through modifying the length, the number of cables, or the sheath used in the actuator, which modify the characteristics of the complete system. In this work, we developed different configurations of SMA actuators and tested their performance in terms of efficiency and the position error in the cooling stage. The findings demonstrate that over-dimensioned actuators are more energetically efficient and present a faster initial form recovery. The multi-wires actuator configuration produce a better response in terms of position but are less energy efficient. These conclusions allow for the selection of the most appropriate configuration based on the requirements of each particular application.


  • Robotics and Industrial Informatics


  • sma actuators; electrical efficiency; electrical power; position response