Connecting Flexinol Actuator-Muscle Wire to Wiring

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by Jaime Patarroyo

Actuator wires are one type of shape-memory alloys that contract like muscles when heated. The heat necessary to put the wire into action can be produced by driving electricity through it. Actuator/Muscle Wires can often be used instead of motors and are silent and easier to use. Dynalloy, Inc. offers a wide variety of wire diameters with different characteristics, you can choose depending needs, and the connections should be the same.

As some other actuators, Flexinol Actuator/Muscle Wire needs a big amount of current for doing it’s job. This means that the Wiring board itself it’s not going to supply enough current to get the wire working at it’s best and we need to use a Mosfet Switch, a TRIAC Optocupler, a Relay or a general purpose optocoupler (4N35) like the one used in the example beneath.

For additional information about Flexinol Actuator/Muscle Wire check this link.

Download Fritzing part.‎


Setup diagram

FlexinolActuatorWire.jpg


Code

/**
 * Flexinol Actuator/Muscle Wire
 * by Jaime Patarroyo
 *
 * turns on and off a Flexinol Actuator/Muscle Wire with the help of an
 * optocoupler 4N35 connected to digital pin 8, with intervals of 5
 * seconds (5000 milliseconds).
 * 
 */

int muscleWirePin = 8;  // Optocoupler anode pin connected to digital pin 8.

void setup()
{
  pinMode(muscleWirePin, OUTPUT);      // Sets the digital pin as output.
}

void loop()
{
  digitalWrite(muscleWirePin, HIGH);   // Connects the optocoupler and
                                       // turns on the Muscle Wire.
  delay(5000);                         // Waits for 5 seconds.

  digitalWrite(muscleWirePin, LOW);    // Disconnects the optocoupler and
                                       // turns off the Muscle Wire.
  delay(5000);                         // Waits for 5 seconds.
}


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