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29 March 2010 Active material based active sealing technology: Part 1. Active seal requirements vs. active material actuator properties
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Current seals used for vehicle closures/swing panels are essentially flexible, frequently hollow structures whose designs are constrained by numerous requirements, many of them competing, including door closing effort (both air bind and seal compression), sound isolation, prevention of water leaks, and accommodation of variations in vehicle build. This paper documents the first portion of a collaborative research study/exploration of the feasibility of and approaches for using active materials with shape and stiffness changing attributes to produce active seal technologies, seals with improved performance. An important design advantage of an active material approach compared to previous active seal technologies is the distribution of active material regions throughout the seal length, which would enable continued active function even with localized failure. Included as a major focus of this study was the assessment of polymeric active materials because of their potential ease of integration into the current seal manufacturing process. In Part 1 of this study, which is documented in this paper, potential materials were evaluated in terms of their cost, activation mechanisms, and mechanical and actuation properties. Based on these properties, simple designs were proposed and utilized to help determine which materials are best suited for active seals. Shape memory alloys (SMA) and electroactive polymers (EAP) were judged to be the most promising.
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Christopher P. Henry, William Carter, Guillermo A. Herrera, Geoffrey P. McKnight, Alan L. Browne, Nancy L. Johnson, and Imad F. Bazzi "Active material based active sealing technology: Part 1. Active seal requirements vs. active material actuator properties", Proc. SPIE 7645, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2010, 76450H (29 March 2010);

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