Alex Bowes

Alex Bowes

Product Design Engineering BSc

Nitinol Powered Automotive Mirror Actuator

The shape memory properties of nitinol springs provide an opportunity to reduce the cost and weight of current DC motor powered car mirror actuators. Forces they generate while attempting to change shape effectively motorise the actuator, while a suitable mechanism provides the rigidity to the system. Methods have been found to accommodate for the effect of ambient temperature on the heat sensitive alloy, while the design also shows promise in dealing with vehicle excitation inputs. The project involved constructing prototypes to prove the motion of the actuator and test it against certain conditions. A final form for the product was also designed using CAD software, with various tools such as draft and motion analysis used to confirm its feasibility.