4F30.60 Nitinol Engine

Concepts

Heat engine, shape-memory alloy

Overview

A heat engine consisting of a loop of Nitinol wire running on two pulleys. When the smaller pulley is dipped into a cup of hot water the loop of wire rotates.

Details

Equipment

  • [1] Thermobile
  • [1] Mug
  • [1] Immersion heater or kettle
  • Water

Script

  1. Boil the water using an electric kettle.
  2. Pour boiling water into a mug.
  3. Wait for 2 to 3 minutes until the water temperature drops to about 80° celcius.
  4. Immerse the brass wheel about half way into the hot water and observe the wire rotates.

 

Additional Resources

References

  • PIRA 4F30.60 
  • Spence, RD and Michael J. Harrison "Demonstration Solid State Engine", AJP 52(12), 1144-5 (Dec. 1984) 
  • Johnson, AD and JL McNichols "Comments on 'Demonstration Solid State Engine'", AJP 54(8), 745-6 (Aug 1986) 
  • Kauffman, George B and Isaac Mayo "The ThermobileTM: A Nitinol-Based Scientific Toy" J. Chem. Educ. 75, 313 (1998)

Disclaimer

  • Don't attempt this at home!

Last revised

  • 2018

Technicals

  • We have a model of a loop comprised of a length of thread and a short length of wire on two pulleys. The wire simulates the high temperature phase of the Nitinol. If the wire is wound onto one of the pulleys and let go, the loop will rotate until the wire is off the pulley. The operation is not continuous.

Related AV

Related demos

 

If you have any questions about the demos or notes you would like to add to this page, contact Ricky Chu at ricky_chu AT sfu DOT ca.