Metal hydride actuator


An actuator that uses hydrogen storage alloys.

The metal hydride actuator performs mechanical work using the pressure changes of the absorbed or released hydrogen gas or the volume changes of the alloy itself. Characteristics of the metal hydride actuator include: 1) a generating force that can be controlled by temperature, 2) a high power-to-volume ratio, and 3) the ability to develop a system over a wide operating temperature range by selection of the alloy material. However, one problem is slow response. One development example introduces hydrogen gas in two pairs of metal-hydride-reaction pressure containers in the form of microcapsules into a hydraulic cylinder containing silicon oil to drive a piston. Another example uses warm and cold water provided from an external source to drive a piston in a cylinder filled with hydrogen gas.


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