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Vibration damping and heat transfer using material phase changes

United States Patent

March 24, 2009
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A method and apparatus wherein phase changes in a material can dampen vibrational energy, dampen noise and facilitate heat transfer. One embodiment includes a method for damping vibrational energy in a body. The method comprises attaching a material to the body, wherein the material comprises a substrate, a shape memory alloy layer, and a plurality of temperature change elements. The method further comprises sensing vibrations in the body. In addition, the method comprises indicating to at least a portion of the temperature change elements to provide a temperature change in the shape memory alloy layer, wherein the temperature change is sufficient to provide a phase change in at least a portion of the shape memory alloy layer, and further wherein the phase change consumes a sufficient amount of kinetic energy to dampen at least a portion of the vibrational energy in the body. In other embodiments, the shape memory alloy layer is a thin film. Additional embodiments include a sensor connected to the material.
Kloucek; Petr (Houston, TX), Reynolds; Daniel R. (Oakland, CA)
William Marsh Rice University (Houston, TX)
10/ 866,973
June 14, 2004
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT This work was supported by grant NSF DMS-0107539, by contract number 03891-99-23 of the Department of Energy, and by grant SECTP-NAG5-8136 by NASA.