Shape memory polymer (SMP) foams can be used to manufacture actuators with tailored actuation rate. Being related to foam shape recovery by heating, SMP actuator operates by conversion of heat into motion. In the current study, a SMP linear actuator has been manufactured which is able to apply a maximum load of 50 N (depending on the recovery temperature) and a maximum stroke up to 30 mm. The actuator had a cylindrical shape and its piston had a diameter of 16 mm, therefore a maximum applied pressure about 2.5 bar. The active element (i.e. SMP foam) was produced by solid state foaming of an epoxy resin, and its shaping was performed in the same metallic frame of the actuator. Results show that small and medium-size actuators can be easily produced and operated.

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