In machine tool engineering, the impact of thermal issues on machine precision and efficiency has been outlined in numerous studies. One of the major challenges is the energy-efficient distribution of heat within the machine structure. In order to control occurring heat fluxes without additional energy input into the machine tool, smart materials can be used for load-dependent adjustment of heat transfer characteristics.

The present study illustrates the development and examination of heat transfer switch mechanisms using shape memory alloys. Experimental and numerical results demonstrate how different types of actuators can be used to enable an energy self-sufficient thermal switch function between heat source and heat sink. Different scenarios are considered and the combination of thermal switches with highly conductive heat-transfer devices and latent heat storages is evaluated.

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