The integration of shape memory (SM) wires in additive manufacturing (AM) processes and components, either as actuators or sensors, holds enormous potential for future developments. For example, a sensor or an actuator function could be integrated into a component already during the manufacturing process. This integration can eliminate downstream assembly steps and improve the flexibility of the component design. In addition to (complex) components, the AM process can also be used to attach connecting elements to the wire, ensuring an improved connection of the wire to other components like an actuator housing.
The integration of SM wires into an AM process will be further investigated in the following and feasibility validated by initial trials. Powder bed fusion – laser beam/metal (PBF-LB/M) is used as an AM process; thereby blocks are welded to the wire in the context of this work as proof of concept. Long-term and tensile tests are carried out to evaluate the functional and mechanical properties of the manufactured compounds. Moreover, images of a scanning electron microscope (SEM) in combination with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) provide further information about the generated compound.