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Case Study: Thermal Micro Actuators for Nanotechnologies

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Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) offer a wide range of possible applications in the field of nanotechnology. Everyday examples are the position recognition of mobile phones and the use in airbags, digital cameras or pacemakers. Other applications can be found above all in the field of miniaturised medical diagnostics. Growing demands on miniaturisation affect both the system solutions required for this and the sensors and control elements to be developed.

The professorship was able to transfer 20 years of experience gained in the domain of electrostatic actuators to thermally driven actuators. The latter allow the use of electron microscopes for MEMS analysis, which would not have been an option with electrostatic actuators. Prototypes for thermal actuators have already been developed at Chemnitz University of Technology enabling motion control with an accuracy of up to 2 µm and 0.3°. Achieving such precision requires a precise analysis of the material parameters on the actuators used. As expected with thermal actuators, the most important factor is measuring the component temperature as accurately as possible. Due to the very small dimensions and mechanical characteristics of these measurement objects, only the most sophisticated infrared cameras come into consideration. A microscopic lens was selected and combined with the large infrared detector of the ImageIR® 9300 with (1,280 × 1,024) IR pixels to achieve a resolution in the µm range and a large field of view to capture the peripheral components around the actuators.

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Case Study: Infrared Thermography for Determining Heat Transfer Coefficients

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Technical systems and devices are often subject to the influence of thermal energy or heat up due to internal processes. Their efficiency and service life can be increased, for example, by optimised thermal management. The installed active components are usually optimised extensively for this purpose. Passive components, on the other hand, are often neglected in this respect.

Research activities, such as those at the Institute of Thermodynamics of Leibniz University Hannover (IfT), show that there is great potential for reducing energy requirements and increasing power densities. Scientists there use infrared thermography to analyse the heat transfer to surfaces in order to increase it in the future by means of suitable measures.

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DIC in Ballistic Testing Research

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Correlated Solutions VIC-2D and VIC-3D products have been involved in a number of published articles. The below research into depth of indentation caused by projectiles is just one example.


Several three-dimensional scanning methods have been developed and improved over the past 40 years. The peculiarities of each technique, associated with the computational advances of the period, allowed the increasing application and diffusion of the technology in several sectors, among them those related to metrology in ballistics and the testing of protective materials. The specific goal of such ballistic tests is to estimate the depth of indentation caused by projectiles. In particular, this study presents a comparative analysis between two three-dimensional optical scanning methods, taking into account the same object of interest. The comparative analysis was based on reference planes detected by Random Sample Consensus methodology in each cloud. By comparing the results of the different techniques, it was found for this case that three-dimensional reconstruction by stereo images estimated values closer to the real ones in comparison to those estimated by the structured light scanner, mainly due to the fact that, for three-dimensional reconstruction, the image acquisition was conducted statically.

Stereo image capture process: (a) test setup for stereo image capture and (b) 3D reconstruction software


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