Browse Prior Art Database

Cover Clamp and Security Access Control Element

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000116292D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 66K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Dombrowski, C: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a clamping device employing a nickel-titanium Shape Memory Alloy (SMA), such as Nitinol, a holding device with teeth or latching surfaces, and a heater element. Under normal conditions, the device holds two covers clamped together. When the heater is activated, the shape memory allow tends to flatten, opening the clamping device so that the covers can be separated.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Cover Clamp and Security Access Control Element

      Disclosed is a clamping device employing a nickel-titanium
Shape Memory Alloy (SMA), such as Nitinol, a holding device with
teeth or latching surfaces, and a heater element.  Under normal
conditions, the device holds two covers clamped together.  When the
heater is activated, the shape memory allow tends to flatten, opening
the clamping device so that the covers can be separated.

      The Figure is a fragmentary cross-sectional elevation of a
system 1 having an upper cover 2 and a lower cover 3 held together by
a clamping device 4.  The clamping device 4 includes, attached to
lower cover 3, a preload spring 5, an SMA actuator 6, and a heater
circuit 7.  Extending from upper cover 2, the clamping device 4
includes a clamping tab 8 having tooth surfaces 9.  Electrical
current from, for example, a DC power input derived through an AC
adapter 10 external to the system 1, is applied to the heater circuit
7 through a security check circuit 11.

      When sufficient heat is applied to SMA actuator 6 by heater
circuit 7, the actuator 6 tends to flatten, applying outward forces
to preload spring 5 so that the jaws 12 thereof are separated to
release tooth surfaces 9 of tab 8.  This phenomenon can be used both
to facilitate the separation of covers 2 and 3, as required for
maintenance or reconfiguration of devices within system 1, and to
facilitate the assembly of covers 1 and 2 to each other.  In the
assembly operation, current is applied to heater circuit 7, so that
tab 8 and preload spring 5 come together as the contacts of a
zero-insert...