Vaporizing Foil Actuator: A Tool for Creating Lightweight Structures
Our group has recently been developing novel applications for the phenomenon of rapidly vaporized thin metal conductors. In this process, electrical energy stored in a capacitor bank is released through a switched circuit that contains a thin metal conductor. When the energy deposition rate into the conductor is very high -- which happens when the current in the circuit reaches its maximum very quickly -- the metal conductor can be heated above its energy of sublimation before it has time to melt. Thus the metal conductor vaporizes directly into a gas that expands rapidly, spurred by the extra energy deposited above the energy of sublimation. This pressure pulse from the expanding gas can be used to drive workpieces for various purposes, such as forming, shearing, tube expansion, and small-scale collision welding.
Vivek, A., Brune, R. C., Hansen, S. R., & Daehn, G. S. (2014). Vaporizing foil actuator used for impulse forming and embossing of titanium and aluminum alloys.Β Journal of Materials Processing Technology,Β 214(4), 865-875.
Vivek, A., Taber, G. A., Johnson, J. R., Woodward, S. T., & Daehn, G. S. (2013). Electrically driven plasma via vaporization of metallic conductors: A tool for impulse metal working.Β Journal of Materials Processing Technology,Β 213(8), 1311-1326.
Vaporizing Foil Actuators: A Tool for Collision Welding