Nitinol Heat Engine Kit
Heat Engine - Nitinol Metal Engine driven by hot and cold water.
The Heat Engineis a very special kind of heat engine that demonstrates
the conversion of heat energy into mechanical energy. Based upon the
work of Dr. Alfred Johnson who was granted a patent on this type of heat engine in 1977 patent # 4,055,955.
It uses the unique property of Nitinol alloy to generate mechanical motion from heat. Nitinol has trained into a shape at high temperature (about 600° C) and allowed to cool to room temperature, where it can be easily deformed and welded into a loop.
When heated above a transition temperature (in this application about 50° C to 70° C) the Nitinol object abruptly returns to its high-temperature shape with a substantial force that is able to drive the pulleys and thus create motion.
See the Heat Engine in action!
Nitinol Heat Engine
This fully assembled Nitinol Heat Engine works like an engine without any visible power source. As a shape memory alloy, the Nitinol wire reacts to small changes in temperature converting low temperature thermal energy into mechanical energy and driving the engine as it tries to return to its "remembered shape".
The wheels of the Thermobile will continue to spin as long as it remains heated. To start the engine, simply immerse the edge of the smaller pulley into a water bath between 45 and 90 degrees Celsius and spin the larger pulley.
8" long x 1" thick, 4 oz.
Clear acrylic handle with aluminum pulleys and looped Nitinol wire.
Operating Temperature: 45 - 90 degrees Celsius. (105 - 200F)