Bullet Sensors & Transducers e-Digest, Vol. 197, Issue 2, February 2016: Products News

    (ISSN 1726-5479)

 

 

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Acquandas Thin Film Technology Miniaturised Metallic Components Added
to Goodfellow Range

 

 

Goodfellow and the German technology company Acquandas GmbH have formed a new partnership to offer device manufacturers micro-patterned, 2D and 2.5D integrated multi-function miniaturised components and coatings with superior performance properties.  This state-of-the-art thin film technology, which can be as thin as 5m (~0.0002 inch) up to 80m (~0.0031 inch), is produced by Acquandas in a range of materials including Nitinol (NiTi) and other superelastic or shape memory alloys, bioresorbable alloys, magnetic materials, electrical alloys and insulators. Leading manufacturing companies in healthcare and other industries looking to overcome problems and limitations with existing miniaturised components will be able to benefit from this new thin film materials technology, now available via Goodfellow, to develop next generation smart devices and instrumentation.

 

Acquandas is located on the University of Kiel campus where it has its offices, production units and use of the Institute for Materials Science 'Kieler Nanolabor' clean room and research laboratory facilities. All miniaturised components are custom designed and manufactured to order from CAD drawings using the proven thin film microsystem processes and techniques developed by the founders of Acquandas: Dr.-Ing Rodrigo Lima de Miranda, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Eckhard Quandt, and Andreas Schьssler PhD, who together set up the company in 2012 to commercialise their knowledge and expertise, after many years of scientific work at leading research centres in Germany focusing on intelligent thin film materials, especially NiTi Shape Memory and Superelastic materials.

 

According to Acquandas, and supported by several peer reviewed published articles in key material science journals (e.g. Shap. Mem. Superelasticity, (2015) 1:286-293), it can batch manufacture the thinnest film based NiTi 'smart alloy' metallic components currently available. NiTi metallic components have been successfully produced by the Acquandas team at sub 80m miniaturisation levels down to as thin as 5m with feature resolution of 1-10m (compared with 15m 5m for a conventional NiTi film) and with a very high level of purity. The high purity of the Acquandas NiTi film results in significantly enhanced 'ultralow' fatigue endurance capabilities of its shape memory alloy thin films, proven under controlled test conditions, to be able to perform at least 10 million transformation cycles without any changes in functional behaviour (NiTiCu alloy) (Science 348 (2015), 1004).

 

Independent comparative tests of conventional NiTi and Acquandas sputtered thin films have been carried out and published by Siekmeyer et al. in the Journal of Material Engineering and Performance. Their findings include comparative graphs and data tables which clearly show the superior mechanical properties and fatigue behaviour of the Acquandas NiTi thin film, most notably up to 200% higher fatigue alternating strain data, reaching 1.4-1.5% (@ mean strain 1.5-2.0%) compared with only ~0.5% alternating strain levels for the conventional NiTi tested.

 

The proprietary Acquandas microsystem technology and techniques incorporate three key process interfaces: UV-lithography, magnetron sputtering and wet chemical etching, with final stages of the production process being heat treatment and shape setting. Two thin film fabrication modes are available to cover both initial new product development (for prototype and small volume development) and full scale manufacturing (for high volume production). Goodfellow will also provide customers with FEM and CAD based design training with this thin film technology and welcomes design development partner collaboration.

 

Acquandas thin film technology based components now offer device manufacturers major step change benefits in design scope, performance and product capabilities. Complex, next generation miniaturised smart devices can now be cost effectively developed and batch manufactured with significantly higher mechanical properties, increased integrated device functionality and a longer service life.

 

New application opportunities are currently under development in healthcare to manufacture the next generation of self-expanding, biocompatible and bioresorbable implant devices and intelligent medical instruments. This miniaturised technology is also being increasingly applied in defence, aerospace, automotive, telecommunications, test equipment and manufacturing automation applications. Examples of industrial applications include the use of shape memory alloy based electrical actuators for robotic applications and latest microelectromechanical (MEMS) technology to manufacture miniaturised electronic relays, position sensing linear actuators, micro relays, micro valves and micro pumps.

 

This new partnership with Acquandas is part of an ongoing strategic focus by Goodfellow to expand its portfolio of materials and services for its global research and industry customer base, to be able to supply the very latest materials commercially available.

 

 

About Goodfellow

 

Goodfellow is a leading supplier of metals, polymers, ceramics and other materials to meet the needs of science and industry worldwide. The company offers a flexible service as needed, supplying small quantities (from a few grams to several kilos) of metals and materials for research, new product development and for making prototypes, as well as larger batch quantities for specialised production parts in a wide range of applications.

 

Standard products can be found in the comprehensive Goodfellow online catalogue containing over 500 materials in 32 forms at www.goodfellow.com

 

Goodfellow was originally established in the City of London in 1946. Today, the Company now has associate operations in France, Germany, America and China. The Group's research laboratories, production and workshop facilities, and central administration are located in Huntingdon, England.

 

Goodfellow Ceramics and Glass Division was formed in 2008 after the acquisition of Technical Glass Cambridge Ltd. Through this division, Goodfellow is now also able to offer specialist glass and ceramics finished components to customer drawings and specifications. Further information can be found online at www.goodfellow-ceramics.com

 

 

 

Contact:

 

Ermine Business Park,

Huntingdon, England PE29 6WR
Tel.: 0800 731 4653 (UK) or +44 1480 424 800
Fax: 0800 328 7689 (UK) or +44 1480 424 900

E-mail: acquandas@goodfellow.com

Web: http://www.goodfellow.com/

2.5D components

 

2.5D components.

 

Miniaturised Nitinol (NiTi) metallic components

 

Miniaturised Nitinol (NiTi) metallic components have been successfully produced by Acquandas down to as thin as 5 μm up to 80 μm with
feature resolution of 1-10 μm.

 

Acquandas Integrated function components

 

Acquandas Integrated function components.

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