The 0.127mm Muscle Wire® is an intriguing product from Sparkfun that is constructed from a nickel-titanium alloy, also known as Nitinol. This one-foot (305mm) wire has a unique property - it can flex and contract when exposed to a certain degree of heat or electrical current. This isn't magic, but a scientific phenomenon resulting from a transition between the wire's weaker, low-temperature form (martensitic) and its stronger, high-temperature form (austenite).
In its martensitic state, the Muscle Wire® can be bent and formed into various shapes. However, when an electrical current of approximately 200mA is applied, or when it's heated to around 100°C, it reverts to its austenite form, regaining its original shape with considerable force. You can also anneal it at roughly 500°C to create a new shape. Once the current or heat is applied again, it will return to this new shape.
The Muscle Wire® is not exactly the same as Flexinol® actuator wire, as indicated in the datasheet below. Flexinol® Actuator Wires are specifically designed for linear actuators to replace small motors or solenoids.
This Muscle Wire® has a diameter of 0.127mm and a length of 305mm. It requires a current of 200mA to transform into its austenite form. It can exert a pull force of 0.49lbs and has a resistance of 1.9 ohms/inch.
Muscle Wire® is an excellent choice for projects that require movement and flexibility. It can be used in robotics to mimic muscle movements or in interactive art installations for dynamic effects. The possibilities are endless with this versatile product from Sparkfun.