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Bi-Directional , Single Material Thermal Actuator

Abstract: 

A thermal actuator includes a first arm having a proximal end and a distal end, a second arm, parallel to the first arm, having a proximal end and a distal end, and a third arm arranged between and parallel to the first and second arms, the third arm having a proximal end and a distal end. The third arm has at least one portion at the distal end of the third arm having a width that is substantially larger than a width of the first arm and a width of the second arm. The distal ends of the first, second and third arms are coupled together to form a distal end of the thermal actuator, and the first, second and third arms preferably are made of a single material. A number of thermal actuators can be arranged in an array. The thermal actuator or array of thermal actuators can be coupled to an applicator.

Patent Number: 
6,608,714
Date Of Issue: 
08/19/2003
Inventors: 

Heather S. Hanson; Joseph N. Mitchell