Commercial applications take two forms, one is introduction of these tubes to control variable nacelle structures, for example in Boeings new concept. More aerodynamically efficient structures via actuation control can also be introduced into windmills and turbines for more efficient energy generation. Light weight torsional actuators can also find application in assisting the disabled, for example as a lift device, as the cost of the device could be reduced to levels similar for hydraulic actuators but with less bulk. If the cost can be reduced sufficiently , this SME technology can be introduced within the broader cast of SME actuators now being introduced into the vehicle fleet.
The development of porous foam TiNi torsional actuators fits into a niche of a large torque, large strain, fast response, solid state actuator. Our initial thoughts on NASA applications are to introduce these into new NASA concepts, such as in "morphing" UAVs, or such as the concept vehicles where wing twist can be used to control flexible wing structures. In addition to aircraft, the torsional actuators can also be used for deployment of booms, both for deploying sensors in aircraft but also in spacecraft where the lightweight, minimal part count actuators could be heated electrically. For next generation shuttles, where the actuators must also be space qualified, this type of actuator to control wing twist, nacelle structures or ancillary aircraft structures would be of great benefit.