A Thermal-Expansion-Type Microactuator with Paraffin as the Expansive Material

Nobuyuki Kabei, Masayuki Kosuda, Hideki Kagamibuchi, Ryoichi Tashiro, Hitoshi Mizuno, Yasuhiro Ueda, Kiichi Tsuchiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Our aim is to develop a microactuator for use in endoscopie-surgery. The purpose of this study was to construct cylinder-piston-type microactuators actuated by thermal expansion of paraffin. We use paraffin as the material for expansion because paraffin has a large coefficient of expansion in the temperature range of 35 to 45 degrees centigrade. For smooth actuation of the piston, we must prevent the paraffin from sticking to the inside surface of the cylinder. Thus, the paraffin is enclosed in a silastic tube. The cavity between the cylinder and the tube is filled with silicone oil for lubrication and prevention of expansion loss. The outer diameter of the actuator is 2.5 mm and its length is 130 mm. The actuator can generate a stroke of 8 mm against a load of 1 kg.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)736-742
Number of pages7
JournalJSME International Journal, Series C: Mechanical Systems, Machine Elements and Manufacturing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Actuator
  • Endoscope
  • Micromachine
  • Paraffin
  • Thermomotor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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