Two-spring model for active compression textiles with integrated NiTi coil actuators

B. Holschuh, D. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This paper describes the development and implementation of a two-spring model to predict the performance of hybrid compression textiles combining passive elastic fabrics and integrated NiTi shape memory alloy (SMA) coil actuators. An analytic model that treats passive fabric- SMA coil systems as conjoined linear springs is presented to predict garment passive and active counter-pressure as a function of 11 design variables. For a fixed SMA coil design (encompassing five design variables), the model predicts that passive fabric material modulus, initial length, width and thickness determine both passive counter-pressure magnitude and activation stroke length, and that passive and active pressures are highly dependent on the relative un stretched lengths of the conjoined SMA-fabric system compared to the total limb circumference. Several passive fabrics were tested to determine their moduli and to generally assess the fabric linearity model assumption: two fabrics (spandex and neoprene) were found to behave linearly up to 200% strain, while two other fabrics (flat polyester elastic and a tri laminate Lycra) were found to be nonlinear in the same strain envelope. Five hypothetical compression tourniquet designs are presented using experimentally determined fabric characteristics and previously studied SMA actuators developed at MIT. The performance of each tourniquet design is discussed with a specific focus on mechanical counter-pressure (MCP) space suit design requirements, with designs presented that achieve the full MCP design specification (> 29.6 kPa) while minimizing (< 5 mm) garment thickness. The modeling framework developed in this effort enables compression garment designers to tailor counter pressure and activation stroke properties of active compression garments based on a variety of design parameters to meet a wide range of performance specifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035011
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • active materials
  • active textiles
  • compression garments
  • nickel titanium
  • shape memory alloy
  • smart structures
  • wearable technology


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