Design Evolution in the Manufacturing of MSM Micropumps

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Peter Müllner


Ni-Mn-Ga is a magnetic shape memory (MSM) alloy which shape-morphs when exposed to a magnetic field. A localized magnetic field creates a localized shrinkage on an MSM element. Variations of the magnetic field cause the shrinkage to move along the element creating a pump without moving parts The microfluidic pumps consist of a Ni-Mn-Ga element enclosed in a plastic housing and sealed with an elastomer.

Results from previous pump designs indicate that primary failure causes are related to the thin elastomer seal between the Ni-Mn-Ga and supportive top plate. Thus, our current design uses a thicker pre-cured elastomer seal. The pumping surface of the Ni-Mn-Ga element is then treated with a release agent, and the housing and element sides are primed for increased adhesion. Once this membrane is cured, the element is placed between the alignment slots of the bottom plate and the two plates are mechanically joined, creating a seal. Elastomer is injected through the holes in the top plate with a peristaltic pump. We expect this next design evolution of the MSM micropump to be both reliable and easy to manufacture, allowing for utilization in future scientific and commercial applications.

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