Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2019


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Robert Marks

Second Advisor

Christopher Kitts


The purpose of this project is to design, test, and build a temperature-controlled environment chamber to enable tensile testing of shape memory alloy (SMA) wire specimens at a temperatures ranging from 80-200°C. The most important design specifications were a maximum exterior wall temperature of 40°C and a maximum temperature variation along the specimen length of ±5°C, with end users' ease- of-use considered. Hand calculations and iterative finite element analysis (FEA) simulations in SolidWorks were used to verify design choices before proceeding with sourcing parts and materials, and assembly. Real-world implementation of the system showed a heat-up time of roughly 25 minutes to 200°C (maximum operating temperature), with a maximum power consumption of 800 W, and with a wall temperature exceeding the safe threshold of 40°C only after 2 hours of continuous operation. The environment chamber and its accompanying hardware can be installed on a tensile testing machine and set up for use in under 10 minutes. Future work should entail heating wire specimens within the chamber and measuring the temperature variation along the specimen length, with the goal of achieving a maximum variation of ±5°C. If this criterion is met, then the environment chamber can be used to proceed with tensile testing of the SMA specimens.