Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Wei Sun; Montgomery Shaw

Field of Study

Mechanical Engineering


Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


An injection moldable chopped fiber composite actuator with detailed drawing and tolerances was designed within one year. A vendor was selected and a quote for injection molding tooling cost for production was obtained and the first prototype was built in addition of six months. The risks are identified and material characterization tests are proposed.

The objective of this project was redesigning an aluminum made actuator with a continuous fiber composite for weight saving purposes. After searching the literature and consulting with experts in the field it was concluded that manufacturing costs associated with continuous fiber composite are 3 times as much and weight savings are 40-60%. At this point project got shifted to a new direction.

Instead of continuous fiber, chopped fiber composite was selected, namely TORLON 5030 which is a PIA with 30% glass filler. TORLON 5030 is injection moldable which reduces the manufacturing costs associated with the machining of the current aluminum made actuator by a 92%. However the specific strength of TORLON 5030 is lower than aluminum by 20%. This means that the chopped fiber actuator would weigh if not more at least the same as aluminum actuator. In order to reduce the weight shape optimization was applied. After 12 revisions of FEA integrated with CAD stress was reduced by a factor of 10 and weight was decreased by a factor of 4.

Major Advisor

Eric Jordan