Smart materials use in active disassembly 2012 paper

Smart materials use in active disassembly, Can also be viewed on this blog.

Document Information:
Title: Smart materials use in active disassembly
Author(s): Joseph Chiodo, (Active Disassembly Research Ltd, London, UK), Nick Jones, (Active Disassembly Research Ltd, London, UK)
Citation: Joseph Chiodo, Nick Jones, (2012) “Smart materials use in active disassembly”, Assembly Automation, Vol. 32 Iss: 1, pp.8 – 24
Keywords: AutomationMaterials
Article type: General review
DOI: 10.1108/01445151211198683 (Permanent URL)
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract: Purpose – Smart materials (SMs) have the potential for facilitating active disassembly (AD). Select SMs are used in the design of devices to aid product disassembly. The purpose of this paper is to compare different AD approaches and highlight future work and potential.
Design/methodology/approach – This work is a survey of the collated AD research employing only Smart and “made Smart” materials work from various published work in the field from companies and academia since its original invention. The introduction gives general discussion of AD with cost implications and how the technology could offer very lean dismantling. An overview of the history of the work is given with the context of the implications for the need for a technology like AD to retain critical materials.Findings – Besides a survey to date, comparisons were made of each AD technology application highlighting advantages and challenges. Comparisons were also made prior to this in alternative disassembly strategies to give context to the potential usefulness of the technology.Practical implications – Only AD with SMs or “made Smart” were highlighted with some considerations for potential candidates.

Originality/value – A survey of AD work only employing SMs and “made-Smart” materials to date. Comparisons of each AD application were made highlighting advantages and challenges. Comparisons were made between AD and alternative disassembly strategies to give context to the potential usefulness of the technology. The conclusion included an overview of work with consideration for future work. A candidate technology with the most potential was discussed.

The paper can be accessed from:

Emerald Journal: Assembly Automation, ISSN: 0144-5154


FYI: Various related this blog:

Shape Memory Material Blog (also Smart Materials)

Design for Disassembly Blog   but it’s a cross blog topic:


What “could be” …. current R&D and master website:

active disassembly, Active Disassembly using Smart Materials, AD, ADSM, Dr. Joseph Chiodo, Dr. Nick Jones, Shape Memory Alloys, Shape Memory Polymer, SMA, SMP, materials ‘made-Smart’, survey, 2012


ADSM from China

A very recent publication just released in China on ‘Active Disassembly’ (AD) and ‘Active Disassembly using Smart Materials’ (ADSM). See this also here.

Zhifeng Liu, Xinyu Li, Huanbo Cheng and Yifei Zhan 

Hefei University of Technology 



Basic review of the paper:

The first third of the paper is centred around work conducted by Chiodo with further work conducted by others with assessments. Much of this work is by Liu, Li, Cheng and Zhan. 

“This chapter discusses the principles of multi-step active disassembly, proposes the method of products multi-step active disassembly and divides the step of product parts according to the step division principle of multi-step active disassembly products. In addition, this chapter also proposes step division process of multi-step active disassembly products and determines parts in each step according to the process. Materials which have the same trigger medium and different trigger strength are used as active disassembly material, ensuring that trigger strength (such as temperature, magnetic field strength, etc) of active disassembly device which is in different disassembly step forms gradient. Trigger strength of active disassembly device increases along with the disassembly step from low to high. The joints which are in the same disassembly step use the active disassembly devices which have the same trigger strength. In different disassembly steps, install active disassembly parts according to the gradient. Lastly, disassemble the products by sending it to the different work areas.”


FYI: Various related this blog:

Shape Memory Material Blog (also Smart Materials)

Design for Disassembly Blog   but it’s a cross blog topic:

What “could be” …. current R&D and master website:

active disassembly, Active Disassembly using Smart Materials, AD, ADSM, ADSM in China, Cheng, Dr. Joseph Chiodo, Li, Liu, Shape Memory Alloys, Shape Memory Polymer, SMA, SMP, Zhan,

Shape Memory Polymers (SMPs) – Current Research and Future Applications

Professor Wei Min Huang has been doing some great work lately. I’ve been looking over his work in the last while. He has a nice collection of work using ‘Shame Memory Polymers’ (SMP).

I use SMP in some of the ‘Active Disassembly’ (AD) technology I work with.

I highly recommend looking at Prof. Huang’s work here:

You can also see more on this at:

Active Disassembly and Nokia on

A write up from my work with Nokia. I seem to have missed this article then. The whole piece can be found here.

Directly from the piece: ARIEL SCHWARTZ | 03-14-2011

Design for Disassembly

As a detoxification strategy, design for disassembly is concerned primarily with disassembling computers and cell phones easily into their component parts in order to ensure that heavy metals do not end up in landfills.

Active disassembly is a method of disassembling products into their separate components by creating gadgets that can break apart just by being exposed to heat or magnetism. It allows for a clean, nondestructive, quick and efficient method of component separation. This saves money, and the materials can be recovered more efficiently.

Utilizing active disassembly, Nokia has created a prototype of a cell phone that dissembles itself in two seconds. Today, most cell phones and other small electronics are shredded instead of taken apart for recycling, because the disassembly time is too expensive for the amount of material reclaimed.


(Active) Disassembly and Facebook after the IPO

So what does AD and Facebook have in common? Well nothing… yet. That is, what could any large technology software based company have with AD? Perhaps Google has done for software (turned hardware) what others may do in the future. RIM (BlackBerry) too has been ‘kind of’ successful at doing both… well almost if it wasn’t for of late.

Competition is rising for social media products as is for the hardware presented. Markets are shrinking and costs of production have reached bottom and trended upward over the last year. And this is due to commodity costs. Critical materials, especially rare earth elements and precious metals cost much more than a few short years ago. Even the oil required to make the polymer components has doubled. Sustainability is as much to do with purchasing power as it does with that purchased.

What if Facebook designed a cell phone, a tablet or a computer that was sold, returned and remanufactured in the West? What if the remanufactured goods were designed in such a state that by using in situ components, production costs could be slashed?

I’m not saying it’s cheaper or practical yet, it isn’t when currency valuations make production so cheap in S.E.Asia. But how long will this go on for? The possibilities are endless. Industrial Design, Engineering, Active Disassembly, Design for Disassembly, Eco Design, Remanufacture and Facebook could have an answer – just saying.

AD concept animations

We have produced a range of animations to illustrate the different ways of using AD. You can see them on the Technology Gallery pages or on Active Disassembly Research’s YouTube channel. We hope you enjoy them!

Please contact us if you have any queries.

Chiodo invited to Editorial Advisory Board

Dr. Joseph Chiodo is invited to stand on the Editorial Advisory Board of Assembly Automation: