Design of Heat-Activated Reversible Integral Attachments for Product- Embedded Disassembly
Disassembly is a fundamental process needed for component reuse and material recycling in all assembled products. Integral attachments, also known as "snap" fits, are favored fastening means in design for assembly (DFA) methodologies, but not necessarily a favored choice for design for disassembly. In this paper, design methods of a new class of integral attachments are proposed, where the snapped joints can be disengaged by the application of localized heat sources. The design problem of reversible integral attachments is posed as the design of compliant mechanisms actuated with localized thermal expansion of materials.