Nickel-Titanium Shape Memory Alloy for More Durable Aircraft

Technology #14908

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Researchers
Michele V. Myers Manuel
Derek Hsen Dia Hsu
Managed By
Lenny Terry
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending US2016/0258043 A1

Material Allows Aerospace, Automotive, and Power-Generation Technologies to Endure High Temperatures

This nickel-titanium (NiTi)-based, precipitation-strengthened shape memory alloy enables production of more efficient, longer-lasting aircraft parts that can withstand higher temperatures. As aerospace, automotive, and power generation technologies advance, there is an increasing need for high-temperature shape memory alloys that allow aircraft to operate under more strenuous conditions than they could previously endure. The aerospace manufacturing industry is worth more than $180 billion and is expected to grow 4 percent in the next 5 years. University of Florida researchers have developed a shape memory alloy that demonstrates longer fatigue life, improved strength and output stress, and increased transformation temperature. This technology can be used for smart, multifunctional aerospace applications including variable geometry chevrons, variable area fan nozzles, and reconfigurable rotor blades.

Application

Nickel-titanium shape memory alloy for aerospace, automotive, and power generation

Advantages

  • Improves strength and output stress, allowing the material to withstand larger loads and provide greater actuation forces
  • Elongates fatigue life, extending the usability of material under repeatedly applied loads
  • Increases transformation temperature, facilitating use in high-temperature applications
  • Adapts to changing conditions, increasing machine operation efficiency

Technology

High-temperature shape memory alloys provide more versatility in the operation of aerospace, automotive, and power generation technologies. This alloy microstructure consists of a nickel-titanium matrix with hafnium and aluminum additions, strengthened by Heusler nanoprecipitates. The hafnium addition to nickel-titanium increases the transformation temperatures, while the aluminum addition allows for the precipitation of the strengthening phase.