High-Temperature Shape Memory Alloy for Actuators with Increased Specific Strength

Technology #15206

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Researchers
Michele V. Myers
Oscar Figueroa III
Managed By
Lenny Terry
Assistant Director 352-392-8929

Combination of Nickel-Titanium-Tin Enables Orthodontic Systems, Aerospace Air Foils, and MEMS Devices to Endure Elevated Temperatures

This nickel-titanium-tin shape memory alloy is a robust combination capable of responding quickly and efficiently to changes in temperature ranging from 150°C to 900°C while maintaining a high specific strength. As advanced aerospace and industrial technologies increasingly use shape memory alloys in actuator systems, the need for high-temperature alloys becomes apparent. Standard alloys have neither sufficient operating temperatures nor specific power to adequately act as actuating systems. University of Florida researchers have developed a shape memory alloy that allows for an increased transformation temperature and higher specific strength compared to standard nickel-alloys. This improvement allows for higher power efficiency within the alloy and an increased operating temperature for actuating applications, and can be used in devices that require small-scale actuator systems. The shape memory alloy can be used in aerospace systems as well as in the body, such as in orthodontic systems or in MEMS devices.

Application

High-temperature shape memory systems for aerospace, automotive, and aeronautical actuating applications

Advantages

  • Demonstrates longer fatigue life, allowing it to carry heavy loads for a longer period of time under strenuous conditions
  • Increases transformation temperature, facilitating use in high-temperature environments ranging from 150°C to 900°C
  • Adapts to changing conditions, increasing machine operation efficiency

Technology

High-temperature shape memory alloys provide more adaptability in the operation of aerospace air foils, MEMS devices, and orthodontic systems. The alloy microstructure comprises a nickel-titanium (NiTi) matrix with a metalloid addition where at least one metalloid added is tin (Sn). The metalloid addition of Sn to NiTi increases the specific strength and transformation temperatures. This addition results in increased alloy strength as well as high operating temperatures.