Nickel titanium alloy

Also known as Nitinol (IT) is a very interesting alloy. It exhibits shape memory (IT)and also superelasticity (IT).

Basically you can form an object with Nitinol metal and heat treat it to maintain that form, whenever the alloy is deformed it can be transformed back to the original shape by applying heat. Nitinol wire can also be used in robotics (IT) and are usually called muscle wires because they can perform movement by applying an electrical charge which heats the wire which makes it return to it’s original shape. Nitinol is also used for making surgical stents so they can enter your blood vessels in the collapsed form and then open to the correct shape from your body heat. Here is a link to a few novelty products using Nitinol. Unfortunately Nitinol has a cycle life of somewhere around 1 million so not a good solution for motor applications for example.

  • Melting point: 1,310 °C (2,390 °F)
  • Density: 6.45 g/cm3 (0.233 lb/cu in)
Textile made with shape memory alloy. Oricalco fabric by Grado Zero Espace
Shape memory shirt from 2001 by Grado Zero Espace

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