Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) - Chapter 1: Introduction

Sixty years after the discovery of shape memory alloys (SMAs), many actuation and structural applications using these materials have been conceived and developed. SMAs are a unique class of multifunctional materials that have the ability to recover large deformations and generate high stresses in response to thermal, mechanical and/or electromagnetic stimuli. These abilities have made them a viable option for actuation/structural systems in aerospace applications, amongst others. However, designing with SMAs is a paradigm shift from the conventional way we look at metals and mechanisms.

In this course, you will learn how the unique properties of SMAs can be applied to designing mechanisms and the associated benefits. Basic primer will be provided on what they are and why they work with examples of the most successful applications that have been imagined. Common design tool and properties-database will be discussed.

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