Shape Memory Alloys and Martensitic Transformations


The martensitic phase transformation (MPT) is a lattice-distortive, virtually diffusionless and reversible structural change induced in certain metallic alloys either by a temperature variation or by applied external stresses. During the transformation, a new structural phase, called martensite, nucleates in the original austenitic matrix and grows. This MPT is the origin of technologically interesting mechanical properties, namely shape memory , superelasticity and high vibration damping capacity. Projects to integrate such Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) in microsystems or functional materials for transport systems are the origin of extensive research in the development of SMA thin films and SMA-based composite materials.

GIF movie showing a shape-memory element in action


The movies have been provided for teaching purposes by Professor Professor Rolf Gotthardt ( of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland.

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