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Interactive Demonstrations And Laboratories Using Shape Memory Alloys

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Teaching about New Materials

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.790.1 - 9.790.9

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Paper Authors

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Wendy Crone

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1464

Interactive Demonstrations and Laboratories Using Shape Memory Alloys

Wendy C. Crone1, Eric J. Voss2, Katherine C. Chen3 1 Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, WI 53706 / 2 Chemistry, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL 62026 / 3 Materials Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407


Shape memory alloys (SMAs) constitute a unique class of materials that undergo a reversible phase transformation allowing the material to display dramatic stress-induced and temperature- induced deformations that are recoverable. Nickel titanium (NiTi) is a shape memory alloy used in a wide variety of biomedical, aerospace, automotive and other applications. The austenite- martensite phase transformation that occurs in these alloys with changes in temperature or applied stress is responsible for the unique properties of this material. The unusual behavior of SMAs provides an exciting way to engage students and can be incorporated into a variety of courses under topics such as phase transformation behavior, constitutive relations, and smart materials and structures. Three modules that can be used as either demonstrations or experiments will be described. In the first, an apparatus for demonstrating the actuation abilities of NiTi SMA via an overhead projector has been created for classroom demonstrations using Dynalloy, Inc. components. The second experiment involves visualizing the latent heat of transformation during loading using a liquid crystal paint. In addition to exploring temperature-induced and stress- induced transformation, students can also get first-hand experience with the influence of heat treatment on this alloy in a laboratory environment. The third experiment uses an inexpensive training jig that allows students to shape set a piece of NiTi wire into any desired shape and see its shape memory abilities through subsequent deformation and heating.


Overview of Shape Memory Alloys

SMAs undergo a reversible phase transformation that allows the material to display dramatic and recoverable stress-induced and temperature-induced transformations. These materials have a

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Crone, W. (2004, June), Interactive Demonstrations And Laboratories Using Shape Memory Alloys Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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