High-Energy Absorbing, Superelastic Structure Made of Porous NiTi and NiTi Springs

Introduction Nitinol (NiTi) is a shape memory alloy (SMA) that possesses the ability to “remember” a specific shape and revert to it upon heating. In addition, it has a large flow stress and demonstrates superelastic qualities. These qualities make this material an exceptional candidate for structural applications, and porous NiTi especially has recently come under scrutiny for a wide range of applications. Technology Description Professor Taya at the University of Washington has developed a structure that consists of porous NiTi in conjunction with NiTi springs. This unique arrangement takes advantage of NiTi’s superelastic qualities and establishes a feedback mechanism that increases this material’s already impressive flow stress. This structure exhibits a high capacity for both reversible (low impact) deformations and irreversible (high impact) deformations when compared with traditional energy absorbing structures. Business Opportunity Porous nitinol (NiTi) has received much attention recently and has been proposed for a variety of roles from artificial bone and biomedical implants to high-energy absorption structural materials. Possible applications include those in environments under repeated stress or impact, including those in aerospace, naval, automotive, biomedical, architectural, and health and safety. Intellectual Property Position The UW has patents pending on this technology.

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