Ferromagnetic Shape Memory Alloys

Introduction Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) are metals which return to their original shape after deformation. Conventional SMAs are thermally activated, requiring heat to change the metal’s crystal structure and allow it to resume its pre-deformation shape. Technology description Material scientists at the University of Washington have developed magnetically activated shape memory alloys, thus allowing a magnetic field to be used instead of heat to restore the original shape of a deformed SMA. Linear and rotational actuators, springs, membrane pumps, and clamps based on these ferromagnetic shape memory alloys (FSMA) have been developed and demonstrated. The fast change from deformed to original shape opens up opportunities not possible with the slower thermally-activated SMAs. Business opportunity Any motor, solenoid, valve, locking mechanism, actuator, positioning device, or pump that uses conventional electromagnetic technology is a candidate for replacement by FSMAs. High speed, high frequency operation combined with low power consumption is enabled by the FSMAs developed at the UW. Applications for use in the automotive, aircraft, appliance, recreation, safety equipment and other industries are sought. Stage of development Linear, rotating, pumping and oscillating mechanisms based on FSMAs have been prototyped and demonstrated. The technology is available for licensing. Intellectual property position Patent protection for the FSMA technology is pending.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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