Space X, the Ariane project and NASA are flying with our parts. But even in commercial aviation, shape memory alloys (SMA) make your technical possibilities take off: Wings to fly for your new possibilities of saving weight or integrating functions into your components!
This is how you can benefit from SMA in aerospace applications
You yourself best know what matters in aviation: Every gramme counts. Absolute process safety is essential for you. You value the highest quality requirements – all with challenging certification requirements. What if you get all this and can still integrate additional functions?
With SMA not only do you save weight, you also benefit from functional integration and – depending on the application – also from a far higher service life than with conventional solutions. In your industry, lightweight construction, functionality and reliability are key priorities.
Depending on your application, in aerospace you can now create completely new possibilities through the use of shape memory alloys. The creativity of your industry with regard to SMA is already testified by both the technical literature and the patent landscape: In structural components, such as in adaptive winglets, SMA provide an optimised air flow in every flight position. In the fuel area, SMA sleeves connect lines where no simple access to the place of assembly is possible. In the cabin, a mechanism consisting of an SMA wire releases oxygen masks in a highly reliable and cost-saving way. Due to the fact that we are able to design the multi-layer technical requirements of SMA exactly according to the application, we will be able to achieve precisely the technical properties which are important for you – while at the same time usually saving component weight and costs. In the automotive industry, for example, SMA find widespread use as an actuator: And what is well-proven there, equally applies to aerospace: Where small actuating paths are to be reliably implemented, SMA can be used for fail-safe and maintenance-free locking and unlocking mechanisms. Please contact us on the topic.
Your Contact Person: Joseph Kevenhörster
As a small and light actuator with a high specific working volume, in your aviation application SMA are probably electronically controlled. This is carried out by introducing an electrical current in conjunction with controlled resistance heating of the SMA element. In addition, passive control, being based on a predefined temperature level, may be applied: As soon as an external temperature condition reaches a temperature threshold, the SMA element changes its shape. Not only as a solid material but also as a coating.
This thermal coating in SMA can play an important role for your engines and other highly loaded parts: The same mechanism already plays a major role in industrial applications for temperature- and load-controlled clearance optimisation of turbine blades. Be it active or passive, as a solid material or coating, as a semi-finished product, component or system: We will find the best possible solution for your challenge.
Innumerable patents for the use of SMA in aerospace have been followed by hardly any real-world applications. Why is this so? The key lies in combining the requirements of your industry with the new technical possibilities to which you may believe to have been limited until recently. In the field of shape memory alloys, SMA was largely only available as a standard alloy for medical technology (as Nitinol®), or in other cases, accompanied by evidentially high deviations in quality. Reason being that it was not possible to reconcile qualitative requirements on a reproducible basis due to the highly fragmented nature of the SMA value chain, and on account of many technological issues of SMA producers; one of which being installations and processes originally designed for the production of other materials rather than SMA. In addition, even the suppliers lacked comprehensive material know-how and the possibility of executing all levels of the value chain in order to be capable of achieving the high requirements of the aerospace industry in a reproducible manner.
But aviation is precisely the area where it is essential to employ specific solutions, perfectly tailored for their designated use: You are looking for reliability, quality and saving weight. And similar to the automotive industry you would prefer saving on costs than paying for overperformance. At the same time, you are geared at the highest level of safety for your aircraft and their occupants.
Your exact requirements can now precisely be matched with our SMA competence - through 100% control over the value chain: From the design to the simulation of in-use component behaviour; from the melt to your finished solution. Your quality requirements will be the criteria for our activities. This is how we approach your technical challenges for your benefit. What makes your solution truly intelligent is a lower component weight while at the same time enabling functional integration. As you can see, this is how you will be able to provide your concept with wings to fly. And guess what the reason is: SMA from Ingpuls are part of products or components in missions for Ariane, NASA or Space-X: Already today, satellites are brought into controlled orbit through a release mechanism made of SMA. Today, solar panels of satellites are already unfolded by SMA elements. Today, a mechanism in SMA already provides the capping for the fuel lines of space rockets: Whether as a standard alloy or as a high-temperature SMA – in every case exactly according to the requirements of our challenging customers. This is true “rocket science”, now at your hands to experience yourself. Get an overview of your possibilities with SMA in aerospace and contact us.
Many other examples of SMA in aerospace are listed in literature and in numerous patents. Through technological advance within Ingpuls, their application in your series production has now become a real option. Are you looking at implementing entirely new concepts, or are you aiming at implementing or commercialising on-shelf solutions? Let's deal with your challenges together: Work with Ingpuls to elevate your SMA to new heights. Let’s write the next chapter in space history together. Get in touch today to discuss your possibilities!