Space X, the Ariane project and NASA love using our products. But especially in commercial aviation, shape memory alloys (SMA) give wings to your technical possibilities: we can help maximize the functional integration of your components and reduce its weight!
Shape memory alloys in the aerospace industry
Shape memory alloys are not only found in medical technology and the automotive industry, but are also important in aerospace. The Mars Rover is equipped with a small high-performance actuator based on shape memory technology, which implements a windshield wiper mechanism. Shape memory alloys are also installed in satellites, for example to activate unlocking mechanisms or deploy solar sails.
With the advancing automation in many industries, shape memory alloys qualify for a versatile, cross-industry application.
This is how you can benefit from shape memory alloy in aerospace applications
You know yourself what matters most in aviation: Every little gram! Absolute process reliability and highest quality standards are of the utmost importance to you – combined with demanding certification requirements. What if you could also integrate functions? With shape memory alloys you don’t just save weight, you also benefit from functional integration and – depending on the application – from a much longer service life than with conventional solutions. In your industry, lightweight construction, functionality and reliability are key priorities.
Depending on your intended use you can create completely new possibilities with shape memory alloys in aerospace. Both technical literature and the diversity of patents testify to the creativity of your industry when it comes to the use of shape memory alloys: In structural components, used for example as adaptive winglets, SMA ensures optimized airflow in every flight position. In the fuel sector, sleeves made of shape memory alloys connect lines where there is no easy access to the assembly point.
In the cabin, a mechanism made of SMA wire unlocks oxygen masks reliably and cost-effectively. The fact that you can adjust the multi-layered technical possibilities of shape memory alloys to suit your specific application means that, in addition to the component weight, you can take advantage of precisely those technical properties that are important to you at that point. Shape memory alloys have long been tried and tested and are used,
for example, in the automotive industry as actuator. The same applies to the aviation industry: Where small travel ranges must be reliably achieved, shape memory alloys can be used for fail-safe and maintenance-free locking and unlocking mechanisms. Please contact us on the topic.
As a small and lightweight actuator with a high specific working volume, shape memory alloys are electronically controlled in your aerospace application. This is done by introducing electric current in conjunction with controlled resistance heating of the shape memory alloy element. In addition, passive control is possible, based on a predefined temperature level: If a temperature threshold is reached by external supply, the element changes its shape. Not only as a solid material, but also as a coating. This thermal coating of shape memory alloys can play an important role, especially for your engines and other highly stressed parts: For temperature- and load-controlled gap optimization of turbine blades, this mechanism already plays a major role in industrial applications. Active or passive, as solid material or coating, as semi-finished product, component or system: We will find the best possible solution for your challenge.
Countless patents in the use of shape memory alloys in aerospace have never actually been used. This is mainly due to a combination of your industry‘s requirements and the limited technical capabilities in SMA until recently: For the most part, SMA was only available as a standard
alloy for medical technology, or it was associated with high quality fluctuations. Your qualitative requirements could not be reproduced by the fragmented value chains of the suppliers and the existing plant technology.
In addition, even the suppliers lacked comprehensive know-how and the skills to comply with all the stages of the value chain in accordance with their high requirements.
But especially in the aerospace industry it is imperative to use specific solutions that are designed precisely for their intended purpose: You want reliability, quality and weight reduction. And just like in the automotive industry, you would rather save money than pay for overperformance. At the same time, you are concerned with the highest level of safety for your aircraft and its occupants.
Your exact requirements can now be met by our company‘s SMA expertise – through 100% control over the value chain: from design and component simulation in the field; from the melting to your finished solution. Your quality requirements are the benchmark for our activities. This is how we comply with your technical challenges. A lower component weight with simultaneous integration of functions makes your solutions truly
intelligent. With SMA from our company, you can truly give your concepts wings. It’s for a good reason that Ariane, NASA and SpaceX rely on our SMA expertise: Even today, satellites are launched into a controlled orbit by a release mechanism made from shape memory alloys. Nowadays, satellite solar panels are already deployed by elements made of shape memory alloys and a mechanism made of SMA is
already capping the fuel lines of rockets: Whether as a standard alloy or as a high-temperature SMA – entirely created according to the requirements of our demanding customers. This is true “Rocket Science”, which can now also be understood and experienced by you. Find out what SMA can do for you in the field of aerospace and contact us now!
Many other examples of shape memory alloys used in the aerospace sector are listed in literature and in patent specifications. Your series production is now actually possible! Are you looking to implement entirely new concepts or to commercialize on-shelf solutions?
Let’s tackle your challenges together: Work with us at Ingpuls to successfully improve your shape memory alloys. Get in touch today to discuss your options!