What you see with the shape memory effect

At a first glance, the shape memory effect may quite surprise you. To observe the effect, take a look at a few following examples:

FLG Video Charakterisierung 001
FLG Video Charakterisierung 002

The shape memory effect is not magic: It can be explained using materials science. To make technical and individual use of this effect for your desired purpose, environmental conditions such as the temperatures during application play an important role. In real applications, the outcome is determined by the interaction between the selected alloy and the temperatures the material is subjected to in its operating conditions. In turn, either the two-way effect or what is called superelasticity are mainly used to tap previously unimagined potential.

These effects are ultimately based on diffusionless shear in the crystal lattice of the material, causing a phase transformation. During this transformation, the material's properties, such as the electrical properties or stiffness, change significantly and ultimately causes a change in shape.

 Extrinsic two-way effect

With the one-way effect, after an apparently plastic deformation, the original shape of the material is restored by heating. A distinction should be made between a low-temperature phase (starting position) and a high-temperature phase (heated state).

This course will show you precisely how the one-way effect causes the material to behave and what possibilities it opens up for you. You can download it HERE.

 Pseudoelasticity (also called "pseudoelastic behaviour" or "superelasticity")

A pseudoelastic SMA element behaves like rubber. If you hold pseudoelastic SMA elements in your hands, you can bend them like rubber with little effort – and yet they also possess strengths as they are found in metals. This allows the robust behaviour of a metal to be combined with the flexible behaviour of an elastomer. It's almost a material with hybrid properties.

Pseudoelastic SMA material is designed entirely differently. Here also, there is a great dependence on the operating temperature and the selected alloy. In this SMA-Course, you will also learn how the material behaves with pseudoelasticity and which options you can create for yourself with this effect.

 What exactly you will learn in the characterisation section of the course

  • to differentiate between low temperature phase and high temperature phase
  • how the conversion of martensite and austenite into one another occurs
  • how the material behaves in the respective phases
  • how the material knows the shape which it should assume based on the shape memory effect
  • that these properties can be specifically set for you
  • the exact difference between two way effect and pseudoelasticity
  • examples for practical comprehension, e.g. from the world of magic by Uri Geller

Download the SMA course as a PDF for free here - you will additionally receive a concise summary for later reference


Recap on what you should have understood by now:

  • The properties of SMA can be divided into different classes (effects).
  • These effects are mainly named two-way effect and pseudoelasticity (also pseudoelastic behavior, superelasticity).
  • The effects can be set according to your requirements and depend on temperatures, the alloy and other parameters.
  • - Your customers will believe you are performing magic. But that’s not what you need to do – all you need to do is resorting to the expertise of Ingpuls.

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