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Thermal Hysteresis in Ni-Ti and Ni-Ti-X Alloys and Their Applications

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 February 2011

Yuichi Suzuki
Affiliation:
The Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. Yokohama R&D Laboratories, 2-4-3, Okano, Nishiku, Yokohama, 220, JAPAN
Hiroshi Horikawa
Affiliation:
The Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. Yokohama R&D Laboratories, 2-4-3, Okano, Nishiku, Yokohama, 220, JAPAN
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Abstract

The first practical shape memory alloy, NITINOL, has a transformation thermal hysteresis(Hs) of about 30K and a monoclinic martensite structure. The first application of this alloy was a pipe coupling. Although various ideas were proposed on thermal actuators, they were not easily industrialized at least partly because the amount of Hs of the binary Ni-Ti alloy was too large. While the reduction of Hs is not so easy as transformation temperature control, the alloy was improved in terms of Hs through the discovery of new martensite phases. The first Hs reduction was realized in a Ni-Ti-Cu alloy. The copper addition changes the martensite structure to orthorhombic and reduces Hs to 10-15K. The alloy was first applied to a thermal actuator in automobile fog-lamps. Subsequently the R-phase transformation was identified in the binary alloy under the combination of cold working and a heat treatment at relatively low temperatures. Hs was further reduced to 2K in the R-phase transformation. The R-phase transformation is also featured by an excellent fatigue life which reaches one million cycles. The small Hs and long repetition life rapidly widened the application field of shape memory actuators. An expansion of Hs up to 100K was also achieved by a combination of fine dispersion of niobium and cold working. At present, the Hs of the Ni-Ti base alloys ranges from 2K to 100K. An appropriate alloy system can be selected according to applications. The binary alloy has found a wider application field in the super elastic application. In this paper, we summarize the progress in the modification of Hs and present recent applications of each transformation.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 1992

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References

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