The Magic “Memory Alloy”

When I was younger and wore glasses, I preferred to get frames with memories since they could be bent and returned to their original shape without fear of damage. When I was older, I understood that this particular frame was constructed of memory alloy. When heated to a specific temperature, the memory alloy, however deformed, returns to its original form.
Memory Alloy Glasses
We utilize this “memory alloy” in numerous applications besides frames.

Memory Alloy Application

The most famous example is the antenna carried to the moon by Apollo 11. Many people have wondered how this hemispherical antenna with a diameter of several meters got to the moon.

It is actually made of memory alloy under normal conditions, according to the preset requirements. Then cool to press it into a ball and shrink to one thousandth of its original volume. Therefore, it’ll be easy to fit into the lunar module.

When brought to the moon, the antenna would revert to its original shape due to the sun’s radiation, transmitting valuable cosmic data back to Earth.

Memory Alloy Antenna

There’s another famous experiment. After being hit by a crash, a car shell made of “memory titanium” was badly deformed. Then, it magically restored to its original shape after being poured in a bucket of hot water.
Because of the thermoelastic martensitic transformation that occurs in the material during deformation, this amazing “memory alloy” can recover from deformation. In addition, Martensite can grow and shrink reversibly depending on temperature.
Because of this distinguishing feature, memory alloy is widely used in many fields.For example, it includes aerospace, mechatronics, biomedical, bridge construction, the automobile industry, and everyday life.

Nitinol Alloy

So far, numerous alloy types have been found to have shape memory effects.
However, nitinol alloy is the first developed. Besides, it also has the best memory performance, and the strongest practicability.
The only memory alloy now used in clinical medicine is nitinol alloy. It is used in surgical sutures, endovascular stents, dental braces, artificial bone, bone fixation, and orthodontic appliances.

Memory Alloy Daily Necessities

In daily life, Nitinol is also used to make anti-burn valves, mobile phone antennae and fire inspection valves. These products all bring great convenience to our life.

Memory alloys are currently in high demand. The application range and quality level of science and technology will continue to grow in line with its quick development. I think that eventually, it will be to everyone’s advantage in all prominent professions.

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