Shape memory alloy – the name says it all: It does not matter how much they are bent and deformed, they can always "remember" their original form when temperature is increased. This characteristic brings other benefits with it, like for example elasticity and resilience. Whether for stents, surgical devices or micro valves, medical technology has also recognized the advantages of nickel-titanium, nickel-titanium-copper and other shape memory alloys. Read more about their characteristics and uses and how much potential these materials still offer in our Special May.
It looks like magic and always catches people by surprise: a paper clip, twisted and deformed, returns to its original shape – when you carefully hold it over a candle flame. This phenomenon goes by the somewhat awkward yet descriptive term "shape memory alloy". It is an alloy that "remembers" the shape it was given when it was produced.
Shape memory alloys offer many possibilities in the field of miniaturization when it comes to pumps or valves for example. We spoke with Dr. Marcel Gültig and Christoph Wessendorf of memetis and asked about today's available options and conceivable future applications in medical technology.