Lowering the power consumption of Ni-Ti shape memory alloy

Alex Villanueva, Shashaank Gupta, Shashank Priya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Shape memory alloy (SMA) wires are capable of providing contractile strain mimicking the functionality of muscle fibers. They are promising for the development of biomimetic robots due to their high power density and desired form factor. However, they suffer from significantly high power consumption. The focus of this paper was to address this drawback associated with SMAs. Two different parameters were investigated in this study: i) lowering of the martensite to austentite phase transition temperatures and ii) the reduction of the thermal hysteresis. For an equiatomic Ni-Ti alloy, replacing nickel with 10 at% copper reduces the thermal hysteresis by 50% or more. For Ni- Ti alloys with nickel content greater than 50 at%, transition temperature decreases linearly at a rate of 100 °C/Ni at%. Given these two power reducing factors, an alloy with composition of Ni 40+xTi 50-xCu 10 was synthesized with x = 0, ±1, ±2, ±3, ±4, ±5. Metal powders were melted in an argon atmosphere using an RF induction furnace to produce ingots. All the synthesized samples were characterized by differential scanning calorimetric (DSC) analysis to reveal martensite to austenite and austenite to martensite transition temperatures during heating and cooling cycles respectively. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was conducted to identify the density and microstructure of the fractured samples. The alloy composition and synthesis method presented in this preliminary work shows the possibility of achieving low power consuming, high performance SMAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBehavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2012
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventBehavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2012 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 12 2012Mar 15 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceBehavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Actuator
  • Copper
  • Nickel
  • Power consumption
  • Shape memory alloy
  • Titanium
  • Transition temperature


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