Shape Memory Alloys History

Shape memory effect has been discovered in 1932 by L.C CHANG and T.A READ on a gold-cadmium alloy. This effect has then been observed in 1938 on a copper-zinc alloy and in 1963 shape memory effect has been highlighted on a nickel-titanium alloy. At that time first industrial applications emerged for instance the coupling sleeve Raychem for F-14 aircraft in 1967. Then these materials have been used in many fields such as aeronautics, biomedical, automobile, textile… They are suitable for a wide range of applications.

During the 70′ and 80′ many challenges have been faced to implement this new technology. Scientific work has been done on these materials to develop new alloy categories, to identify fatigue and aging phenomenon… The experience gained at that time enable to realize today reliable devices.