Shape memory alloys are unique materials that are made up of two or more metals. They have two stable solid phases in they can exist-called Austenite and Martensite. The former is the high temperature phase and the latter the low temperature phase. On the application of heat, above a certain temperature, mechanical stress or both, or even magnetic field for Magnetic Shape memory alloys (MSMA), these materials shift from one phase to the other and for the inverse conditions it also happens vice-versa. This property of SMA materials along with its super-elasticity makes it especially useful in application for actuators, in various industries such as: automotive, aerospace, chemical and petrochemicals and many more. SMAs also fine interesting application in Bio-medical applications for the health care industry such as minimally invasive surgeries and other applications. It has garnered a lot of support due to its cost effectiveness, light weight and temperature sensitivity due to which it simplifies machinery.

Browse 92 Market Tables spread through 142 slides and an in-depth TOC on “Shape Memory Alloy Market (2018 - 2023)

Companies and Governments across the world have figured out that ‘SMART’ materials are going to be the next step in innovative technologies. Existing technologies will greatly benefit from ‘SMART’ materials adoption. Considering the constraints of weight, cost and durability Shape Memory Alloys are one of the ‘SMART’ Materials that has been an interest of the American Government as well as the Indian government. Due to it still being a developing material, the market has not been fully penetrated and continues only few players. The major regions utilizing this technology and producing it belong to the EU, US and Asia.

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One of the bigger names globally that is into R&D activities related to SMA is the NASA Glenn Research Centre’s shape memory alloy actuator team. The challenges they are trying to address are with respect to the degradation of the functionality of SMAs with increasing time and number of cycles completed and increasing the operational temperature of SMA’s and controlling the rate of heat transfer to and from the SMA. They have been successful in creating new alloys with operation temperatures up to 500°C, they have also used a torque based application of a very thin road of SMA to twist driving up the wing flap of aeroplanes. They are continuing to work on the problem of durability and fatigue of the SMA, also creating a database for SMAs and their properties. The application of SMA in aeroplanes and other machinery will also reduce the number of different parts required, thus reducing the weight, cost, and breakdowns of the machinery.

CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories in Bangalore India, has also been undertaking R&D activities with relation to SMA and its application in Engineering and Bio-medical sectors. In 2017 their technology was transferred to a Defense public sector undertaking, named Mishra Dhatu Nigam (MIDHANI) Limited for commercial production and marketing. They have also collaborated with some of the top medical institutions and universities within India for the design and development of Shape Memory Alloy based Stents for bio-medical applications in the Healthcare industry.

There have also been grants given by SBIR and the Office of basic Energy and Science, Department of Energy in the US for the research of the application of SMA in low grade thermal energy harvesting.  SBIR has also funded the research of the application of SMA in Heat Engines. There has also been a joint research program between the Kennedy Space Center and Glenn Research Center to develop and evaluate the application of a 2-way SMA in low temperature adaptive autonomous systems, the project started in 2014 and ended in 2015. Contributing partners to this research were the University of Florida and Central Florida.

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The research done by CSIR in Bangalore has already been transferred to a company in Hyderabad-MIDHANI Limited, and the products are expected to release in the market very soon.  Though extensive R&D activities in SMAs are being done in the U.S. and NASA none of the alloys have been sent out for commercialization.

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