Nitinol characterisation and testing laboratory

Chemical analysis on Nitinol: a FILAB laboratory specialty

What is Nitinol?

Nitinol is a shape-memory metal alloy composed mainly of Nickel (55%) and Titanium (45%). It takes its name from its constituent elements (Nickel and Titanium) and from the laboratory where it was developed (Naval Ordnance Laboratory). Nitinol is particularly well known for its two unique properties: shape memory and super-elasticity.


What are the properties of Nitinol?

Shape memory :

Nitinol is an alloy with a unique ability to remember its original shape. After deformation at low temperature, it can return to its original shape when heated above a certain temperature. This property is due to a reversible phase transformation between two crystalline structures: martensite (low temperature) and austenite (high temperature).

Super-elasticity :

At temperatures slightly above the transformation temperature of martensite, nitinol can be reversibly deformed under mechanical stress, returning to its original shape once the stress has been removed. This gives it an elasticity far superior to that of conventional metals.

The FILAB laboratory can help you with the analysis and expertise of Nitinol

Why choose FILAB for Nitinol analysis ?

The FILAB laboratory puts its experience and specific skills in metallurgical analysis at your disposal to check the quality of your Nitinol or determine its grade:

our solutions in nitinol analysis and expertise

our technical resources

The positive aspects of FILAB

  • A highly qualified team

  • Responsiveness in responding to and processing requests

  • A complete analytical park of 2100m²

  • Tailor-made support


What are Nitinol's applications?

    • Nitinol is used in many fields because of its unique properties:

      Medical devices :

      Cardiovascular stents: Nitinol stents can be compressed for insertion into a blood vessel, and return to their original shape to keep the vessel open.
      Orthodontic wires: Nitinol orthodontic wires exert a constant force on teeth, facilitating their alignment.
      Surgical instruments: Nitinol is used to manufacture forceps and catheter guides because of its flexibility and ability to regain its shape.

      Aerospace industry:

      Connectors and fasteners: Nitinol is used for connections that need to be robust yet flexible.
      Deployment systems: Used in mechanisms that require precise, reliable deployment, such as satellite antennas.

      Industrial applications:

      Actuators and sensors: Nitinol is used in devices where mechanical action is required in response to temperature change.
      Robots and automation: Nitinol components can be used to create precise, controlled movements.

What are the advantages and limitations of using Nitinol?

Advantages :
Biocompatibility: Nitinol is well tolerated by the human body, making it ideal for medical applications.
Corrosion resistance: Good resistance to corrosion, particularly in biological and marine environments.
Durability: High capacity to withstand deformation cycles and return to its original shape.
Limitations :
Cost: Nitinol is relatively expensive compared with other metal alloys.
Manufacturing process: Manufacturing and heat treatment methods must be carefully controlled to achieve the desired properties.
Temperature limits: Nitinol's performance is limited by specific temperature ranges, beyond which its shape memory and super-elasticity properties are impaired.

Emmanuel BUIRET
Emmanuel BUIRET Technical Sales Representative
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