MATSE 81
Materials in Today's World

Nitinol

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In the lesson reading this week vascular stents were covered, including the revolutionary nitinol stents. When the body heats up this smart material ‘remembers’ its initial programmed shape. So, in addition to being a biomaterial, nitinol is a smart material as well. What are smart materials? Smart materials are materials that are designed to mimic biological behavior. They are materials that, like biological systems, ‘respond to stimuli.' More smart materials will be presented in the video for this lesson, but right now please watch this short video (1:27) on the amazing nitinol.

To Watch

Click for transcript of WTF Paperclip!? (Nitinol)

This is no ordinary paper clip. In fact, it's made from nitinol and it has some unique qualities. Let's bend it into a completely different shape. Okay, I think that should do. Now watch what happens when I drop this into some hot water. Now that is pretty darn cool. Nitinol is also known as memory metal and once it reaches a certain heat the atoms become locked into the previous arrangement that they were forged in. This is also the same material that magicians use to bend spoons. Sorry to ruin the magic. So there we have it. Nitinol. Don't forget to check out my Facebook and Twitter the links are below and as always I will see you next time. Thanks for watching.

Now proceed to the next section to watch the video for this lesson. As you watch this lesson, see if you can answer the following for each of the smart materials presented: what is the stimulus and what is the response?