If you are a research engineer or other professional looking for NiTinol wire, you've come to the right place. For those that don't know much about this unique metal wire, then read on. There's a little bit of history about it, as well as the most common uses.
What are the common uses of NiTinol Wire?
NiTinol was discovered in 1961 by a researcher working at the Navel Ordinance Laboratory. NiTinol means Nickel Titanium Navel Ordinance Laboratory and it possesses a unique property. It has shape memory, but that was discovered by William J. Buehler and quite by accident. At a laboratory management meeting, a strip of this alloy was on display and it was bent several times. Dr. David S. Muzzey, heated the strip of NiTinol wire with a lighter and it stretched right back into its original shape.
This spring wire has many different uses and as you might expect, many of these uses are in the engineering industry. Shape memory alloys, which are also called memory wire, can be used in medical, military, robotics, and safety applications. In fact, the United States military has been using NiTinol in the manufacture of F-14 components for years.
The most common uses of NiTinol wire are in the medical field. From tweezers used to remove objects from small incisions to hooks to hold tendons in place in shoulder surgeries, these "smart alloys" have really changed many of the medical procedures in use today. Many of the orthodontics that use wire are made from this alloy, too. In the robotics field, NiTinol is used to help recreate the human muscle movements. In the safety field, this aluminum wire is used in sprinkler systems and thermal detecting devices. However, the application that more people are familiar with than any other is actually in a piece of clothing - the underwire bra! This bra is now beginning marketed in Japan and is a huge success, as it offers exceptional comfort and durability.
NiTinol wire has a melting point of between 1240 degrees Celsius and 1310 degrees Celsius. It is also corrosion resistant, has a high fatigue strength, and cannot be magnetized. In addition, with its high fatigue and low density, it's easy to see why this wire is so popular for so many applications.
In closing, NiTinol wire is readily available in sizes from .075mm to 1.75mm. Many people hope that the future applications of NiTinol might include car frames, due to its shape memory capabilities. While this may be quite a ways away, the possibility is rather exciting. Take a moment and consider the applications of this nickel wire in your industry.
To view our line of NiTinol wire sizes we have avaialble in small quantities please click here. If you are looking for cutting tools to work with our NiTinol and other wire materials consider Swanstrom NiTinol wire cutters from Q-Source, click here.
Call us at (863) 738-0084, email us to discuss how the possibilities of NiTinol in your application.