skip to main content

Title: Deformation and Failure Mechanisms of Shape Memory Alloys

The goal of this research was to understand the fundamental mechanics that drive the deformation and failure of shape memory alloys (SMAs). SMAs are difficult materials to characterize because of the complex phase transformations that give rise to their unique properties, including shape memory and superelasticity. These phase transformations occur across multiple length scales (one example being the martensite-austenite twinning that underlies macroscopic strain localization) and result in a large hysteresis. In order to optimize the use of this hysteretic behavior in energy storage and damping applications, we must first have a quantitative understanding of this transformation behavior. Prior results on shape memory alloys have been largely qualitative (i.e., mapping phase transformations through cracked oxide coatings or surface morphology). The PI developed and utilized new approaches to provide a quantitative, full-field characterization of phase transformation, conducting a comprehensive suite of experiments across multiple length scales and tying these results to theoretical and computational analysis. The research funded by this award utilized new combinations of scanning electron microscopy, diffraction, digital image correlation, and custom testing equipment and procedures to study phase transformation processes at a wide range of length scales, with a focus at small length scales with spatial resolution onmore » the order of 1 nanometer. These experiments probe the basic connections between length scales during phase transformation. In addition to the insights gained on the fundamental mechanisms driving transformations in shape memory alloys, the unique experimental methodologies developed under this award are applicable to a wide range of solid-to-solid phase transformations and other strain localization mechanisms.« less
  1. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 42 ENGINEERING small scale characterization; phase transformation; shape memory alloys; scanning electron microscopy; strain localization