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Shape‐memory materials: a review of technology and applications

Robert Bogue (Okehampton, UK)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 31 July 2009




The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the technology and applications of shape‐memory materials (SMMs).


This paper initially considers various classes of SMMs and their properties. It then discusses applications and concludes with a brief review of recent research and future prospects.


SMMs include shape‐memory alloys (SMAs), ferromagnetic SMAs (FSMAs) and shape‐memory polymers (SMPs), which change shape when influenced by temperature and other stimuli. SMAs comprising nickel‐titanium alloys were discovered and commercialised first and find uses in fittings, seals, valves, actuators and medical devices due to their thermoelastic properties. Their pseudoelastic properties are exploited in spectacle frames and other deformable metal products. FSMAs and SMPs were discovered more recently and are at an early stage of commercialisation and remain the topic of on‐going research. Pilot applications are being investigated in the healthcare, aerospace, automotive and other industries. All classes of SMMs have prospects for more widespread uses in the future.


Provides a detailed review of SMM materials, products and application and an insight into future developments.



Bogue, R. (2009), "Shape‐memory materials: a review of technology and applications", Assembly Automation, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 214-219.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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