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Shape Memory Alloys for High Temperature and Surface Morphing Applications in the Aerospace Industry University of Kentucky/NASA Glenn Research Center, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate

Demand for aircraft with better fuel efficiency, lower emissions and quieter operation continues to grow. University of Kentucky faculty and graduate students along with industry partners and NASA researchers are collaborating to develop advanced high-temperature shape memory alloys (SMAs) that will enable better, “greener,” and more versatile air vehicles in response to a crossagency initiative called the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). SMAs have the ability to change shape depending on applied temperature, stress or magnetic field, representing an important new class of materials that offers increased versatility and drag reduction compared to today’s aircraft that have fixed aerodynamic surfaces and structures. The primary goal of this research is to bridge the gap between the astonishing properties of SMAs and the challenging requirements of the aerospace industry. This research is also strongly aligned with one of Kentucky’s five priority research areas: Materials and Advanced Manufacturing. Research conducted for this project, both in Kentucky as well as at NASA Glenn Research Center, has actively pursued SMAs with higher transformation temperatures and strength than previously developed. Dozens of alloys were investigated for performance characteristics suitable for application in the aerospace industry, resulting in many joint publications and conference presentations. This project has built the infrastructure to further characterize and research SMAs at the University of Kentucky, leading to additional shape memory alloy study.

Top: University of Kentucky PhD candidates Sayed Saghaian and Peizhen Li use Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) equipment to perform testing of Nickel powder mixed with polymer. Bottom: University of Kentucky PhD candidate Peizhen Li uses a digital microscope to analyze Nickel-Titanium shape-memory alloy samples.

Dr. Haluk Ersin Karaca, Science PI, University of Kentucky

Dr. Ronald Noebe, NASA Technical Monitor, Kennedy Space Center

NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15



EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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