Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New process promises to revolutionize manufacturing of products

02.09.2010
A new "smart materials" process - Multiple Memory Material Technology - developed by University of Waterloo engineering researchers promises to revolutionize the manufacture of diverse products such as medical devices, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), printers, hard drives, automotive components, valves and actuators.

The breakthrough technology will provide engineers with much more freedom and creativity by enabling far greater functionality to be incorporated into medical devices such as stents, braces and hearing aids than is currently possible.

Smart materials, also known as shape memory alloys, have been around for several decades and are well known for their ability to remember a pre-determined shape.

Traditional memory materials remember one shape at one temperature and a second shape at a different temperature. Until now they have been limited to change shape at only one temperature. Now with the new Waterloo technology they can remember multiple different memories, each one with a different shape.

"This ground-breaking technology makes smart materials even smarter," said Ibraheem Khan, a research engineer and graduate student working with Norman Zhou, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering. "We have developed a technology that embeds several memories in a monolithic smart material. In essence, a single material can be programmed to remember more shapes, making it smarter than previous technologies."

The patent pending technology, which is available for licensing, allows virtually any memory material to be quickly and easily embedded with additional local memories.

The transition zone area can be as small as a few microns in width with multiple zones, each having a discrete transition temperature. As the processed shape memory material is subject to changing temperature, each treated zone will change shape at its respective transition temperature. As well, transition zones created side-by-side allow for a unique and smooth shape change in response to changing temperature.

Several prototypes have been developed to demonstrate this pioneering technology.

One mimics a transformer robot. The robot's limbs transform with increasing temperature at discrete temperatures, whereas in conventional shape memory technology this is limited to only one transformation temperature.

A video demonstrating the miniature robot can be seen at: www.research.uwaterloo.ca/watco/technologies/eng_memory_material.asp

The engineering technology was developed in the Centre for Advanced Materials Joining, based in Waterloo's department of mechanical and mechatronics engineering.

About Waterloo

The University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's Technology Triangle, is one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities. Waterloo is home to 30,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students who are dedicated to making the future better and brighter. Waterloo, known for the largest post- secondary co-operative education program in the world, supports enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery.

Resources
Contacts:
Ibraheem Khan, Research Engineer, Centre for Advanced Materials
Joining, 519- 888-4567 ext. 37142, 416-300-6616 or mi2khan@uwaterloo.ca
Norman Zhou, Director, Centre for Advanced Materials Joining,
519-888-4567 ext. 36095 or nzhou@uwaterloo.ca
Eric Luvisotto, Patent Agent and Technology Transfer Officer,
519-888-4567. ext. 38678 or e2luviso@uwaterloo.ca
John Morris, Waterloo Media Relations, 519-888-4435 or jmorris@uwaterloo.ca

John Morris | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uwaterloo.ca

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht New technology for ultra-smooth polymer films
28.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP

nachricht Diamond watch components
18.06.2018 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>