As a leading plating and metal finishing company, us have always been fascinated by the many uses of nickel. Nickel really is a very useful metal and it is used in all sorts of everyday items that you wouldn’t expect.
Nickel-titanium shape memory alloy is what is known as a ‘smart metal’. If it is deformed in any way or heated up, it naturally returns to its original shape, or ‘remembers’ it!
This alloy is commonly used for the frames for glasses, the kind that spring back into shape even if you sit on them. Nitinol is the generic name for the family of nickel-titanium alloys.
Nitinol stands for Nickel Titanium Naval Ordnance Laboratory, and in 1961 a researcher at an American Laboratory discovered that this particular alloy has ‘shape memory’.
Although it was a fantastic discovery which has gone on to change the way glasses are made, it was actually come across by accident. During a laboratory management meeting, a badly bent strip of Nitinol was presented to the attendees. An attendee of the meeting picked up the piece of Nitinol and heated it up with his pipe lighter. To the amazement of the people in the room, the strip stretched back to its original shape.
So, whichever way you bend, stretch and pull your frames, they will always return to their original shape!
For more information about us as a plating company, or the uses of nickel in the aerospace and automotive industries, please visit the us website at http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk