A joint research team from the University of the Basque Country and the United States MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), led by Professor of Physical Metallurgy, Mr José María San Juan, has shown that copper, aluminium and nickel alloys with shape memory have a much higher damping index in nano sizes than in macroscopic dimensions. In a few milliseconds, these alloys acquire excellent properties given their "ultrahigh damping" that makes them ideal materials for eliminating nano-scale vibrations or impacts in sensors and detectors.
The practical application of this feature will enable the development of much more precise and hard-wearing ABS brakes in the field of transport or, in the domestic field, washing machines with a quieter and more stable centrifuging. It will also be possible to create more sensitive microsensors and micro devices for use in biomedicine, aeronautics or robotics - disciplines where alloys of materials with shape memory are of great importance.
Alloys with shape memory are able to recover their initial shape after being subjected to changes in temperature. In this process, configured by two phases called Austenite and Martensite, the materials with shape memory can dissipate large quantities of mechanical energy, this being responsible for the damping properties
Nature Nanotechnology, the most important worldwide publication in its speciality, has published the discovery from this international team led by the UPV/EHU Professor San Juan. The work, entitled Nanoscale shape-memory alloys for ultrahigh mechanical damping, was published in the latest issue of journal which has an impact factor of 20.571, i.e. the research published has high scientific and technological importance and the articles have high international repercussion. In concrete, Mr San Juan’s article has been quoted by the specialised publication, Materials Today.