SFB 459: Shape Memory Technology

Type of Funding: DFG Programmes, Collaborative Research Centres


A stent – folded up until it fits into a thin catheter and then pushed through it to the bottleneck in the coronary vessel – unfolds on its own at the exactly correct position once it is unwrapped: It consists of a specific alloy which is able to remember its original shape and to reassume it on its own. Shape memory effects of metals dependent on various temperature ranges are analysed by a group of mechanical engineers, chemists, physicists and mineralogists in the SFB 459. Nickel-titanium (NiTi) has proved to be an alloy with a very good memory. Its biocompatibility makes it a precious material for medical technology, but robotics, microsystems technology, aerospace technology, sensor and actuator technology can also profit from it.

Research in the SFB includes fundamental studies of the deformation mechanisms as well as the application, design and manufacturing of shape memory alloys. In order to optimize the alloys‘ producibility and processability the researchers employ methods of modern materials science, e.g. powder metallurgy. Another aim is to develop methods to be able to produce these alloys more economically. The shape memory effects can also be influenced by thermomechanical pretreatment. Another aspect which is analysed in detail is the question of how long the memory effects last and how they can be trained and improved.

Project Website

Contact Person at UA Ruhr:
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gunther Eggeler, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

UA Ruhr Researchers:
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dirk Biermann, TU Dortmund University
Prof. Dr. Ralf Drautz, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan Frenzel, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Prof. Dr. Klaus Hackl, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Prof. Dr. Alexander Hartmaier, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Prof. Dr. Manfred Köller, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alfred Ludwig, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuhmann, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Dr. Christoph Somsen, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Prof. Dr. Ingo Steinbach, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Werner Theisen, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

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