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News Release 07-187

Metal Foam Has a Good Memory

Poking holes in magnetic alloy improves its shape-morphing capability

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New magnetic shape-memory foam made from nickel-manganese-gallium alloy.

The porous nature of nickel-manganese-gallium alloy gives it "shape-memory" properties. The material lengthens, or strains, up to 10 percent when subjected to a magnetic field. The NSF-funded researchers believe the porous alloy has great potential for uses that require light weight and a large strain, such as space and automotive applications and tiny motion control devices or biomedical pumps with no moving parts.

Credit: P. Müllner, M. Chmielus and S. Donovan, Boise State University, and D. Dunand and Y. Boonyongmaneerat, Northwestern University.

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