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New Superelastic Alloy May Help Buildings to Withstand Shocks from Earthquakes

Published on July 4, 2011 at 2:57 AM

By Cameron Chai

A superelastic alloy has been developed by Japanese researchers that could provide potential applications in buildings. The material may aid in absorbing shocks resulting from earthquakes and help buildings to resist vibration and stress during such events. The alloy can return to its original shape at any temperature.

When a small quantity of nickel is added to an iron-based alloy, the new material can retain its original from temperatures ranging from -196°C to 240°C.

Toshihiro Omori, lead author at the Tohoku University’s Department of Materials Science, said that the innovative alloy is more elastic compared to other superelastic alloys, which do not have the potential to recover their original shape outside the -20°C to 80°C range.

The new material has temperature insensitivity and is cheaper than other competitive alloys. It could prove suitable for large-scale applications and may be utilized in environments that are continuously exposed to very high temperatures. The applications of the ferrous alloy include controls and joints in spacecraft, airplanes and cars.

Source: http://www.tohoku.ac.jp/english/

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