Actuating smart systems rely on the distinct class of functional materials able to actuate in a specific field. The highest thermally controlled actuation is provided by shape memory alloys, the class of materials relying on the thermoelastic martensitic phase transformation. Such materials are not only a solution for ecological and durable development but also a continuous subject of research and innovation. Micro and nanoscale design is one of the critical elements that allow an optimization of the output as well as an adaptation to particular requirements of applications. A strong partnership has been organized to develop the research on shape memory alloys as materials for actuation, with well-known institutions, such as: Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Universitat de les Illes Baleares, Universitatea “Politehnica” din Timisoara, Cranfield University, Universidade Federal Fluminense, University of Waterloo, Indian Institute of Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, University of Science and Technology Beijing. The project is structured on several work packages aiming to tackle a multitude of issues based on proven qualifications of the partners: powder metallurgy, severe plastic deformation, welding and joining, specific characterization techniques and development of applications. Materials to be explored for further optimizations belong to the group of most interest on the application market, i.e. the based material will be NiTi alloys but a set of multiple derivative compositions, especially NiTiCu, NiTiHf, and other materials that could be used to generate thermally controlled actuation and superelastic behavior are going to be explored and scientific and technological knowledge will be shared among experienced and entry level researchers. The complexity of the phenomena and technologies provides an almost unique environment for research and training in a complementary and multidisciplinary ensemble that could favor novel ideas and new skills development.
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