The pseudoelastic and shape memory effects of NiTi can be used in passive or active actuation systems. Often used in the aerospace industry, the use of NiTi for actuation is also growing in the biomedical fields and elsewhere. However, it’s potential in industry is currently limited by the inability to produce complex NiTi parts. Conventional manufacturing processes are complicated by the extreme difficulty associated with machining NiTi. Furthermore, the transformation temperatures which drive the unique behavior of NiTi as a shape memory alloy are extremely sensitive to the relative concentrations of nickel and titanium. Therefore, exceptionally tight compositional control during production is necessary to guarantee ideal material behavior. Additive manufacturing (AM) is a near-net-shaping technology which allows for the direct fabrication of complex metallic components. By utilizing the AM processing principle, the poor machinability of NiTi is no longer an issue. Using AM also enables production of 3D geometries that are not possible using traditional techniques. Furthermore, direct CAD fabrication reduces the timescale of the concept-to-prototype transition. In the present work, an SLM machine (Phenix Systems PXM) is used to develop NiTi components directly from powder. The thermal characteristics and shape memory functionality of SLM NiTi components is demonstrated.

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