Materials and Components

Shape Memory Alloys (SMA)

Reactive Glass

Photochromic Paint

Quantum Tunnelling Composites


New and Smart Materials 1

Shape Memory Alloys (SMA)

  • Change shape in reaction to a stimulus e.g. light, heat, pressure
  • For example a wire which goes straight when a certain voltage is put through it
  • Very expensive to make and not as strong as normal materials

Reactive Glass

  • When there is a light source or heat source the glass goes dark
  • Welding mask is clear until the sparks from the welding start and then the glass goes dark
  • This is operated by electronics
  • Can replace blinds in windows

Photochromic Paint

  • Contains pigments that change colour according to light conditions
  •  For example clear in the dark and pink under UV light
  • A reversable reaction
  • Security markers
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New and Smart Materials 2

Quantum Tunneling Composites

  • In its relaxed state it is an electrical insulator
  • When it is stretched, compressed or twisted it becomes an electrical conductor
  • The greater the stress the more it conducts
  • Can be used in pressure sensors and speed controllers
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