Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Morphing Metals

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the forge-ahead dept.

Science 121

aarondubrow writes "Imagine a metal that 'remembers' its original, cold-forged shape, and can return to that shape when exposed to heat or a magnetic pulse. Like magic out of a Harry Potter novel, such a metal could contract on command, or swing back and forth like a pendulum. Believe it or not, such metals already exist. First discovered in 1931, they belong to a class of materials called 'shape memory alloys (SMA),' whose unique atomic make-up allows them to return to their initial form, or alternate between forms through a phase change."

cancel ×

121 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Yes and? (2)

MaXMC (138127) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597548)

What was the purpouse of this summary?

Re:Yes and? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597654)

I guess it's to remind us of an over ten years old technology that we're still not using on a daily basis. So we don't completely forget about it.

Maybe it still causes too much paradox for the Technocracy and they need to really convince the humanity that it should work, so they can advance towards the liquid metal terminators. But it's unlikely, with most of those concepts being imaginary and all.

Re:Yes and? (4, Informative)

necro81 (917438) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597852)

technology that we're still not using on a daily basis

Are you kidding me? I use Nitinol [wikipedia.org] (the main shape memory alloy) every time I put on my glasses. Many shape memory alloys exhibit a behavior other than the heat-activated shape memory effect: superelasticity [wikipedia.org] . That is what allows me to bend my frames [youtube.com] in all kinds of weird ways without having the metal permanently deform.

Re:Yes and? (4, Informative)

DevConcepts (1194347) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598052)

Nitinol is also used many permanent implantable medical devices such as stents http://www.euroflex-gmbh.de/pdfs/medical.pdf [euroflex-gmbh.de] [PDF] and having developed a few devices with Nitinol, it is simply amazing to see it work.

Re:Yes and? (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599190)

Yeah, I think this stuff is used in small quantities in lots of clever applications that we just don't tend to think of regularly. The people whining about it being just hype are pissed that it hasn't enabled flying cars or large mechanical robot suits yet.

Re:Yes and? (1)

mehemiah (971799) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599740)

So we don't completely forget about it. Gamers who played Metal Gear Solid [metalgearsolid.org] should never forget the PAL key [playstation.com] puzzle that required the use of a shape memory alloy.

Re:Yes and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33597942)

screw that...i eat paradox for breakfast, dinner and tea...

all at the same time...

Muhahaha

p.s. the captcha word was "explodes" lol

Re:Yes and? (3, Interesting)

radtea (464814) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598582)

To ensure we all know that aarondubrow and/or the /. editors are incapable of imagining that almost everyone is familiar with an 80-year-old technology that they happen to have never heard of before.

This is a common phenomenon: people generally project their own state of mind on everyone else. They are also incredibly touchy when you point this out, which tells you how deeply internalized this tendency is.

I was going to make a crack here about all the religious people who think that non-religious people have non-religion as their religion, but thinking that was too inflamatory I then considered describing my recent experience with configuring printing on an embedded Debian system, and how the documentation still fails utterly to allow the user what Eric Raymond calls "the luxury of ignorance", instead approaching the problem from an expert's point of view that is completely useless to a n00b like me, but realized that would probably be even more inflamatory, and I honestly can't think of a case that wouldn't really piss someone off, which suggests how universal the phenomenon is and how sensitive people are when you call them on it.

Re:Yes and? (3, Funny)

synaptik (125) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599206)

I dunno, but there's this device called a "L.A.S.E.R." that sounds promising. Slashdot submission coming soon.

Re:Yes and? (1)

Phase Shifter (70817) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599778)

I dunno, but there's this device called a "L.A.S.E.R." that sounds promising. Slashdot submission coming soon.

This Slashdot thread has now officially jumped the shark.
waitaminute, maybe you could attach one of those...

News? (4, Informative)

ColdGrits (204506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597560)

Are we to expect a slew of articles about 80 year old discoveries now?!

SMAs have been well known about for decades, well written about for decades, just what is the point if this article?!

Re:News? (4, Funny)

Barryke (772876) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597582)

Where are those mod-points when i need 'm. Its a plot!

Re:News? (5, Funny)

thoughtfulbloke (1091595) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597624)

If you like this article, you may excited to read other breaking tech news:
  • The cyclotron was invented
  • Thomas Edison submits last patent
  • Emerson Iron lung perfected
  • Deuterium discovered

Re:News? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597950)

  • Improved Buggy Whips expected soon.

Re:News? (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599974)

  • How Dr. Wondrabulous's Miracle Radium Tonic Is Killing You

Re:News? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598706)

  • Phlogiston - Phact or Phiction?

Re:News? (1)

reverseengineer (580922) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599840)

Well, they did just have that article about a geocentrism conference [slashdot.org] . Slashdot truly is the place to discuss the bleeding edge of scientific progess.

Re:News? (1)

visualight (468005) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597662)

In the last ten years there has been several articles about morphing metals, but they were actually about new kinds of morphing metals.

Re:News? (1)

bvimo (780026) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597838)

Where there any new kinds of articles about old kinds of mighty-morphing metals, maybe something in the cloud?

Re:News? (2, Funny)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597678)

Are we to expect a slew of articles about 80 year old discoveries now?!

Look at the bright side: none of the articles will be dupes!

Re:News? (1)

ColdGrits (204506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597774)

<quote><blockquote><div><p>Are we to expect a slew of articles about 80 year old discoveries now?!</p></div></blockquote><p>Look at the bright side: none of the articles will be dupes!</p></quote>

Not for another 80 years, anyway.

Re:News? (2, Informative)

Mark Hood (1630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597760)

You used to be able to buy glasses with frames made from this, especially for kids - the idea being you could sit on them, scrunch them up in a bag and they'd just straighten out with body heat, when you put them on. Obviously you got scratch resist lenses too.

They seem to do them for adults now too http://www.framesdirect.com/flexon/ [framesdirect.com]

Mark

Re:News? (2, Insightful)

GORby_ (101822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597860)

Well, I guess if they straighten out with body heat, and you sit on them, you might be in for an unpleasant surprise...

Re:News? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597862)

I remember getting glasses as a kid that supposedly had this memory thing. you could twist them 180 degrees from the middle, and they would return to normal(I suppose they were titanium).

how on earth did they break then? a snowball in a snowball fight from the behind snapped a connection on side of the frame that hold one of those two things that go behind the ear(I suppose there's a real word for that part, but that connection was the weakest part).

Re:News? (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597944)

The point of this article is to hype Apple's investment in LiquidMetal.

Re:News? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598020)

The point of this article is to hype Apple's investment in LiquidMetal.

Are they planning on releasing an iTerminator?

Re:News? (1)

mandark1967 (630856) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598650)

Are they planning on releasing an iTerminator?

I hope so! That means it'll be so overpriced that no one can afford it, it will only run protocols available through the app store, and if you hold it just right, it poweres down on its own. Oh...it has no shurikans either. Yay!

Re:News? (4, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597956)

SMAs have been well known about for decades, well written about for decades, just what is the point if this article?!

Someone who's education consists of Harry Potter novels just looked at a random Wikipedia article and realized you can do pretty neat stuff with science too. It's kinda cute, really, and we should be kind and supportive of this potential butterfly of wisdom just starting to emerge from the shell of ignorance.

Re:News? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598574)

Someone who's education consists of...

Wow. You have no ground to stand on.

Re:News? (0, Offtopic)

mynicknamewasused (962741) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598860)

this potential butterfly of wisdom potential butterfly of wisdom butterfly of wisdom butterfly hmmm butter

Re:News? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598134)

After reading TFA, it said they discovered the fundamentals of SMAs are different than previously believed. Supercomputer simulations are being used to determine what other atomic structures can have multiple modes with different equalibriums. They propose they can discover more principles of SMAs, and it will lead to new ones being developed (at least in simulation).

Re:News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598322)

Why does this remind me of the "memory plastic" murder weapon in "The Fuller Brush Man" back in 1948?
http://www.clown-ministry.com/index_1.php/articles/the_fuller_brush_man_red_skelton_movie/

Re:News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598354)

The poster discovered it only recently on his 13th birthday.

1931 (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598656)

Perhaps they thought it was roughly half-past seven in the evening?

Re:News? (2, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599130)

Actually if you read the link. I know what am I thinking read the link on slashdot.
This is about creating high temp SMAs and using super computers to model them instead of melting metal testing repeat.
It is actually kind of interesting in a very geeky science way.

Horseless carriages (5, Funny)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597572)

Imagine a carriage that propels itself without the need for horses, fuelled by otherwise useless petroleum spirits. Like magic from some Jules Verne novel, such a carriage could carry a family for hundreds of miles at high speed without tiring, and could revolutionise transportation. Belive it or not, such carriages already exist....

Re:Horseless carriages (5, Funny)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597586)

Those are the work of the devil. They will stop chickens from laying eggs and the speed that people will move in them will suck the air out of their lungs.

Re:Horseless carriages (2, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599900)

Make a guy with a flag walk in front of them and we're all set.

Re:Horseless carriages (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597612)

A Wind-up train?

Re:Horseless carriages (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597694)

Forget the horseless carriages, imagine a robot made from some metal like that, robot that can remold his body into different sharp shapes.

Imagine now that someone let this robot loose with only one goal - to terminate people.

I already need to change my pants.

Re:Horseless carriages (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597748)

I already need to change my pants.

Overwhelmed by awesome or by terror?

Re:Horseless carriages (1)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598254)

Does Awesome Terror count? In this case, I would assume it's both :)

Re:Horseless carriages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33599760)

Come with me if you want to live!

Re:Horseless carriages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33597958)

...and just imagine a beowulf cluster of these carriages! Oh, wait...

Science -- Idle (0, Redundant)

piotru (124109) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597588)

SMAs are not new.

Schoes (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597596)

Imagine not wearing your feet down on the gravel, rock and teeth on the floor by putting some skin on them. Now imagine buying those without waging war. Now imagine there are still places in the world where this could be considered news, but lets stop right there. Morphing metals? Are we to expect a lesson on how bricks where invented eons ago?

But not here, not on /. so please cut the crap, i'm not here to learn about something even teens understand. (ofcourse only if they exhibit any interest for that knowledge, thus making the point there is no point in pointing the pointless crap out that was a point over 50 years ago and isn't a point anymore)

Re:Schoes (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598960)

Are we to expect a lesson on how bricks where invented eons ago?

That WOULD be cool, because currently the invention of bricks is "lost to antiquity".

just like 3D cinema (3, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597600)

Shape memory metals seem to come into the public consciousness every decade or so only to fade back into obscurity just as quickly.

Re:just like 3D cinema (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597736)

Shape memory metals seem to come into the public consciousness every decade or so only to fade back into obscurity just as quickly.

Then the memory is bent out of shape (just like the alloy) until it is not recognizable.

Really? (4, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597608)

Amazing stuff! A couple more decades and we'll have finally moved away from valve-based electronics, too! This truly is an era of change.

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597614)

They have this newfangled thing in America... its called Sillycon or something like that.

Re:Really? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597690)

Isn't that what the story poster is trying to pull by attempting to convince us that this is news?

Re:Really? (2, Funny)

selven (1556643) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597756)

its called Sillycon or something like that.

Is Pedobear invited?

Re:Really? (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598598)

Yeah this one's in San Jose, not San Diego...

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33597868)

Sillycon [google.com]

Re:Really? (1)

morgaen (1896818) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598236)

I heard it will soon be the year of linux on the desktop too. Exciting times!

terminator (1)

mestar (121800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597616)

I didn't know that the Terminator movies were written by this Harry Potter person.

Re:terminator (4, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597670)

I didn't know that the Terminator movies were written by this Harry Potter person.

The terminator movies weren't written. They just put the robots on a stage and let them improvise.

What! It works with Keanu Reeves.

Re:terminator (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599350)

It works with Keanu Reeves.

Having seen several Keanu films... no it doesn't.

Re:terminator (2, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599440)

It works with Keanu Reeves.

Having seen several Keanu films... no it doesn't

Were you Igor, your response to poor Dr.Frankenstein's "It lives! It liiiiiives!!" would probably be "Well yeah but the seams are kind of obvious. And what's with the bolts in the neck?"

Re:terminator (2, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599940)

He was fine in a little movie called "The Matrix". Shame they never made a sequel.

oh /. (1)

sardaukar_siet (559610) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597618)

you have been nothing but disappointment lately... dupes, shitty summaries, non-stories, Apple Apple Apple, and late to the punch more often than not. What happened to you, man? you used to be so cool...

Re:oh /. (1)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598382)

you have been nothing but disappointment lately

Lately? You must be new here...

Re:oh /. (1)

sardaukar_siet (559610) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598558)

granted, but the Apple focus is recent! :)

Anyone read TFA? (4, Informative)

mccalli (323026) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597622)

The point:

"These shape memory materials have many applications," said Raymundo Arroyave, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Texas A&M. "Despite being heavily studied for the past twenty to thirty years, most of these materials are limited to work at relatively low temperatures."

In other words, yes - the materials have existed for ages and people know that (anyone ever worn memory-flex glasses, for instance?), but there is now work underway to make the substances more useful in more difficult conditions - TFA mentions aerospace and automotive.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Anyone read TFA? (2, Interesting)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597660)

I remember the exact same claims back in to '70s and '90s. Apart from expensive muscles for tiny robots and your fancy glasses, nothing new has come of it in all this time.

Re:Anyone read TFA? (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598840)

Last time I junked a laptop the PCMCIA socket used SMA wire in the eject mechanism. That's nothing spectacular, which is the point: there are everyday uses for SMAs that you won't know about unless you look hard enough, like anti-scalding valves in hot water systems, surgical tools, automatic fire sprinklers and bra underwire (I wouldn't expect most Slashdotters to have practical experience with any of these, of course).

Re:Anyone read TFA? (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599026)

... and bra underwire (I wouldn't expect most Slashdotters to have practical experience with any of these, of course).

It's true, I prefer a wireless man-zier. Much more comfortable to wear while hunched over a keyboard all day.

Re:Anyone read TFA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33599494)

Horray, I have experience with at least three of those things.

Re:Anyone read TFA? (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599154)

Hey, those fancy glasses of mine have saved me hundreds of dollars over the last 6-7 years. Do you have any idea how often I used to fall asleep with my glasses on, only to wake up in the morning only to find a cracked pair of glasses frames? Now I can fall asleep on top of my glasses, bending them in half, and my nose will break long before my glasses.

Re:Anyone read TFA? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597984)

"but there is now work underway to make the substances more useful in more difficult conditions"

just like in 1950, 60,70,80,90,00.. basically we would like to see some new results and applications, we already know it's under research.

From TFA (5, Informative)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597656)

“These shape memory materials have many applications,” said Raymundo Arroyave, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Texas A&M. “Despite being heavily studied for the past twenty to thirty years, most of these materials are limited to work at relatively low temperatures.” “This new class of high temperature shape memory alloys can be used in sensing and actuation at temperatures upwards of 200 Celsius, which is very important for the aerospace and the automotive industries,” Arroyave said.

IOW what's new (or rather isn't actually yet) is "it works at higher temperatures". And that they are trying to find the new materials by simulating them with a supercomputer. Or so they hope, because "Computational materials science has a reputation for overselling and underperforming, according to Arroyave, but by all measures, the field is maturing by leaps and bounds."

Re:From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598472)

"IOW what's new (or rather isn't actually yet) is "it works at higher temperatures".

A car of this stuff would just be put in a large oven to regain its original stage after an accident.
Smaller accidents can be fixed with a hairdryer.

news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33597698)

Slashdot would have chosen a more appropriate slogan, but "olds for nerds" just didn't sound quite right

saw it on tv like 30 years ago already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33597720)

Really old news. When I was a child like 30 years ago, I saw a TV science show about that. They rolled up a spoon that was made of that metal, threw it into water, cold or hot, don't remember and it went back into its original shape.

Edmumd Scientific (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597784)

I remember being able to buy pieces of this stuff from Edmund Scientific when I was a kid back in the 70's.

Wow. (2, Informative)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597802)

You mean like those bendable glasses (spectacles) are made of? The ones you can sit on and not break. The ones that have been around for long enough to be known by the layman.

ergerg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33597822)

MIGHTY MORPHING POWER METALS

hell yeah shitcpck earge rag er gaer g er

Use the right fictional metaphor! (3, Funny)

AC-x (735297) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597840)

Like magic out of a Harry Potter novel? Come on, It's clearly like T1000 technology out of Terminator 2!

Missing obvious cultural reference? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597856)

Imagine a metal that 'remembers' its original, cold-forged shape, and can return to that shape when exposed to heat or a magnetic pulse. Like magic out of a Harry Potter novel, such a metal could contract on command, or swing back and forth like a pendulum.

Harry Potter isn't exactly came to mind first [wikipedia.org] while reading the above.

Roswell 1947 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33597878)

Wasn't that the kind of material witnesses reported finding at the Roswell crash site?

morphing man'kind' (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33597920)

making us believe it's proper/required to mistreat/kill one another in the name of some things that are not even alive/real. hard to grasp.

meanwhile (a long uncomfortable while should we continue to pretend); the corepirate nazi illuminati is always hunting that patch of red on almost everyones' neck. if they cannot find yours (greed, fear ego etc...) then you can go starve. that's their (slippery/slimy) 'platform' now. see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

never a better time to consult with/trust in our creators. the lights are coming up rapidly all over now. see you there?

greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of our dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children. not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one, & the terminal damage to our atmosphere (see also: manufactured 'weather', hot etc...). see you on the other side of it? the lights are coming up all over now. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be your guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. we now have some choices. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on your brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

"The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."--

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson

no need to confuse 'religion' with being a spiritual being. our soul purpose here is to care for one another. failing that, we're simply passing through (excess baggage) being distracted/consumed by the guaranteed to fail illusionary trappings of man'kind'. & recently (about 10,000 years ago) it was determined that hoarding & excess by a few, resulted in negative consequences for all.

consult with/trust in your creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." )one does not need to agree whois in charge to grasp the notion that there may be some assistance available to us(

boeing, boeing, gone.

No more panel beaters (1)

Circlotron (764156) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597986)

Imagine a car made out of this kind of metal. Someone ploughs into you, tow the car home, apply a flame and presto! off you go again.

Re:No more panel beaters (4, Funny)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598050)

Imagine a car made out of this kind of metal. Someone ploughs into you, tow the car home, apply a flame and presto! off you go again.

A memory-metal Pinto would be self repairing...

Re:No more panel beaters (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599174)

Would such a self repairing Pinto then be capable of reproduction if it gets cut in half?

Re:No more panel beaters (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598946)

Imagine a car made out of this kind of metal. Someone ploughs into you, tow the car home, apply a flame and presto! off you go again.

Or, if you're trapped in fiery wreckage, you can watch your car repair itself right in front of/over/through you (depending on how bad the accident was)!

Re:No more panel beaters (1)

Sentrion (964745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599144)

And then your insurance won't cover your medical bills because there won't be any evidence of a collision.

Imagine an OS (0, Offtopic)

kainosnous (1753770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598000)

Imagine an OS that doesn't need virus protection, doesn't crash, and is completely customisable. Imagine a browser that doesn't beg for viruses and follows a consistent set of standards between release rather than arbitrarily making new rules each time. Imagine software that is free and useful that doesn't come from some shady site that you've never heard of. Believe it or not, such software already exists. It's called FOSS, and an entire toolchain has been built with it allowing all sorts of new and powerful applications.

Slow news day (4, Interesting)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598214)

Wow, slow news day. All the way back to 1931 for this story!

To make a reference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598296)

Snake! That key is actually three keys in one!

Breaking nooz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33598368)

"In other news: your known anonymous guy recently discovered hot water, he did so by accidentally leaving a bucket 'o metal near his fireplace 'n stuff inside 'o it. Asked for comments he replied he does indeed love the hot water, he's thinking to sell it for double price normal unhot water at the local neanderthal market."

so the T-1000 is not that far off now? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598664)

so the T-1000 is not that far off now?

w00t (1)

TechkNighT_1337 (739420) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598820)

My Sleeper chamber worked??? 0_o

Old news... (1)

Urban Garlic (447282) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599022)

This is indeed old news.

Also, I am posting because I have just done another one of these fat-fingered mis-moderations. It's surprsingly hard to un-do moderations. There's this thing where you have to wait a while after you hit "reply", and there's the lameness filter. There's also the karma hit from pointless posts, of course, but that at least has some deterrent value, and encourages more care in dishing out the mod points. One hopes.

Rediscovered in 1995 (1)

flahwho (1243110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599072)

It was also rediscovered in 1995 when a T-1000 was sent by Skynet back in time to kill John Connor, the future leader of the Human Resistance.

The stuff is hard to work with (2, Interesting)

dr_leviathan (653441) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599666)

I knew a machinist in the physics machine shop at my university who claimed memory metal was really hard to work with. It gums up the cutting tools and creates burrs like crazy. If you try to drill a hole in the stuff you have to be really careful or you'll break the bit.

MMMM (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599674)

Mighty Morphing Mutant Metals would be a nice title for the next japanese action series, without those pesky turtles and rangers.

The trouble with SMAs (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599770)

Shape-memory alloys have been around for decades, but there are almost no applications for them. Yes, they change shape when heated, and return to the original shape when cooled. So do bimetallic strips, used in thermostats since 1880 or so. There are some toy engines [scientificsonline.com] based on this. Some flapping-wing devices have been built in toy size, but they're not strong enough to take off. There was some NASA enthusiasm for using this effect to control minor airfoils on aircraft, but that never went very far.

As actuators, SMAs are inefficient. You can run a current through an SMA wire, and after a while, it changes shape. That's because of resistive heating raising the temperature of the metal. Most of the electrical energy goes into waste heat, so this is far less efficient than an ordinary motor or solenoid. Then you have to wait for it to cool down, so cycle times are slow. Some small valves have been built; with SMA wire in liquid, the cool-down times are fast enough to be useful.

Best Kept Secrets ( Sort of) (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599998)

Take a metal that has been widely used by the Navy for opening and closing valves and make it public property. Then have industry make wires for ladies bras and eye glass frames and bury the potential of the material under a dark rock in a dark stream somewhere. The idea that Nitinol could be used to make car doors and fenders that were self healing or a connecting rod that would turn a crank without a piston being needed and the truth just might become apparent. In essence Nitinol hides in plain sight. It is a world class substance delegated to unimportant roles by industries that avoid change like the plague.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>