smart materials
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.doc   SMART MATERIALS.doc (Size: 302.5 KB / Downloads: 194)
This article is presented by:
Shivani Rawat


The development of durable and cost effective high performance construction materials is important for the economic well being of a country. Assorted developments are being made these days to increase the strength and durability of these structures and make them accustomed to various natural changes.

The technology now addresses the growing needs for strengthening aging structures , rehabilitating damaged structures and designing new structures to more severe requirements and for longer service life. Innovations are being made in structural materials and to develop superior products that have positive impact on our cost-effective competitiveness, national security and quality of life. In order to achieve the above requirements evaluation of structure is essential. Figure(1) shows the evaluation components of structure.

Engineers have to use three main criteria to select materials: desired properties, availability of manufacturing technology, economic feasibility. One of the latest development in this context is the development of smart material.


“Smartness” of a material is characterized by self-adaptability, self sensing memory and decision making. Smart materials are the materials that respond with shape or other property change upon application of externally applied driving forces (electrical, magnetic and thermal). In other words, smart materials refer to materials that can undergo controlled transformations through physical interactions and are structured with multi-functionality. They have they are able to respond to slight variation in temperature, moisture, pH, electric or magnetic fields by changing their appearance, state and properties. They are exemplified as boon in tackling the problem of deteriorating civil infrastructure and they had influenced the life cost of these structures by reducing the upfront construction cost as they allow reduced safety factors in initial design.


The term shape memory refers to the ability of certain alloys to undergo large strains, while recovering their original configuration at the end of the deformation process impulsively or by heating without any residual deformation. This is due to their two unique properties: pseudo-elasticity and shape memory effect. It had been found that these shape memory alloys first bridges the structure and then on application of heat, changes shape and clamp both sides of the crack together. The most efficient and widely used alloys include NiTi (Nickel-Titanium), CuZnAl and CuAlNi.

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26-10-2010, 04:34 PM

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smart materials

Smart materials obtain their unique properties by the deliberate introduction of multi-functionality. This can enable the material, or the structure from which it is made, to diagnose its condition or environment, change shape, self-repair, or other functions as developing technology allows. It is argued that any of these functions are only viable if both the costs and benefits are considered on a system-wide basis. Some of the particular requirements and challenges for a number of example applications are considered and some general requirements suggested. It is concluded that such system-wide approach to optimization is a challenge for both designers and for those developing smart materials but it is necessary if the full advantages of smart materials are to be realized


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