As the shape memory material Nitinol (55% Nickel – 45% Titanium alloy) emerges to find more and more applications in engineered products, understanding the effects of material processing becomes increasingly important. Its mechanical behavior is highly non-linear and is strongly dependent on alloy composition, heat treatment history and mechanical work. Published Nitinol literature is almost exclusively related to processing and testing of thin wall, very small diameter tubing and wire devices, usually exhibiting superelastic characteristics. In strain-controlled tension-compression testing of pseudoelastic Nitinol shape memory wires, compression recovery forces were found to be markedly higher than tension forces. However, most experimental studies of the thermomechanical behavior of Nitinol (NiTi) to date have been conducted in uniaxial tension on wire devices. There is a dearth of information in the literature regarding the compression recovery of solid blocks of Nitinol. Questions exist on whether or not solid, “bulk” Nitinol products when deformed in compression will exhibit shape recovery characteristics? The potential for shape recovery of compressed solid blocks of Nitinol products, which could have large stress-strain outputs, can enable the design of novel devices in many industries. The motivation for this research is to provide the first characterization of the shape recovery effects of “bulk” Nitinol material under compressive deformation modes versus the often practiced and well understood tensile loading of wire and thin wall tubing.

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