Shape Memory Alloys for Bridges

Virginia Heffernan - December 30, 2009

SMA bars connected to steel bars

Bridges in earthquake-prone regions may one day benefit from the super-elastic qualities of shape memory alloys (SMAs) made of nickel and titanium.

New research from the University of Nevada in Reno suggests that by integrating SMAs into bridge columns, civil engineers can reduce the damage to bridges caused by earthquakes while increasing the capital cost of the bridge by only about 4%.

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