Mechanical Memory (e.g., Shape Memory, Heat-recoverable, Etc.) Patents (Class 148/563)
  • Patent number: 10351939
    Abstract: A Cu—Al—Mn-based alloy having superelastic characteristics and having a recrystallized texture substantially formed of a ? single phase, in which 70% or more of crystal grains is within a range of 0° to 50° in a deviation angle from <001> orientation of a crystalline orientation measured in a working direction by electron back-scatter diffraction patterning.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignees: TOHOKU UNIVERSITY, FURUKAWA TECHNO MATERIAL CO., LTD., FURUKAWA ELECTRIC CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Toshihiro Omori, Shingo Kawata, Ryosuke Kainuma, Kiyohito Ishida, Toyonobu Tanaka, Kenji Nakamizo, Sumio Kise, Koji Ishikawa, Misato Nakano, Satoshi Teshigawara
  • Patent number: 10066327
    Abstract: The present disclosure describes a knitted component configured to stretch. The knitted component includes a knit element that includes an auxetic portion configured to move between a first position and a second position as the knitted component stretches. The knitted component also includes a tensile strand formed with the knit element. The auxetic portion has an area when in the first position. The tensile strand engages the knit element proximate the auxetic portion. The tensile strand is configured to be manipulated for selectively changing the area of the auxetic portion to vary a stretch characteristic of the knitted component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2018
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Tory M. Cross, Daniel A. Podhajny
  • Patent number: 10023430
    Abstract: An actuator for an elevator system, which actuator can adopt an activated state and a released state, has a restoring element. The actuator is brought from the released state into the activated state by the restoring element. The restoring element is made of a shape memory alloy. At a first temperature, the restoring element adopts a first length, and a second length at a second temperature. After the actuator has been released, the restoring element changes from the first length into the second length, and back into the first length. In this way, the restoring element returns the actuator to the activated state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2018
    Assignee: INVENTIO AG
    Inventors: Christian Studer, Raphael Bitzi
  • Patent number: 9903054
    Abstract: A knitted component is formed of unitary knit construction and is configured to stretch. The knitted component includes a knit element that includes an auxetic portion configured to move between a first position and a second position as the knitted component stretches. The knitted component also includes a tensile strand formed of unitary knit construction with the knit element. The auxetic portion has an area when in the first position. The tensile strand engages the knit element proximate the auxetic portion. The tensile strand is configured to be manipulated for selectively changing the area of the auxetic portion to vary a stretch characteristic of the knitted component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Tory M. Cross, Daniel A. Podhajny
  • Patent number: 9764386
    Abstract: Methods and devices are disclosed for creating a multiple alloy composite structure by forming a three-dimensional arrangement of a first alloy composition in which the three-dimensional arrangement has a substantially open and continuous porosity. The three-dimensional arrangement of the first alloy composition is infused with at least a second alloy composition, where the second alloy composition comprises a shape memory alloy. The three-dimensional arrangement is consolidated into a fully dense solid structure, and the original shape of the second alloy composition is set for reversible transformation. Strain is applied to the fully dense solid structure, which is treated with heat so that the shape memory alloy composition becomes memory activated to recover the original shape. An interwoven composite of the first alloy composition and the memory-activated second alloy composition is thereby formed in the multiple alloy composite structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2017
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of NASA
    Inventor: Craig A. Brice
  • Patent number: 9764220
    Abstract: A reconfigurable device comprises flexible bladder that encloses a jammable material. The geometry of the device can be altered by unjamming the jammable material (making it flexible), changing the shape of the device while it is flexible, and then jamming the jammable material (making it rigid). In some applications of this invention, a joint connects rigid arms. The ends of the rigid arms are enclosed in the bladder. By varying the stiffness of the jammable material in the bladder, the stiffness of the joint can be controlled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2017
    Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Steven Keating, Neri Oxman
  • Patent number: 9752219
    Abstract: Methods of manufacturing biocompatible, corrosion resistant, self-adaptive, shape-memory titanium-based alloys by using specific ranges of elements in the alloy. Subsequent to melting, the alloy may undergo heat treating, thermo-mechanically processing, and training. Subsequent to training, the alloy has an ultra-low elastic modulus and exhibits self-adaptive, superelastic behavior.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Assignee: THE TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY SYSTEM
    Inventors: Ji Ma, Ibrahim Karaman
  • Patent number: 9629734
    Abstract: According to one aspect of the present invention, a fatigue resistant stent comprises a flexible tubular structure having an inside diameter, an outside diameter, and a sidewall therebetween and having apertures extending through the sidewall. According to other aspects of the invention, processes for making a fatigue resistant stent are disclosed. According to further aspects of the invention, delivery systems for a fatigue resistant stent and methods of use are provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: Covidien LP
    Inventors: Jianlu Ma, Joe Tatalovich, Lixiao Wang, Xiaoling Zhao, Dan Ranum
  • Patent number: 9440286
    Abstract: Processes for producing a nickel-titanium alloy are disclosed. The processes are characterized by the production of nickel-titanium alloy articles having improved microstructure. A pre-alloyed nickel-titanium alloy is melted and atomized to form molten nickel-titanium alloy particles. The molten nickel-titanium alloy particles are cooled to form nickel-titanium alloy powder. The nickel-titanium alloy powder is consolidated to form a fully-densified nickel-titanium alloy preform that is hot worked to form a nickel-titanium alloy article. Any second phases present in the nickel-titanium alloy article have a mean size of less than 10 micrometers measured according to ASTM E1245-03 (2008) or an equivalent method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: ATI PROPERTIES LLC
    Inventor: C. Craig Wojcik
  • Patent number: 9315880
    Abstract: Semi-finished products for the production of devices containing thermoelastic materials with improved reliability and reproducibility are described. The semi-finished products are based on an alloy of Ni—Ti plus elements X and/or Y. The nickel amount is comprised between 40 and 52 atom %, X is comprised between 0.1 and 1 atom %, Y is comprised between 1 and 10 atom % and the balance is titanium. The one or more additional elements X are chosen from Al, Ta, Hf, Si, Ca, Ce, La, Re, Nb, V, W, Y, Zr, Mo, and B. The one or more additional elements Y are chosen from Al, Ag, Au, Co, Cr, Fe, Mn, Mo, Nb, Pd, Pt, Ta and W.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: SAES SMART MATERIALS
    Inventors: Francis E. Sczerzenie, Graeme William Paul
  • Patent number: 9205178
    Abstract: A Ti—Ni—Nb alloy device is provided which is a shape memory device excellent in response characteristics. The Ti—Ni—Nb alloy device is made of a Ti—Ni—Nb alloy which finishes transformation at a temperature lower than 10° C. after start of reverse transformation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2015
    Assignees: NEC TOKIN CORPORATION, TOHOKU UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Michihide Ozawa, Kiyoshi Yamauchi, Yuji Sutou, Takamitsu Takagi, Shuzou Yamashita, Kouji Mori
  • Patent number: 9195217
    Abstract: Watch cannon-pinion including a first bore for receiving a pivot-shank including, on either side of a recess, a first shoulder and a second shoulder. This cannon-pinion is made in two parts and includes, on the one hand, a body comprising internally the first bore and externally a support shoulder, and on the other hand, a shape memory alloy ring including a second bore, and, in the free state, the second bore has a larger diameter than that of the support shoulder when the ring is in a martensitic structure, and a smaller diameter than that of the support shoulder when the ring is in an austenitic structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2015
    Assignee: Montres Breguet S.A.
    Inventors: Stephane Beugin, Gaetan Villard, Lucien Germond, Polychronis Nakis Karapatis
  • Patent number: 9103006
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a nickel-titanium alloy comprising nickel, titanium, and at least one rare earth element. The nickel-titanium alloy comprises from about 34 at. % to about 60 at. % nickel, from about 34 at. % to about 60 at. % titanium, and from about 0.1 at. % to about 15 at. % at least one rare earth element. The nickel-titanium alloy may further include one or more additional alloying elements. In addition to radiopacity, the nickel-titanium alloy preferably exhibits superelastic or shape memory behavior. Medical devices comprising the nickel-titanium alloy and a method of making them are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2015
    Assignee: Cook Medical Technologies LLC
    Inventors: Syed Ansar Md. Tofail, James M. Carlson, Shane Carr, Paul Devereux, Donncha Haverty, Shay J. Lavelle, Tim McGloughlin
  • Patent number: 9091252
    Abstract: An actuator comprising an SMA element and a thermally responsive element that adjusts bias stress improves high ambient temperature operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2015
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Vidyashankar R. Buravalla, Shivaram Ac, Ashish Khandelwal, Christopher B. Churchill
  • Patent number: 9005377
    Abstract: Methods for modifying a physical characteristic of finished endodontic instruments made from one or more superelastic alloys is described which include heat treating one or more finished endodontic instruments in a salt bath for a specific time (e.g., from about four hours to about six hours), at a specified temperature (e.g., from about 475° C. to about 550° C.), and preferably at a specified pH range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: D & S Dental, LLC
    Inventors: Derek E. Heath, Steven J. A. Treadway
  • Publication number: 20150083281
    Abstract: A high temperature component having an actuator body including an actuatable portion comprising a shape memory alloy containing one more of Ni, Al, Nb, Ti and Ta and a platinum-group metal. The shape memory alloy has an altered geometry at a predetermined temperature. The actuator is also capable of operation in and is resistant to high temperature oxidizing atmospheres. A method for forming an actuator and a method for high temperature control are also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 27, 2008
    Publication date: March 26, 2015
    Applicant: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Don Mark Lipkin, Liang Jiang, Ronald Scott Bunker
  • Patent number: 8956475
    Abstract: A method for making a device for causing thrombosis of an aneurysm, wherein said device comprises a single elastic filament configurable between (i) an elongated, substantially linear configuration, and (ii) a longitudinally-contracted, substantially three-dimensional configuration, said method comprising: providing a sheet of shape memory material; producing a single filament, two-dimensional interim structure from said sheet of shape memory material; mounting said single filament, two-dimensional interim structure to a fixture so that said single filament, two-dimensional interim structure is transformed into said longitudinally-contracted, substantially three-dimensional configuration; and heat treating said single filament, two-dimensional interim structure while it is mounted to said fixture so as to produce said device in its longitudinally-contracted, substantially three-dimensional configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Inventors: Howard Riina, Jeffrey Milsom, J. Frederick Cornhill, Tuan Anh Nguyen, Kevin Smith, Kevin Keough, Robert Andrews
  • Publication number: 20150034217
    Abstract: A hybrid prosthesis for deployment in a body vessel includes a tubular stent body comprising a wire comprising a shape memory alloy, where the tubular stent body has a self-expanding portion comprising a distal portion of the wire and a balloon-expandable portion comprising a proximal portion of the wire. The shape memory alloy comprises an Af of less than 37° C. in the self-expanding portion and an As of greater than 37° C. in the balloon-expandable portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 22, 2014
    Publication date: February 5, 2015
    Inventor: Siddharth Vad
  • Patent number: 8916009
    Abstract: A method for manufacturing a nonlinear superelastic file comprising the steps of: providing a superelastic file having a shaft and a file axis; providing a fixture including a file groove being defined by one or more displacement members, the file groove configured for receiving the shaft; inserting at least a portion of the shaft into the fixture along the file groove, the portion of the shaft including a first portion of the shaft; contacting the first portion of the shaft with a first displacement member of the one or more displacement members such that the first portion of the shaft is displaced from the file axis thereby forming a first offset portion of the shaft; heating the portion of the shaft while inserted in the fixture to a temperature of at least about 300° C. for a time period of at least about 1 minute to shape-set the portion of the shaft thereby forming a shape-set nonlinear file.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: DENTSPLY International Inc.
    Inventors: Dan Ammon, Vincent Shotton, Yong Gao, Randall Maxwell
  • Patent number: 8911573
    Abstract: Medical instruments, particularly, endodontic instruments with unique limited memory characteristics, and methods for making such instruments. One embodiment includes heat treating a finished endodontic instrument. A related embodiment includes electropolishing a finished endodontic instrument and then heat treating the endodontic instrument.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Assignee: D & S Dental, LLC
    Inventors: Derek E. Heath, Steven J. A. Treadway, Bobby J. Bennett
  • Patent number: 8876991
    Abstract: Endodontic instruments for use in performing root canal therapy on a tooth are disclosed. In one form, the instruments include an elongate shank having a cutting edge extending from a distal end of the shank along an axial length of the shank. The shank comprises a titanium alloy, and the shank is prepared by heat-treating the shank at a temperature above 25° C. in an atmosphere consisting essentially of a gas unreactive with the shank. In another form, the endodontic instruments have an elongate shank having a cutting edge extending from a distal end of the shank along an axial length of the shank. The shank consists essentially of a titanium alloy selected from alpha-titanium alloys, beta-titanium alloys, and alpha-beta-titanium alloys. The instruments solve the problems encountered when cleaning and enlarging a curved root canal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: Gold Standard Instruments, LLC
    Inventor: Neill Hamilton Luebke
  • Patent number: 8844281
    Abstract: A heat engine includes a first rotatable pulley and a second rotatable pulley spaced from the first rotatable pulley. A shape memory alloy (SMA) element is disposed about respective portions of the pulleys at an SMA pulley ratio. The SMA element includes a first wire, a second wire, and a matrix joining the first wire and the second wire. The first wire and the second wire are in contact with the pulleys, but the matrix is not in contact with the pulleys. A timing cable is disposed about respective portions of the pulleys at a timing pulley ratio, which is different than the SMA pulley ratio. The SMA element converts a thermal energy gradient between the hot region and the cold region into mechanical energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignees: GM Global Technology Operations LLC, Dynalloy, Inc, The Regents of the University of Michigan
    Inventors: Alan L. Browne, Nancy L. Johnson, John Andrew Shaw, Christopher Burton Churchill, Andrew C. Keefe, Geoffrey P. McKnight, Paul W. Alexander, Guillermo A. Herrera, James Ryan Yates, Jeffrey W. Brown
  • Patent number: 8758268
    Abstract: A shaped guidewire for use in medical applications is disclosed. The guidewire is shaped so as to prevent inadvertent advancement of the guidewire into the corpus of a patient during use. In one embodiment, the guidewire includes an elongate body that defines proximal and distal ends. The guidewire body further defines a shaped portion that is positioned intermediate the proximal and distal ends. The shaped portion of the guidewire is at least partially composed of a shape memory material, such as nitinol, and is deflected from a longitudinal axis defined by an undeflected portion of the guidewire body. The shaped portion is disposed in one embodiment at the proximal end of the guidewire. In another embodiment, a proximal portion of the nitinol guidewire can be treated to impart malleability and enable deflection by a clinician. Methods for forming the shaped or malleable guidewire to include a deflected portion are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Assignee: C. R. Bard, Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew W. Bown, David M. Butts
  • Publication number: 20140137991
    Abstract: The present invention provides a high-temperature shape memory alloy, in which Hf, Zr, Ta, Nb, V, Mo, and W as a third element except Ni are added to TiPd to thereby improve high-temperature strength and exhibit large shape recovery in a high-temperature range of 200° C. to 500° C., and a method for producing the high-temperature shape memory alloy.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 13, 2012
    Publication date: May 22, 2014
    Applicants: IHI Corporation, National Institute for Materials Science
    Inventors: Yoko Mitarai, Mamiko Kawakita, De-hai Ping, Toru Hara, Satoshi Takahashi, Madoka Takahashi
  • Patent number: 8685184
    Abstract: Described herein are methods, systems, and apparatus for shape-setting hyperelastic, single-crystal shape memory alloy (SMA) material while preserving the hyperelastic properties of the material. Also described are hyperelastic, single-crystal SMA devices that have been shape set by these methods. In particular, described herein are hyperelastic, single crystal SMA dental archwires and methods of forming them while preserving the hyperelastic properties, e.g., without significant grain boundaries in the crystal structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Ormco Corporation
    Inventors: Alfred David Johnson, Sammel S. Alauddin
  • Patent number: 8685183
    Abstract: Metal ingots for forming single-crystal shape-memory alloys (SMAs) may be fabricated with high reliability and control by alloying thin layers of material together. In this method, a reactive layer (e.g., aluminum) is provided in thin flat layers between layers of other materials (e.g., copper and layers of nickel). When the stacked layers are vacuum heated in a crucible to the melting temperature of the reactive layer, it becomes reactive and chemically bonds to the other layers, and may form eutectics that, as the temperature is further increased, melt homogeneously and congruently at temperatures below the melting temperatures of copper and nickel. Oxidation and evaporation are greatly reduced compared to other methods of alloying, and loss of material from turbulence is minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Ormco Corporation
    Inventors: Alfred D. Johnson, Walter A. Bachmann
  • Patent number: 8617325
    Abstract: A system and method for actively damping tension members modulates the natural frequency of shape memory alloys incorporated into tension members, such as suspension ropes or cables. The frequency of the tension member can be modulated by heating the shape memory alloy, such modulation preventing potentially destructive resonance with natural exciting forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corporation
    Inventors: Rory S. Smith, Stefan Kaczmarczyk
  • Publication number: 20130327450
    Abstract: Systems and methods for uniformly expanding and heat setting medical devices. One method can include expanding a medical device by advancing the medical device over a preheated expander, the medical device being uniformly expanded as the medical device is advanced over the preheated expander; and heat setting the expanded medical device while the medical device is positioned over the expander, the preheated expander being maintained at a predetermined heat-setting temperature. The preheated expander can be positioned within a thermal chamber that maintains the preheated expander at the predetermined heat-setting temperature. The medical device can be physically separated from the preheated expander when the medical device is positioned over the expander and can be comprised of a shape-memory material. The preheated expander can remain heated during the expansion and heat setting of a plurality of medical devices.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2012
    Publication date: December 12, 2013
    Applicant: ABBOTT CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventor: Michael Lee Green
  • Patent number: 8585836
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a clip manufactured according to a method which can be used to engage body tissue for the purpose of closing wounds. Such clips are generally annular in shape and have radially inwardly extending tines. The present disclosure first forms a precursor which, in one embodiment, has the tines extending radially outwardly from the annular body and then forms the clip by inverting the precursor such that the tines extend radially inwardly. In an alternate embodiment, the precursor is formed with an over-sized lateral dimension and then compressed inwardly to bring the tines closer together and to reduce the lateral dimension of the precursor. Such clips may be manufactured from a superelastic alloy such as nickel-titanium, in which case the inverted or compressed precursor must be heated and quenched to heat set the clip in its final shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: Integrated Vascular Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael T. Carley, Richard S. Ginn
  • Patent number: 8556969
    Abstract: We describe herein biocompatible single crystal Cu-based shape memory alloys (SMAs). In particular, we show biocompatibility based on MEM elution cell cytotoxicity, ISO intramuscular implant, and hemo-compatibility tests producing negative cytotoxic results. This biocompatibility may be attributed to the formation of a durable oxide surface layer analogous to the titanium oxide layer that inhibits body fluid reaction to titanium nickel alloys, and/or the non-existence of crystal domain boundaries may inhibit corrosive chemical attack. Methods for controlling the formation of the protective aluminum oxide layer are also described, as are devices including such biocompatible single crystal copper-based SMAs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: Ormco Corporation
    Inventor: Alfred David Johnson
  • Publication number: 20130240096
    Abstract: A shape memory alloy element is disclosed that is configured to undergo a graded phase change along a dimension of the shape memory alloy element in response to thermal stimulus. This graded phase change produces a graded displacement response of the shape memory element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 16, 2012
    Publication date: September 19, 2013
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC.
    Inventors: Alan L. Browne, Nancy L. Johnson, Peter Maxwell Sarosi
  • Patent number: 8529616
    Abstract: An implantable expandable medical device in which selected regions of the device are in a martensite phase and selected regions are in an austenite phase. The martensitic regions exhibit pseudoplastic behavior in vivo and may be deformed without recovery under in vivo body conditions. In contrast the austenitic regions exhibit superelastic behavior in vivo and will recover their pre-programmed configuration upon deformation or release of an applied strain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Assignee: Advanced Bio Prosthetic Surfaces, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidary of Palmaz Scientific, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher T. Boyle, Christopher T. Banas, Denes Marton
  • Patent number: 8475074
    Abstract: In some embodiments, a variable stiffness joint is provided which has a plurality of structural members with a variable stiffness material coupled between the plurality of structural members. The variable stiffness material may be selectively activated/inactivated to control the stiffness of the joint. Additional embodiments and implementations are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: HRL Laboratories, LLC
    Inventor: Christopher P Henry
  • Patent number: 8475711
    Abstract: Processes for producing a nickel-titanium alloy are disclosed. The processes are characterized by the production of nickel-titanium alloy articles having improved microstructure. A pre-alloyed nickel-titanium alloy is melted and atomized to form molten nickel-titanium alloy particles. The molten nickel-titanium alloy particles are cooled to form nickel-titanium alloy powder. The nickel-titanium alloy powder is consolidated to form a fully-densified nickel-titanium alloy preform that is hot worked to form a nickel-titanium alloy article. Any second phases present in the nickel-titanium alloy article have a mean size of less than 10 micrometers measured according to ASTM E1245-03 (2008) or an equivalent method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: ATI Properties, Inc.
    Inventor: C. Craig Wojcik
  • Patent number: 8440031
    Abstract: A nickel-titanium-rare earth (Ni—Ti-RE) alloy comprises nickel at a concentration of from about 35 at. % to about 65 at. %, a rare earth element at a concentration of from about 1.5 at. % to about 15 at. %, boron at a concentration of up to about 0.1 at. %, with the balance of the alloy being titanium. In addition to enhanced radiopacity compared to binary Ni—Ti alloys and improved workability, the Ni—Ti-RE alloy preferably exhibits superelastic behavior. A method of processing a Ni—Ti-RE alloy includes providing a nickel-titanium-rare earth alloy comprising nickel at a concentration of from about 35 at. % to about 65 at. %, a rare earth element at a concentration of from about 1.5 at. % to about 15 at. %, the balance being titanium; heating the alloy in a homogenization temperature range below a critical temperature; and forming spheroids of a rare earth-rich second phase in the alloy while in the homogenization temperature range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2013
    Assignees: Cook Medical Technologies LLC, University of Limerick
    Inventors: Tofail Ansar Md. Syed, James M. Carlson, Abbasi A. Gandhi, Peter Tiernan, Lisa O'Donoghue, James Butler
  • Patent number: 8430981
    Abstract: Ni-Ti (nickel-titanium) based alloys. and related semi-finished products and methods are described, where the nickel content is comprised between 50.7 and 52.0 atomic % .
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Assignee: Saes Smart Materials
    Inventors: Francis E. Sczerzenie, Alberto Coda
  • Publication number: 20130087074
    Abstract: A copper-based alloy which contains 7.8 to 8.8 mass % of Al, 7.2 to 14.3 mass % of Mn and a remainder made up by Cu and unavoidable impurities, has a largest crystal grain diameter of more than 8 mm, has good shape memory properties, and enables the production of a structural material having a cross-section size suitable for use as a structure body or the like; and a structural material comprising the copper-based alloy. The copper-based alloy may additionally contain at least one element selected from the group consisting of Ni, Co, Fe, Ti, V, Cr, Si, Ge, Nb, Mo, W, Sn, Bi, Sb, Mg, P, Be, Zr, Zn, B, C, S, Ag and a misch metal in the total amount of 0.001 to 5 mass %.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 30, 2012
    Publication date: April 11, 2013
    Applicant: JAPAN COPPER DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION
    Inventor: Japan Copper Development Association
  • Publication number: 20130067907
    Abstract: Exposing nitinol to a shape setting temperature while the nitinol is in an unstrained or minimally strained condition. The nitinol is then substantially deformed in shape while at elevated temperature. After deformation, the nitinol remains at the elevated temperature for a time to shape set the material. The nitinol is then returned to approximately room temperature 20° C. by means of water quenching or air cooling for example.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2011
    Publication date: March 21, 2013
    Inventors: Joel M. Greene, Christopher C. Lasley
  • Patent number: 8398790
    Abstract: A femoral stem hip implant for insertion into a surgically created aperture in a femur includes a monolithic femoral stem made of shape memory material. The stem is configured to be inserted into the aperture, has a proximal portion and a longitudinal axis. The shape memory material within the proximal portion has a cross-section perpendicular to the longitudinal axis. At least a portion of the shape memory material within the proximal portion is in a compressed state by application of a plurality of compressive forces at a temperature below an austenitic finish temperature of the shape memory material so that the cross-section expands through shape memory effect via the formation of austenite in response to a temperature increase after insertion into the aperture thereby causing a locking-force to be exerted against an inner surface of the aperture, the locking force being sufficient to stabilize the implant in the aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: MX Orthopedics, Corp.
    Inventor: Matthew V. Fonte
  • Patent number: 8398789
    Abstract: Superelastic and/or shape memory nickel-titanium alloys having an increased fatigue life that is superior to known nickel-titanium alloys are disclosed. The nickel-titanium alloys have a minimum fatigue life that may be at least about 10 million strain cycles at a strain of at least about 0.75. The minimum fatigue life may be due, at least in part, to the nickel-titanium alloy having at least one of an oxygen concentration of less than about 200 ppm, a carbon concentration of less than about 200 ppm, the absence of oxide-based and/or carbide-based inclusions having a size greater than about 5 microns (?m), the presence of an R-phase, or combinations of the foregoing. Articles manufactured from such fatigue-resistant nickel-titanium alloys can be more durable because they are more resistant to repetitive strain and crack propagation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: Abbott Laboratories
    Inventors: Sophia L. Wong, Zhicheng Lin, Alan G. Tahran, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8388773
    Abstract: An apparatus for and method of conditioning a thermally activated shape memory alloy wire for use in an application, wherein the apparatus includes an adjustable hard-stop and the preferred method includes pre-determining a minimum activating current, allowable strain, and a loading magnitude and form based on the wire configuration and application, and further includes applying a double-exponential model to determine a final recoverable strain over fewer cycles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Jonathan E. Luntz, John Andrew Shaw, Diann Brei, Christopher Burton Churchill, Anupam Pathak, Nilesh D. Mankame, Alan L. Browne, Nancy L. Johnson, Paul W. Alexander, Xiujie Gao, Pablo D. Zavattieri
  • Patent number: 8382917
    Abstract: Shape-setting methods for fabricating devices made of single crystal shape memory alloys. In particular the methods described may be used to fabricate dental arches of single-crystal shape memory alloys. The methods include drawing a single crystal of a shape memory alloy from a melt of the alloy. This is followed by heating, forming, and quenching the crystal sufficiently rapid to limit the formation of alloy precipitates to an amount which retains hyperelastic composition and properties of the crystal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: Ormco Corporation
    Inventor: Alfred David Johnson
  • Publication number: 20130042718
    Abstract: A conformable shape memory article comprises a deformable enclosure covering and discrete particles disposed within the enclosure covering, wherein the discrete particles comprise a shape memory polymer, or the discrete particles have a hollow shell structure comprising a shape memory alloy. In a more specific embodiment, the enclosure is elastically deformable.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 15, 2011
    Publication date: February 21, 2013
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Alan L. Browne, Nancy L. Johnson, Nilesh D. Mankame, Robin Stevenson
  • Patent number: 8360161
    Abstract: A temperature activated actuator installed on a tubular to actuate an adjacent device may include one or more shape-memory alloy elements. The elements may be coupled between a first portion and a second portion of a device, or the elements may be coupled between the tubular and a portion of the device. The elements are activated by raising the temperature to a transition temperature to cause metallurgical phase transformation, causing the elements to shrink and displace at least a portion of the device. The actuator may be used, for example, to actuate a centralizer from a run-in mode to a deployed mode or, alternately, to actuate a packing member from a run-in mode to an isolating mode. A nickel-titanium alloy, for example, may be used as the shape-memory alloy material from which the shape-memory element is made.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2013
    Assignee: Frank's International, Inc.
    Inventors: Jean Buytaert, Eugene Miller
  • Patent number: 8347473
    Abstract: A stud installation tool comprising a slide shaft including a pair of arms angled towards each other, a slide bar with a triangular head at an end engaged within the pair of arms to enable the slide bar to move along the slide shaft without disengaging, a receiving brace attached to the slide shaft at an opposing end from the slide bar, where said receiving brace includes a threaded hole, a bolt threaded through the slide bar and extending down and through the threaded hole, a bolt head fastened to the bolt and positioned above the slide bar, and a stud holder connected to the slide bar at an end opposite from the triangular head wherein the stud holder includes an opening to accept a stud after the stud is slid through a hole in an axle plate and positioned between the receiving brace and the stud holder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Inventor: Alton Wayne Hux
  • Publication number: 20120282571
    Abstract: A method for manufacturing a nonlinear superelastic file comprising the steps of: providing a superelastic file having a shaft and a file axis; providing a fixture including a file groove being defined by one or more displacement members, the file groove configured for receiving the shaft; inserting at least a portion of the shaft into the fixture along the file groove, the portion of the shaft including a first portion of the shaft; contacting the first portion of the shaft with a first displacement member of the one or more displacement members such that the first portion of the shaft is displaced from the file axis thereby forming a first offset portion of the shaft; heating the portion of the shaft while inserted in the fixture to a temperature of at least about 300° C. for a time period of at least about 1 minute to shape-set the portion of the shaft thereby forming a shape-set nonlinear file.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 18, 2011
    Publication date: November 8, 2012
    Applicant: DENTSPLY INTERNATIONAL INC.
    Inventors: DAN AMMON, VINCENT SHOTTON, YONG GAO, RANDALL MAXWELL
  • Patent number: 8273194
    Abstract: This invention discloses a method, using pure niobium as a transient liquid reactive braze material, for fabrication of cellular or honeycomb structures, wire space-frames or other sparse builtup structures or discrete articles using Nitinol (near-equiatomic titanium-nickel alloy) and related shape-memory and superelastic alloys. Nitinol shape memory alloys (SMAs), acquired in a form such as corrugated sheet, discrete tubes or wires, may be joined together using the newly discovered joining technique. Pure niobium when brought into contact with nitinol at elevated temperature, liquefies at temperatures below the melting point and flows readily into capillary spaces between the elements to be joined, thus forming a strong joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Assignee: Board of Trustees of Michigan State University the Regents of the University of Michigan
    Inventors: John A. Shaw, David S. Grummon
  • Publication number: 20120199253
    Abstract: An Fe-based shape memory alloy comprising 25-42 atomic % of Mn, 12-18 atomic % of Al, and 5-12 atomic % of Ni, the balance being Fe and inevitable impurities, and an Fe-based shape memory alloy comprising 25-42 atomic % of Mn, 12-18 atomic % of Al, and 5-12 atomic % of Ni, as well as 15 atomic % or less in total of at least one selected from the group consisting of 0.1-5 atomic % of Si, 0.1-5 atomic % of Ti, 0.1-5 atomic % of V, 0.1-5 atomic % of Cr, 0.1-5 atomic % of Co, 0.1-5 atomic % of Cu, 0.1-5 atomic % of Mo, 0.1-5 atomic % of W, 0.001-1 atomic % of B and 0.001-1 atomic % of C, the balance being Fe and inevitable impurities.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 6, 2010
    Publication date: August 9, 2012
    Applicant: JAPAN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AGENCY
    Inventors: Kiyohito Ishida, Ryosuke Kainuma, Ikuo Ohnuma, Toshihiro Omori, Keisuke Ando
  • Patent number: 8216398
    Abstract: An efficient method to reduce product wastes due to inaccurate transformation temperatures for shape memory products and parts, which provides a useful method for optimizing shape memory alloys phase transformation temperatures and mechanical properties by using heat treatment procedures below 250 degrees C. for extended dwell times.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Assignee: Saint Louis University
    Inventors: John Gary Bledsoe, Berton Roy Moed, Dongfa Li
  • Patent number: 8202283
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a clip manufactured according to a method which can be used to engage body tissue for the purpose of closing wounds. Such clips are generally annular in shape and have radially inwardly extending tines. The present disclosure first forms a precursor which, in one embodiment, has the tines extending radially outwardly from the annular body and then forms the clip by inverting the precursor such that the tines extend radially inwardly. In an alternate embodiment, the precursor is formed with an over-sized lateral dimension and then compressed inwardly to bring the tines closer together and to reduce the lateral dimension of the precursor. Such clips may be manufactured from a superelastic alloy such as nickel-titanium, in which case the inverted or compressed precursor must be heated and quenched to heat set the clip in its final shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2012
    Assignee: Integrated Vascular Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael T. Carley, Richard S. Ginn