Magnetic shape-memory alloys have been difficult and expensiveto make. The new alloy could be cheaper and easier to synthesize.
And it could be useful in devices that need very precise, repeatable, and rapid positioning, says David Dunand, a materials-science and engineering professor at Northwestern University. Dunand led the work on the new alloy with Peter Mullner,an associate professor at Boise State University. These devices includemicroscopes, tiny mirrors used in optical communication, and robotsused in medicine. Because the foam is light, it could lead to aerospaceapplications, such as airplane wings that morph to become moreaerodynamic.
Source: technologyreview.comAdded: 1 February 2008