Shape memory alloys (SMAs) have the ability to show large recoverable shape changes upon temperature, stress or magnetic field cycling. Their shape memory, material and magnetic properties (e.g. transformation temperatures, strain, saturation magnetization and strength) determine their prospects for applications from small-scale microelectromechanical systems to large scale aerospace and biomedical systems. It should be noted that properties of SMAs are highly temperature dependent. Generally, the conventional mechanical characterization methods (e.g, tension, compression, and torsion) are used on bulk samples of SMAs to determine those properties. In this article, it will be shown that indentation technique can be used as an alternative rapid method to determine some of the important shape memory properties of SMAs. Indentation response of a high-temperature NiTiHf alloy was determined as a function of temperature. A clear relationship between the work recoverable ratio and transformation temperatures, superelastic and plastic behavior was observed. This work shows that indentation response can be used to measure local superelasticity response, determine phase transformation temperatures and reveal the temperature intervals of the deformation mechanisms of shape memory alloys.

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Published in Scientific Reports, v. 7, article no. 14827, p. 1-8.

© The Author(s) 2017

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This work was supported by the NASA EPSCOR (grant No: NNX11AQ31A), Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation (grant No: KSEF-1718-RDE-011) and National Science Foundation (grant No: 0959896).