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About Nitinol

About Nitinol

SAES Group has an unparalleled history and scale in the Nitinol industry starting in 1966 as the first commercial supplier of Nitinol to the Naval Ordinance Lab, which is where the “NOL” in NiTiNOL originated. The VIM + VAR nitinol melting process was established in 1990 through extensive superalloy experience to provide premium, repeatable quality by combining the advantages of VIM (homogeneity) and VAR (structure). This mature process continues today, outputting several hundred thousand pounds of clean, consistent material every year. Binary alloy formulations as well as ternary, quaternary and beyond are melted via this process, tailored to the users specific needs in heat sizes.

SAES Group is a global market and technology leader in Nitinol in medical and industrial applications requiring Nitinol alloys and complex manufacturing processes.

  • Memry Corporation, a company of SAES Group,  provides Nitinol melting, complex components and materials, a complete range of Nitinol fabrication and finishing, and engineer-to-engineer support in both prototyping and production phases for medical applications.
  • SAES Group from its HQ near Milan (Italy) spearheads Nitinol applications in industrial fields.

With melt to market®capabilities under one company roof, customers benefit from precise control, predictability, transparency, a streamlined and convenient production process, and a platform for collaborative innovation with a rich 70 year history.


Nitinol History

Nitinol is a nickel-titanium alloy distinguished from other materials by its shape memory and superelastic characteristics.

Nitinol is a trade name taken from the elements it’s composed of—nickel (Ni) and titanium (Ti)—and the scientific group that discovered it—the Naval Ordnance Laboratory (NOL). A team from the NOL discovered the alloy while searching for materials that could be used in tools for dismantling magnetic mines.

In an article published by Time in 1968, discoverer William Buehler discussed how he thought Nitinol might be used to prefabricate tools used in deep water or space. At the time, Goodyear Aerospace Corp. had envisioned deforming a Nitinol satellite antenna and placing it into a small rocket payload, then restoring it to its original shape upon deployment by using heat.