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What Smart Metal!


Source Institutions

    Cornell Center for Materials Research

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What Smart Metal!

In this activity (pages 3-4), learners investigate the properties of smart materials, which are materials that respond to things that happen around them. This activity explores the properties of one smart material (Nitinol) by shaping and heating it. What makes Nitinol so smart? Find out! Safety note: Young learners should have adult supervision. Nitinol can get very hot when using electricity. Don’t touch the wire as it is heating. Hold the alligator clips by the insulated covers.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • Piece of Nitinol wire
  • Hairdryer
  • Bowl
  • Paper clip or other wire (optional)
  • 6 volt battery
  • 2 leads with alligator clips on both ends

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Jordan, Catherine

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Cornell Center for Materials Research Educational Programs, ©2012

Funding Source:

  • NSF Grant DMR, 1120296

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