Shape memory alloys (SMA) are referred to as a unique class of metals, which have the ability to regain their original shape after severe deformation. Shape memory is basically a property possessed by certain materials that have the ability to remember the shape given during themo-mechanical processing allowing the materials to regain their original shape when subjected to heat. This is because SMAs when subjected to external heat or internal electrical current flow, exhibit a reversible thermoelastic martensite transformation with a macroscopic shape change.
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Thus, these alloys are being employed in various industries such as medical, robotics, automotive, and aerospace due to the possession of this unique biochemical property. SMAs, over the years, have gained a strong foothold because they offer incredible flexibility in comparison to other conventional materials. Currently, copper-aluminum-nickel, zinc-aluminum, nitinol, and iron-manganese-silicon alloys are various commercially available shape memory alloys. Of these shape memory alloys, Nitinol is an alloy composed of titanium and nickel. It contains these two elements at approximately equal atomic percentages. Nitinol has been employed in a range of medical devices and is the most significant alloy in biomedical applications for over thirty years. Therefore, increased utilization of this alloy has replaced the consumption of stainless steel in the manufacturing of medical devices substantially. Nitinol has been widely employed in medical devices where its unique properties allows minimally invasive surgery and implants to improve the quality of life. Nitinol is popular in medical devices due to its elasticity, biocompatibility, and fatigue and kink resistance. nitinol is utilized to manufacture guidewires, filters, catheter tubes, needles, dental files, and various other surgical instruments in the healthcare sector.
Increased usage of nitinol, to manufacture various medical devices has changed the algorithm of disease treatment. The nitinol market exhibits considerable potential for expansion, particularly in developing nations, due to rise in geriatric population globally and the increasing rate of vascular diseases such as peripheral arterial diseases and coronary artery diseases. Increasing adoption of minimally invasive procedures that involve the usage of miniature devices is driving the expansion of the nitinol market., Nitinol has increasingly being employed in medical devices as a material for graft support system, self-expanding stents , baskets, filters, and various other medical devices for various endoscopic and interventional procedures. The growth in this industry has increased over the last 10 years with increase in the number of nitinol suppliers and is progressing at a faster pace, with increasing demand from medical device community. Moreover, nitinol alloy is employed in the automotive (sealing plugs and locking rings), defense (special antennas, wire, harness and cable) and aerospace industries (locking rings, actuators and connectors for electronica and safety devices), particularly where thermal shape memory enables actuators. Furthermore, nitinol has been useful in industrial applications such as couplings, actuators, sealing high-pressure fuel passages, and in commercial applications such as cellphone antennae and eyeglass frames.
In terms of geography, North America accounted for major share of the global nitinol market, in terms of volume, in 2015. However, Asia Pacific due to the presence of large population base, increasing healthcare awareness, favorable government support and expanding medical industry, is anticipated to expand significantly during the forecast period.
Key players operating in the global nitinol market include E. I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, Exmovere Holdings, Inc., Noble Biomaterials, Inc., and Noble Biomaterials, Inc.
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