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J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2013 Nov;27:19-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2013.06.003. Epub 2013 Jun 27.

Rotary-bending fatigue characteristics of medical-grade Nitinol wire.

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Nitinol Devices and Components, Inc. 47533 Westinghouse Dr., Fremont, CA 94539, USA. Electronic address:


The rotary bending fatigue properties of medical-grade Nitinol wires were investigated under conditions of 0.5-10% strain amplitudes to a maximum of 10(7) cycles. The results from this study provide insight into the behavior of Nitinol under fully reversed (εmin/εmax=-1) fatigue conditions for three compositions, two surface conditions and three test temperatures. For pseudoelastic conditions there are four distinct regions of the strain-cycle curves that are related to phases (austenite, stress-induced martensite, and R-Phase) and their respective strain accommodation mechanisms. In contrast, there are only two regions for the strain-cycle curves for thermal martensite. It was further observed that the strain amplitude to achieve 10(7)-cycles increases with both decreasing test temperature and increasing transformation temperature. Fatigue behavior was not, however, strongly influenced by wire surface condition. SEM of the fracture surfaces showed that the fatigue fracture area increased with decreasing strain amplitude. Finite element analysis was used to illustrate strain distributions across the wire as well as to calculate the tension-compression contributions to the rotary bending curves. The results from this investigation are discussed with respect to mechanisms of strain accommodation under cyclic tensile and compressive conditions.


Fatigue; Nitinol; Pseudoelasticity; Shape memory; Strain amplitude

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