Shape memory alloys recover their original shape after deformation, making them useful for a variety of specialized applications. Superelastic behavior begins at the critical stress, which tends to increase with increasing temperature for metal shape memory alloys. Temperature dependence is a common feature that often restricts the use of metal shape memory alloys in applications. We discovered an iron-based superelastic alloy system in which the critical stress can be optimized. Our Fe-Mn-Al-Cr-Ni alloys have a controllable temperature dependence that goes from positive to negative, depending on the chromium content. This phenomenon includes a temperature-invariant stress dependence. This behavior is highly desirable for a range of outer space-based and other applications that involve large temperature fluctuations.
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