• Introduction

    A shape-memory alloy (SMA, smart metal, memory metal, memory alloy, muscle wire, smart alloy) is an alloy that “remembers” its original shape and that when deformed returns to its pre-deformed shape when heated. Similarly shape-memory polymers (SMPs) are polymeric smart materials that have the ability to return from a deformed state (temporary shape) to their original (permanent) shape induced by an external stimulus (trigger), such as temperature change.

    SMAs also display super elasticity, which is characterized by recovery of unusually large strains. Instead of transforming between the martensite and austenite phases in response to temperature, this phase transformation can be induced in response to mechanical stress. When SMAs are loaded in the austenite phase, the material will transform to the martensite phase above a critical stress, proportional to the transformation temperatures.

    SMPs can retain two or sometimes three shapes, and the transition between those is induced by temperature. In addition to temperature change, the shape change of SMPs can also be triggered by an electric or magnetic field, light or solution. As well as polymers in general, SMPs also cover a wide property-range from stable to biodegradable, from soft to hard, and from elastic to rigid, depending on the structural units that constitute the SMP. SMPs include thermoplastic and thermoset (covalently cross-linked) polymeric materials. SMPs are known to be able to store up to three different shapes in memory.

    This report categorizes and graphically analyzes research trends of shape memory alloys and the polymers involved and its applications from various perspectives and highlights the key companies involved.

    Technical Segmentation (Patent Categorization)

    Patent categorization is a process of analyzing the patent text and identifying smaller meaningful topics from the text. Various analysis can be performed using these categories. By online research (patent & non-patent literature) we found concepts relating to shape memory materials being classified into different alloys, polymers and application areas.

    Alloys
    • Chromium
    • Chromium Molybdenum
    • Cobalt Chrome
    • Copper Aluminium Nickel
    • Copper Gold Zinc
    • Copper Tin
    • Copper Zinc
    • Copper Zinc Aluminium Nickel
    • Copper Zinc Aluminum
    • Gold Cadmium
    • Hydroxyapatite
    • Indium Thallium
    • Indium Titanium
    • Iron Manganese Silicon
    • Iron Palladium
    • Iron Platinum
    • Manganese Copper
    • Molybdenum
    • Nickel
    • Nickel Aluminium
    • Nickel Titanium Cobalt
    • Nickel Titanium Copper
    • Nickel Titanium Platinum
    • Niobium
    • Niobium Titanium
    • Nitinol
    • Platinum Iridium
    • Silver Cadmium
    • Stainless Steel
    • Tantalum
    • Titanium Nickel Niobium
    • Titanium Nitride
    • Tungsten
    • Zirconia
    • Zirconium

    Polymers
    • ABS Plastic
    • Acrylic
    • Cellulose
    • Ceramic
    • Electroactive SMP
    • Fluorinated
    • Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene
    • Light-Activated SMP
    • Nylon
    • Polyamide
    • Polyanhydride
    • Polybutadiene
    • Polycaprolactone
    • Polycarbonate
    • Polyether
    • Polyether Ether Ketone
    • Polyethylene
    • Polyethylene Terephthalate
    • Polyethyleneoxide
    • Polyglycolide
    • Polyhydroxybutyrate
    • Polylatic Acid
    • Polymethyl Methacrylate
    • Polynorbornene
    • Polyphosphazene
    • Polypropylene
    • Polystyrene
    • Polytetrafluoroethylene
    • Polyvinyl Acetate
    • Polyvinyl Alcohol
    • Polyvinyl Chloride
    • Polyvinylidene Fluoride
    • Thermoplastic

    Applications
    • Actuators
    • Automotive
    • Aviation
    • Clothing
    • Couplers
    • Crafts
    • Damper
    • Dental Braces
    • Embolic Protection Filters
    • Insulating Fabric
    • Medical
    • Optometry
    • Prosthetics/Orthotics
    • Robotics
    • Shape Memory Screws
    • Stent
    • Surgical Fixation
    • Telecommunication
    • Transducers
    • Valves

    Publication Trend

    What has been the publication trend for Shape Memory Alloys?

    Innovation around shape memory alloys and its resulting patent publications started to show up from the 1990s with a spike in 2004. But the real surge in the activity around this technology happens in last 5 years. It’s clear the current activity around these technologies is likely to continue seeing more innovation in the near future.

    Pub Trend_ShapeMemory
    Publication Trend

    Top Companies

    The top companies in shape memory alloy are:

    1. BOSTON SCIENTIFIC INC
    2. MEDTRONIC INC
    3. JOHNSON & JOHNSON
    4. COOK GROUP INC
    5. ST JUDE MEDICAL INC
    6. ADVANCEDCARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM
    7. WARSAW ORTHOPEDIC INC
    8. C R BARD INC
    9. SIEMENS AG
    10. ABBOTT LAB

    11. EDWARDS LIFESCIENCES CORP
    12. TYCO HEALTHCARE
    13. GENERAL MOTORS CORP
    14. TERUMO CORP
    15. OLYMPUS CORP
    16. AGA MEDICAL CORP
    17. UNIV CORNELL
    18. UNIV CALIFORNIA
    19. ANGIOMED AG
    20. SDGI HOLDINGS INC

    Top Assignees_ShapeMemoryMaterial
    Top Assignees

    Research activity around the world

    The table below ranks top priority countries and helps provide an indication of where innovation in this area is originating. It can be seen US has 4039 filings (INPADOC Families) followed by Germany and Japan with 535 and 456 filings respectively. The strength of the colouring represents the proportion of patent publications.

    Priority Map_Shape_memory
    Priority Map

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  • Table of Contents

    Introduction ………………………………………………………4
    Patent Search Strategy………………………………………………5
    Technical Segmentation (Patent Categorization)…………………………6
    Publication Trend…………………………………………………..7
    Top Companies………………………………………………………8
    Research activity around the world……………………………………9
    Companies – Key Statistics………………………………………….10
    Inventor – Key Statistics…………………………………………..14
    Company activity across Polymers…………………………………….18
    Company activity across Alloys………………………………………19
    Company activity across Applications…………………………………20
    Shape Memory: Polymers vs Applications……………………………….21
    Inventor group of key companies in Shape Memory Material……………….23
    Technology Landscape……………………………………………….24
    Portfolio analysis for key companies focusing on shape memory…………..25
    Publication Trend………………………………………………….25
    Company activity across Applications…………………………………26
    Company activity across Alloys………………………………………27
    Shape Memory Alloy – US Trends………………………………………28
    Top Companies……………………………………………………..28
    Alloys……………………………………………………………29
    Polymers………………………………………………………….30
    Company across different applications………………………………..31
    Shape Memory Alloy – DE Trends………………………………………32
    Top Companies……………………………………………………..32
    Alloys……………………………………………………………33
    Polymers………………………………………………………….34
    Company across different applications ……………………………….35
    Shape Memory Alloy – GB Trends………………………………………36
    Top Companies……………………………………………………..36
    Alloys …………………………………………………………..37
    Polymers………………………………………………………….38
    Company across different applications ……………………………….39
    Shape Memory Alloy – JP Trends………………………………………40
    Top Companies……………………………………………………..40
    Alloys…………………………………………………….41
    Polymers…………………………………………………………..42
    Company across different applications………………………………..43
    Shape Memory Alloy – FR Trends………………………………………44
    Top Companies……………………………………………………..44
    Alloys …………………………………………………………..45
    Polymers………………………………………………………….46
    Company across different applications………………………………..47
    Appendix: Search Strings Used for Categorization And Class Definitions……48
    Summary……………………………………………………………55
    Sources & References ……………………………………………….57

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Patent Analytics Report On Shape Memory Material SMA