A team of Iowa State University engineering students, team SMAlloygator, won the 2021 4th CASMART Student Design Challenge. The challenge, organized by NASA, tasked students with creating a design using shape memory alloy (SMA) technology. This work was also part of the Materials Science and Engineering Senior Design project. The Consortium for the Advancement of Shape Memory Alloy Research and Technology (CASMART) is a consortium that includes support from government, academia, and industry to advance SMA research and technology, and this challenge was a part of the Shape Memory and Superelastic Technologies (SMST) conference and exposition.
Iowa State students competed against two teams in the materials category of the CASMART design challenge. The challenge consisted of two elements: the engineering and design component and the business model approach. Team SMAlloygator’s project, “High Throughput Development of Elastocaloric Materials,” used a unique combinatorial arc melting system and high-resolution thermal camera to rapidly investigate a multielement alloy system. Artificial Intelligence data analysis was used to make predictions, while conventional alloy synthesis and characterization methods were used to validate the results.
“Both ISU faculty and Ames Lab scientists spent many hours supervising students,” said Jun Cui, senior scientist with the Ames Laboratory and associate professor of materials science and engineering. “This win is a perfect example of how Ames Lab and ISU are working together to provide the best infrastructure and supervision to our students and train them to be the world class materials engineers.”