The aim of this activity is to develop a system for connecting pipes using shape-memory alloys (SMAs).
Targeted improvements: to improve AIT and AIV time, to ease connections in deployable appendices.
Shape-memory coupling is a system for connecting pipes using shape-memory alloys. In its typical form the technique uses an internally ribbed sleeve in SMA that is slightly smaller in diameter than the pipes it is connected to. The sleeve is cooled in liquid nitrogen and, in this low-temperature state, mechanically expanded with a mandrel to fit easily over the two pipe ends to be joined. After fitting, it is allowed to rewarm, when the memory effect causes the sleeve to shrink back to its original smaller size, creating a tight joint. It was first produced in the late 1960s or early 1970s by the Raychem Corporation under the trade name CryoFit. Manufacture of these couplings for aerospace hydraulic connections was later transferred to AMCI (Advanced Metal Components Inc.) and then later to Aerofit Products Inc. Additional products using the same shape-memory alloy technology are produced under Cryolive and CryoFlare trade names.