A wide range of different thermomechanical treatments was performed on commercially available superelastic Nitinol thin sheet. The ingot composition in the range of standard superelastic material with about 50.8 at.% Ni, balance Ti, was used to manufacture a series of samples with different thermomechanical conditions. Production parameters such as cold work, heat treatment temperature, and heat treatment time were varied. All finished samples were of the same final thickness of 0.3 mm and received the same industrial surface finishing process to obtain a smooth, defect, and oxide-free, shiny surface. Before carrying out the laser cutting, the material was characterized by tensile testing, DSC, and bend-and-free recovery test. Miniature dogbone specimens were cut from the as-manufactured sheets in both directions, longitudinal as well as transverse to the rolling direction. These samples were surface finished using standard deburring and electropolishing processes. For some specific parameter combinations, there were also samples taken at 45° to the rolling direction. All qualified samples were then exposed to fatigue testing in a bending mode until fracture or run-out. The results showed there is a significant effect on the fatigue performance of the samples from both the applied thermomechanical treatment as well as the sheet anisotropy. It is also obvious that the achieved strain data is on average lower than the data obtained in comparable studies on tube or wire, which can be attributed to the different test setup (bending mode in air at 37 °C) as compared to most other studies as well as the larger surface.
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