Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

CityU Researchers Co-Develop Super Elastic Alloy

Metals usually soften when they expand under heating, but a research team led by a City University of Hong Kong (CityU) scholar and other researchers have discovered a first-of-its-kind super-elastic alloy that can retain its stiffness even after being heated to 1,000 K (about 727 ℃) or above, with nearly zero energy dissipation. The team believes that the alloy can be applied in manufacturing high-precision devices and technologies for space missions.

The research team was led by Professor Yang Yong from CityU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering (MNE) together with his collaborators. The findings were published in the prestigious science journal Nature under the title “A Highly Distorted Ultraelastic Chemically Complex Elinvar Alloy”.

Challenging thermal expansion principles

Usually, the elastic modulus, i.e. stiffness, of most solids, including metals, decreases when the temperature increases as a result of thermal expansion. However, Professor Yang and his team discovered that a high-entropy alloy called Co25Ni25(HfTiZr)50, or “the high-entropy Elinvar alloy”, reveals the Elinvar effect. This means the alloy firmly retains its elastic modulus over a very wide range of temperature changes.

Professor Yang explained that this was an accidental discovery. The team discovered this phenomenon in 2017 and spent several years trying to understand the underlying mechanisms to determine why the alloy’s stiffness does not change with increased temperature, he added. The experiment verified that the microstructure and mechanical properties of the alloy were insensitive to annealing at 1,273 K (1,000 °C) for different time durations.

Special structure leads to unique properties

The team recently discovered the reason behind the discovery: a special highly distorted lattice structure with a complex atomic-scale chemical composition. Because of the combination of the unique structural features, the high-entropy Elinvar alloy has a very high energy barrier against dislocation movements. Consequently, it displays an impressive elastic strain limit and a nearly 100% energy storage capacity.

The team also discovered that the high-entropy Elinvar alloy has an elastic limit – the maximum strain that can be developed within it without causing permanent deformation – of about 2% in bulk forms at room temperature, in sharp contrast to conventional crystalline alloys which have an elastic limit of less than 1%.

While an alloy with a similar composition was reported several years ago, its structure and behaviour were not understood at the time. In this study, the team developed three atomic structural models for the same alloy with different distributions of the element atoms and compared the properties. They patented the discovery based on this systematic investigation of the alloy system.

Potential for making high-precision devices

Interestingly, the team found that the alloy is “very springy” and can store a large amount of elastic energy. Professor Yang pointed out that the alloy could be used for energy storage for subsequent energy conversion.

As elasticity does not dissipate energy and therefore will not generate heat, which can cause devices to malfunction, this super-elastic alloy will be useful in high-precision devices, such as watches and chronometers, the Professor explained.

The research team envisions many applications for the alloy, particularly in aerospace engineering, in which devices and machinery are expected to undergo drastic temperature changes.

They know that the temperature ranges from 122°C to -232°C on the surface of the moon, for example. This alloy will remain strong and intact in an extreme environment, and so it would fit very well with future mechanical chronometers operating within a wide range of temperatures during space missions, said Professor Yang.

The research was supported by CityU, the Research Grant Council Hong Kong, the Guangdong Major Project of Basic and Applied Basic Research, China, and the Academia Sinica Career Development Award.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.