Smart metal for lighter vehicles


Smarter Alloys co-founders Ibraheem Khan and Norman Zhou from the University of Waterloo with a simple yet very smart wire. ©AUTO21

A Toronto start-up is helping automakers produce lighter vehicles that meet tougher emission standards in Canada and the U.S. Founded on a discovery supported through AUTO21, Smarter Alloys has hit the market with a lightweight smart metal that replaces electric actuators – those 200 or so small motors in a vehicle that control everything from door locks to the HVAC system. Smarter Alloys elastic-like material can bend into multiple shapes and then return to its original form (similar to some eyeglass frames). The company has already secured joint development agreements with major automakers and sales with other technology sectors, including orthodontic arch wire suppliers.

We’re the only ones who have been able to develop this technology and I don’t think that would have happened without AUTO21. They supported my summer work as an undergrad at University of Toronto, as well as my master’s project and part of my Ph.D.Dr. Ibraheem Khan, Co-Founder, Smarter Alloys