Memory metals were first created and used by the Naval Ordinance Laboratory in 1965. The metal is really an alloy of the two metals nickel and titanium. "These alloys are called Nitinol, for Nickel Titanium Naval Ordnance Laboratory." It is called memory metal because it has the characteristic of being deformed mechanically and then when heated it returns to its original shape. It remembers, if you will, what shape it originally took and returns to that shape under the influence of heat. There are other alloys that can be used as memory metals. Iron, manganese, silicon, copper, zinc, aluminum, and gold-cadmium alloys can be used to create memory metals.
“An alloy is a mixture of two or more metals. Some familiar examples of alloys include brass, bronze, pewter, cast and wrought iron, steel, coin metals, and solder (pronounced SOD-der; a substance used to join other metallic surfaces together). Alloys are usually synthetic materials, developed by scientists for special purposes. “