A flame heats up the HTSMAs inside a vacuum arc melter during fabrication of the material. (Dharmesh Patel)

A group of new smart materials has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of jet engines, cutting the cost of flying. The materials, which could also reduce airplane noise over residential areas, have additional applications in a variety of other industries.

The operating temperatures of high-temperature shape memory alloys (HTSMAs) were increased by applying principles from another new class of materials: high-entropy alloys.