Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Nitinol Umbrella

Do away with those annoying little bits of metal
(+1, -1)
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This thought struck me as I was trying (fruitlessly) to repair one of those umbrellas that fold twice, after having the one of the ribs bend and lose a rivet: Wouldn't it be great if all these fragile, weak and troublesome pieces of metal could be replaced with SMA (shape-memory-alloy) wires. Each of these wires would be heated electrically, either by a battery or a thermopile between the hand holding it and the cold outside of the umbrella. When turned of ( or when the hand puts it down) the wires fold up to their original, closed shape.
Aegis, Jan 31 2004


       Wouldn't it have a tendency to open in warmer weather?
KLRico, Jan 31 2004

       You'd have to keep it in the fridge. Unless you wanted it to double as a parasol.
egbert, Jan 31 2004

       Are we now going to see a flood of Nitinol products, where the meal is used as an magic solution to straighten anything that routinely gets bent?   

       $5 & $10 umbrellas certainly are made of "fragile, weak and troublesome pieces of metal," but replacing them with heated Nitinol is going to take you right out of the $5 & $10 range. Why not buy a more robust (and therefore more expensive) umbrella in the first place? And Nitinol is not going to stop you losing rivets. So, fishbone, sorry.
DrCurry, Jan 31 2004

       Anno from early 20th Century Halfbakery:   

       "Yes, horses can be troublesome, weak pieces of work, fall ill and are prone to injury, but replacing them with a mechanical contrivance driven by exploding chemicals will be a danger to the public, a recipe for disaster and due to the sheer expense involved in the production of such an intricate device will, I fear, remain the sole preserve of the well-to-do.   

       In short, why not simply buy a fitter (and more expensive) horse in the first place? And internal combustion is not going to stop you losing a wheel."
DrCurmudgy, Jan 31 1904
egbert, Jan 31 2004

       That was my grandfather, coachmaker to Prince Albert. And it was spelt Curmudgeonly.
DrCurry, Jan 31 2004

       I was trying to blend "curmudgeon" with Curry", and OK, it didn't work too well.
egbert, Feb 01 2004

       Professor Sir Alfred C. Curmudgeonly, to you.
DrCurry, Feb 01 2004


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