Ductile Shape-Memory Polymer Composite with Enhanced Shape Recovery Ability

KY Peng and Y Zhao and S Shahab and R Mirzaeifar, ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 12, 58295-58300 (2020).

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.0c18413

In recent years, shape-memory polymers (SMPs) have received extensive attention to be used as actuators in a broad range of applications such as medical and robotic devices. Their ability to recover large deformations and their capability to be stimulated remotely have made SMPs a superior choice among different smart materials in various applications. In this study, a ductile SMP composite with enhanced shape recovery ability is synthesized and characterized. This SMP composite is made by a mixture of acrylate-based crosslinkers and monomers, as well as polystyrene (PS) with UV curing. The composite can achieve almost 100% shape recovery in 2 s by hot water or hot air. This shape recovery speed is much faster than typical acrylate-based SMPs. In addition, the composite shows excellent ductility and viscoelasticity with reduced hardness. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are performed for understanding the curing mechanism of this composite. With the combination of the experimental and computational works, this study paves the way in front of designing and optimizing the future SMP devices.

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