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Proceedings Paper

Active material reversible attachments: shape memory polymer based
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Paper Abstract

We detail the joint concept generation and embodiment development by HRL and GMR&D of shape memory polymer (SMP) based reversible-on-demand attachments. In this initial study of active material enabled reversible-on-demand attachments, our primary focus was on hook-and-loop type fasteners. The approach followed, in broader context, was to incorporate an active material, defined as a material which changes a fundamental mechanical property upon exposure to an appropriate field, in at least one component of the hook-and-loop assembly, in this way allowing a field activated change in the stiffness (raising/lowering) and/or geometry (straightening of the hook) of the component and thus on-demand release of the attachment This paper describes the fabrication method and properties of one of the two principle classes of embodiments made during the development of the concept. This class of embodiments, which utilized thermally activated shape memory polymer materials, was shown to exhibit pull-off forces similar to conventional "non-active" hook-and-loop fasteners, and significantly, as desired, was reversible with a reduction in the pull-off force of a factor of ~100. This study was thus successful in demonstrating the feasibility of a thermally activated SMP based reversible-on-demand distributed attachment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 March 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6930, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2008, 693003 (19 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.771966
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas Stanford, HRL Labs., LLC (United States)
William Barvosa-Carter, HRL Labs., LLC (United States)
Alan L. Browne, General Motors R&D (United States)
Nancy L. Johnson, General Motors R&D (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6930:
Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2008
L. Porter Davis; Benjamin Kyle Henderson; M. Brett McMickell, Editor(s)

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