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Proceedings Paper

Thermomechanical characterization of environmentally conditioned shape memory polymer using nanoindentation
Author(s): J. T. Fulcher; Y. C. Lu; G. P. Tandon; D. C. Foster
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Paper Abstract

Shape memory polymers (SMPs) are an emerging class of active polymers that have dual-shape capability, and are therefore candidate materials for multifunctional reconfigurable structures (i.e., morphing structures). However, the SMPs have not been fully tested to work in relevant environments (variable activation temperature, fuel and water swell, UV radiation, etc.) required for Air Force missions. In this study, epoxy-based SMPs were conditioned separately in simulated service environments designed to be reflective of anticipated performance requirements, namely, (1) exposure to UV radiation for 125 cycles, (2) immersion in jet-oil at ambient temperature, (3) immersion in jet-oil at 49°C, and (4) immersion in water at 49°C. The novel high-temperature indentation method was used to evaluate the mechanical properties and shape recovery ability of the conditioned SMPs. Results show that environmentally conditioned SMPs exhibit higher moduli in comparison to an unconditioned one. During free recovery, the indentation impressions of all SMPs disappeared as temperature reached above Tg, indicating that the material's ability to regain shape remains relatively unchanged with conditioning.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 March 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7644, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2010, 76440F (30 March 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.846974
Show Author Affiliations
J. T. Fulcher, Univ. of Kentucky (United States)
Y. C. Lu, Univ. of Kentucky (United States)
G. P. Tandon, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Univ. of Dayton Research Institute (United States)
D. C. Foster, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7644:
Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2010
Zoubeida Ounaies; Jiangyu Li, Editor(s)

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