Project Report

Smart materials, especially shape memory polymers (SMPs) and their composites, are interesting because of the added functions of shape change and shape recovery not exhibited in normal polymers or composites. Generally, SMP composites exhibit these special functions by means of a single thermal trigger. This research will produce and model a new SMP nanocomposite (SMPN) that will exhibit shape change and shape recovery upon multiple triggers. In this research, a SMPN has been produced that has a shape memory polyurethane as the base matrix and magnetite nanoparticles as reinforcing filler. This produced SMPN is special in that it is sensitive to not only a heat field, but also a magnetic field. As such, this research has focused on the special behavior of this SMPN under both a heat field and magnetic field. The resulted work has been in a constitutive model that describes this special behavior. The intellectual value that obtained from this research crosses a number of fields, especially in the consideration of constitutive modeling. The resulting constitutive model provides a great understanding of the phase relationships for the multi-trigger SMPN promoting a special knowledge set for chemical and mechanical fields. Furthermore, SMPs and their composites have been studied for a number of applications including: deployable structures, releasable fasteners, actuating biomedical devices, and smart textiles. Their applicability for these purposes has been hinder, however, because of the single thermal trigger. With only one trigger, the control of the shape recovery and shape deformation is difficult particularly in extreme conditions when the ambient temperature may be enough to cause transition. With a multiple trigger, this accidental triggering can be better controlled and managed by a multiple trigger SMPN. The resulting work for this project can likewise be used to model the behavior of this material in sensitivity analysis of this SMPN in a number of environments and in future simulations of this SMPN for design purposes. Further impact has been seen in education, particularly the international experience that was gained through this fellowship by the principal investigator (PI). The EAPSI Fellowship has provided a new view and new avenues for solving problems with for PI in future research. In addition, this fellowship has helped the PI better understand the cultural differences between nationalities. This is a major benefit, as many of current student, where a number of colleagues are foreign students, and in an anticipated future career in academia, where interaction with foreign students and collaborators is likely.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Office of International and Integrative Activities (IIA)
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Carter Kimsey
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Carrell John D
United States
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