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New Design Strategy for Reversible Plasticity Shape Memory Polymers with Deformable Glassy Aggregates

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posted on 10.12.2014, 00:00 by Tengfei Lin, Zhenghai Tang, Baochun Guo
Reversible plasticity shape memory (RPSM) is a new concept in the study of shape memory performance behavior and describes a phenomenon in which shape memory polymers (SMPs) can undergo a large plastic deformation at room temperature and subsequently recover their original shape upon heating. To date, RPSM behavior has been demonstrated in only a few polymers. In the present study, we implement a new design strategy, in which deformable glassy hindered phenol (AO-80) aggregates are incorporated into an amorphous network of epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) cured with zinc diacrylate (ZDA), in order to achieve RPSM properties. We propose that AO-80 continuously tunes the glass transition temperature (Tg) and improves the chain mobility of the SMP, providing traction and anchoring the ENR chains by intermolecular hydrogen bonding interactions. The RPSM behavior of the amorphous SMPs is characterized, and the results demonstrate good fixity at large deformations (up to 300%) and excellent recovery upon heating. Large energy storage capacities at Td in these RPSM materials are demonstrated compared with those achieved at elevated temperature in traditional SMPs. Interestingly, the further revealed self-healing properties of these materials are closely related to their RPSM behavior.