As smart polymers, shape memory polymers (SMPs) are able to change shape and structure when exposed to an external stimulus, including heating, electrical and magnetic fields, water, light etc. This feature leads to potential for SMPs in many applications such as aerospace, smart textiles, robotics, automobile and biomedical engineering. SMPs can be produced to different forms and structures from nanoscale to macrolevel, including fibers, membranes, particles and foams. SMP foams have been developed due to the light weight, large deformation, etc. However, the fabrication method is too complected and the actuation speed is slow. Herein, to solve these problems, we fabricate a class of shape memory polycaprolactone foams and their composites by microwave, which can also be triggered by microwave. The merits of these foams include fast fabrication (less than 60 s), uniform pores, large compression deformation (80%) and quick shape recovery speed with in 100 s. This approach of using microwave to synthesize shape memory polymer foams in microwave oven would enable the synthesis of a wide variety of novel shape-memory foams. Moreover, microwave actuated shape memory foams can provide higher recovery speed for remote control in various applications.
Fenghua Zhang, Yanju Liu, and Jinsong Leng, "Programmable shape memory polycaprolactone foams and their composite actuated by microwave (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10165, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2017, 101651A (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 28, 2017; Published: 10 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2261678.5427319332001.
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