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6 April 2009 Advances in shape-memory polymer actuation
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Shape memory polymer (SMP) is a promising smart material, which is able to perform a large deformation upon applying an external stimulus, such as heat, light and moisture, etc. In recent years, many investigations have been advanced in thermo-responsive SMP actuation, and several novel actuations have been applied in SMP. In this paper, the mechanism and demonstration of three types of SMP actuations (infrared laser, physical swelling effect and electricity) are presented. These novel actuation approaches may help SMP to fully reach its potential application. Firstly, for the infrared laser-activated SMP, it is concerned about the drive of SMP by infrared light. The infrared laser, transmitted through the optical fiber embedded in the SMP matrix, was chosen to drive the SMP. The working frequency of infrared laser was installed in 3-4μm. Moreover, this paper presents a study on the effects of solution on the glass transition temperature (Tg). It shows that the hydrogen bonding of SMP was aroused by the absorbed solution that significantly reduces transition temperature of polymer. In this way, the shape memory effect (SME) can undergo solution-driven shape recovery. Finally, the actuation of two types of electro-active SMP composites filled with electrically conductive powders (carbon black, nickel powers) have been carried out, and the SMP composite can be driven by applying a relatively low voltage.
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Jinsong Leng, Yanju Liu, and Xin Lan "Advances in shape-memory polymer actuation", Proc. SPIE 7287, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2009, 72871R (6 April 2009);

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