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18 April 2016 Durability of carbon fiber reinforced shape memory polymer composites in space
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Shape memory polymer (SMP) is one of smart polymers which exhibit shape memory effect upon external stimuli. Recently, shape memory polymer composites (SMPCs) have been considered for space structure instead of shape memory alloys due to their deformability, lightweight and large recovery ratio, requiring characterization of their mechanical properties against harsh space environment and further prediction of the durability of SMPCs in space. As such, the durability of carbon fiber reinforced shape memory polymer composites (CF-SMPCs) was investigated using accelerated testing method based on short-term testing of CF-SMPCs in harsh condition. CF-SMPCs were prepared using woven carbon fabrics and a thermoset SMP via vacuum assisted resin transfer molding process. Bending tests with constant strain rate of CF-SMPCs were conducted using universal tensile machine (UTM) and Storage modulus test were conducted using dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA). Using the results, a master curve based on time-temperature superposition principle was then constructed, through which the mechanical properties of CF-SMPCs at harsh temperature were predicted. CF-SMPCs would be exposed to simulated space environments under ultra-violet radiations at various temperatures. The mechanical properties including flexural and tensile strength and shape memory properties of SMPCs would be measured using UTM before and after such exposures for comparison. Finally, the durability of SMPCs in space would be assessed by developing a degradation model of SMPC.
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Joon Hyeok Jang, Seok Bin Hong, Yong San Ahn, Jin-Gyun Kim, Yong-Youn Nam, Geun Ho Lee, and Woong-Ryeol Yu "Durability of carbon fiber reinforced shape memory polymer composites in space", Proc. SPIE 9800, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2016, 98000I (18 April 2016);

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