Advertisement

Triple-Shape Polymeric Composites (TSPCs)

Authors

  • Xiaofan Luo,

    1. Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, Syracuse Biomaterials Institute Syracuse NY, 13244 (USA)
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Patrick T. Mather

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, Syracuse Biomaterials Institute Syracuse NY, 13244 (USA)
    • Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, Syracuse Biomaterials Institute Syracuse NY, 13244 (USA).
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

In this paper, the fabrication and characterization of triple-shape polymeric composites (TSPCs) that, unlike traditional shape memory polymers (SMPs), are capable of fixing two temporary shapes and recovering sequentially from the first temporary shape (shape 1) to the second temporary shape (shape 2), and eventually to the permanent shape (shape 3) upon heating, are reported. This is technically achieved by incorporating non-woven thermoplastic fibers (average diameter ∼760 nm) of a low-Tm semicrystalline polymer into a Tg-based SMP matrix. The resulting composites display two well-separated transitions, one from the glass transition of the matrix and the other from the melting of the fibers, which are subsequently used for the fixing/recovery of two temporary shapes. Three thermomechanical programming processes with different shape fixing protocols are proposed and explored. The intrinsic versatility of this composite approach enables an unprecedented large degree of design flexibility for functional triple-shape polymers and systems.

Ancillary