Stress-Induced Stabilization of Crystals in Shape Memory Natural Rubber



In contrast to all known shape memory polymers, the melting temperature of crystals in shape memory natural rubber (SMNR) can be greatly manipulated by the application of external mechanical stress. As shown previously, stress perpendicular to the prior programming direction decreases the melting temperature by up to 40 K. In this study, we investigated the influence of mechanical stress parallel to prior stretching direction during programming on the stability of the elongation-stabilizing crystals. It was found that parallel stress stabilizes the crystals, which is indicated by linear increase of the trigger temperature by up to 17 K. The crystal melting temperature can be increased up to 126.5 °C under constrained conditions as shown by X-ray diffraction measurements.