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|−|Epoxy has basically limitless applications and can be seen in fields ranging from aerospace to electronics. They are used as both electrical insulators when alone, and also electrical conductors when combined with silver. They are used architecturally as a material for walls, ceilings, and especially floors. They can be used as paint. They are also used for fastening bolts, and as castings. Moreover, epoxy as been used as a medium for art. |+|
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|−|Epoxy is often used in the developing world for its uses in building. In fact, China accounts for 30% of the worldwide usage of epoxy ($15 billion world wide). The three largest producers of Epoxy are Hexion, Dow Chemical, and Huntsman' s Corporation for Advanced Materials. Each of these companies allow the epoxy to be easily tuned for adhesive and mechanical properties using a variety of chemicals in addition to the basic monomers, such as things to increase or reduce viscosity. |+|
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|−|http://pslc. ws/macrog/epoxy. htm |+|
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|−|and other info gathered from a google search of "epoxy", including company websites. |+|
Latest revision as of 01:17, 17 November 2009
A shape memory polymer, trade name veriflex, that returns to its straight shape upon heating after it is twisted.
A shape memory polymer is a polymer that can be deformed, only to undergo a conformational change back to its original 'memorized' form upon application of some external stimulus, such as temperature (most typically), electricity, magnetism, light, or pH. It occurs by a polymer being able to undergo strain induced phase changes. What this means is that a polymer is set in a form by conventional methods, then when deformed, the microstructure undergoes a phase change. When the stimulus is applied, such as temperature, the phase then transfers back to the original phase, reconforming and relieving the strain in the process.
Despite SMP technology being developed and understood for quite some time there are currently only a few notable industrial applications. One of which is the grips for robotics. The SMP allows for a soft grip to become firm after it is in contact with the substrate. Other applications are foams that expand and contract to seal window frames during the different seasons, and in sports helmets to provide increased protection and comfort during use.
Implants and stents are two biomedical applications that currently use shape memory alloys, thus could be extended to SMPs due to their increased biocompatibility. Also, wound closure devices that could improve scar reduction have also been proposed. Another interesting application is in car parts, in this case a dent in a car, particularly the bumper, could 'pop' itself back into place when heated. Finally, clothes that unwrinkle in the dryer has also been suggested - which would make many peoples lives, including my own, much easier!
Lendlein, A., Kelch, S. Shape-memory polymers. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 41, 2034-2057 (2002)