Difference between revisions of "Shape memory Polymer"
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Revision as of 01:12, 17 November 2009
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.
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.
and other info gathered from a google search of "epoxy", including company websites.