4 years ago

A Facile Approach Toward Scalable Fabrication of Reversible Shape-Memory Polymers with Bonded Elastomer Microphases as Internal Stress Provider

A Facile Approach Toward Scalable Fabrication of Reversible Shape-Memory Polymers with Bonded Elastomer Microphases as Internal Stress Provider
Long Fei Fan, Xu Dong Chen, Min Zhi Rong, Ming Qiu Zhang
The present communication reports a novel strategy to fabricate reversible shape-memory polymer that operates without the aid of external force on the basis of a two-phase structure design. The proof-of-concept material, crosslinked styrene-butadiene-styrene block copolymer (SBS, dispersed phase)/polycaprolactone-based polyurethane (PU, continuous phase) blend, possesses a closely connected microphase separation structure. That is, SBS phases are chemically bonded to crosslinked PU by means of a single crosslinking agent and two-step crosslinking process for increasing integrity of the system. Miscibility between components in the blend is no longer critical by taking advantage of the reactive blending technique. It is found that a suitable programming leads to compressed SBS, which serves as internal expansion stress provider as a result. The desired two-way shape-memory effect is realized by the joint action of the temperature-induced reversible opposite directional deformabilities of the crystalline phase of PU and compressed SBS, accompanying melting and orientated recrystallization of the former. Owing to the broadness of material selection and manufacturing convenience, the proposed approach opens an avenue toward mass production and application of the smart polymer. A reversible shape-memory polymer is prepared, simply by reactive blending of semicrystalline polymer and elastomer. Temperature-induced reversible shrinkage and extension of the components leads to reversible shape-memory effect of the programmed polymer blend without the intervention of external stress. The proposed approach is easy to be popularized due to the broad scope of raw materials and convenient procedures of material preparation.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/marc.201700124

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