Year of Publication

2011

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Y. Charles Lu

Abstract

Shape memory polymers (SMPs) have been candidate materials for morphing applications. However, the SMPs have not been fully tested to work in relevant environments required for Air Force missions. In this study, an epoxy-based SMP was separately exposed to moisture, lubricating oil and UV radiation, which are simulated service environments designed to be reflective of anticipated performance requirements. The thermomechanical properties and shape memory effects were studied by using novel high-temperature nanoindentation technique. Results show that environmental conditions have affected the glass transition temperature and mechanical properties of the SMPs. In most cases, the conditioned SMPs exhibited higher elastic moduli than the unconditioned SMP. The shape recovery ability of the SMP was assessed by creating an indent and then observing the corresponding recovery according to the standard shape memory cycle. It was found that the deformation was mostly recovered for both conditioned and unconditioned SMP samples on heating the material above its glass transition temperature.

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