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Materials 2014, 7(2), 751-768; doi:10.3390/ma7020751

Shape Memory Properties of PBS-Silica Hybrids

1 Dipartimento di Ingegneria "Enzo Ferrari", Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, via Vignolese 905/A, Modena 41125, Italy 2 Dipartimento di Chimica Industriale "Toso Montanari", Università di Bologna, Viale Risorgimento 2, Bologna 40136, Italy 3 Consorzio Interuniversitario per la Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali (INSTM), Via G. Giusti 9, Firenze 50121, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 21 January 2014 / Accepted: 22 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Functional Hybrid Materials)
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A series of novel Si–O–Si crosslinked organic/inorganic hybrid semi-crystalline polymers with shape memory properties was prepared from alkoxysilane-terminated poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) by water-induced silane crosslinking under organic solvent-free and catalyst-free conditions. The hydrolyzation and condensation of alkoxysilane end groups allowed for the generation of silica-like crosslinking points between the polymeric chains, acting not only as chemical net-points, but also as inorganic filler for a reinforcement effect. The resulting networks were characterized using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), dynamic-mechanical analysis (DMA) and tensile and shape memory tests to gain insight into the relationship between the polymeric structure, the morphology and the properties. By controlling the molecular weight of the PBS precursor, a fine tuning of the crosslinking density and the inorganic content of the resulting network was possible, leading to different thermal, mechanical and shape memory properties. Thanks to their suitable morphology consisting of crystalline domains, which represent the molecular switches between the temporary and permanent shapes, and chemical net-points, which permit the shape recovery, the synthesized materials showed good shape memory characteristics, being able to fix a significant portion of the applied strain in a temporary shape and to restore their original shape above their melting temperature.
Keywords: poly(butylene succinate) (PBS); organic/inorganic; shape memory polymers; crosslinking poly(butylene succinate) (PBS); organic/inorganic; shape memory polymers; crosslinking
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Paderni, K.; Fabbri, P.; Toselli, M.; Messori, M. Shape Memory Properties of PBS-Silica Hybrids. Materials 2014, 7, 751-768.

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