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Polymers 2010, 2(3), 120-158; doi:10.3390/polym2030120

Review on the Functional Determinants and Durability of Shape Memory Polymers

BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Division VI.3, 12205 Berlin, Germany
Received: 1 June 2010 / Revised: 5 July 2010 / Accepted: 21 July 2010 / Published: 28 July 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Stimuli-Responsive (co)Polymers)
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Abstract

Shape memory polymers (SMP) belong to the class of stimuli-responsive materials and have generated significant research interest. Their capability to retain an imposed, temporary shape and to recover the initial, permanent shape upon exposure to an external stimulus depends on the “functional determinants”, which in simplistic terms, can be divided into structural/morphological and processing/environmental factors. The primary aim of the first part of this review is to reflect the knowledge about these fundamental relationships. In a next step, recent advances in shape memory polymer composites are summarized. In contrast to earlier reviews, studies on the impairment of shape memory properties through various factors, such as aging, compression and hibernation, lubricants, UV light and thermo-mechanical cycling, are extensively reviewed. Apart from summarizing the state-of-the-art in SMP research, recent progress is commented. View Full-Text
Keywords: shape memory polymer; active polymer; shape memory polymer composite; shape memory properties; functionality; degradation; aging; functional determinants; thermo-mechanical testing; durability shape memory polymer; active polymer; shape memory polymer composite; shape memory properties; functionality; degradation; aging; functional determinants; thermo-mechanical testing; durability
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Pretsch, T. Review on the Functional Determinants and Durability of Shape Memory Polymers. Polymers 2010, 2, 120-158.

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