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Polymers 2013, 5(4), 1169-1202; doi:10.3390/polym5041169
Review

Mechanisms of the Shape Memory Effect in Polymeric Materials

1
, 2,* , 2
, 2
, 2
 and 2
1 School of Mechanical Engineering, Jiangsu University, 301 Xuefu Road, Zhenjiang 212013, China 2 School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, 639798, Singapore
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 August 2013 / Revised: 18 September 2013 / Accepted: 23 September 2013 / Published: 30 September 2013

Abstract

This review paper summarizes the recent research progress in the underlying mechanisms behind the shape memory effect (SME) and some newly discovered shape memory phenomena in polymeric materials. It is revealed that most polymeric materials, if not all, intrinsically have the thermo/chemo-responsive SME. It is demonstrated that a good understanding of the fundamentals behind various types of shape memory phenomena in polymeric materials is not only useful in design/synthesis of new polymeric shape memory materials (SMMs) with tailored performance, but also helpful in optimization of the existing ones, and thus remarkably widens the application field of polymeric SMMs.
Keywords: shape memory effect; mechanism; polymeric material; thermo-responsive; chemo-responsive; optimization; design shape memory effect; mechanism; polymeric material; thermo-responsive; chemo-responsive; optimization; design
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, X.; Huang, W.M.; Zhao, Y.; Ding, Z.; Tang, C.; Zhang, J. Mechanisms of the Shape Memory Effect in Polymeric Materials. Polymers 2013, 5, 1169-1202.

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