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Polymers 2017, 9(10), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9100496

Systematic Development Strategy for Smart Devices Based on Shape-Memory Polymers

Product Development Lab, Mechanical Engineering Department, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, C/Jose Gutierrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain
Received: 24 September 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 29 September 2017 / Published: 10 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shape Memory Polymers)
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Abstract

Shape-memory polymers are outstanding “smart” materials, which can perform important geometrical changes, when activated by several types of external stimuli, and which can be applied to several emerging engineering fields, from aerospace applications, to the development of biomedical devices. The fact that several shape-memory polymers can be structured in an additive way is an especially noteworthy advantage, as the development of advanced actuators with complex geometries for improved performance can be achieved, if adequate design and manufacturing considerations are taken into consideration. Present study presents a review of challenges and good practices, leading to a straightforward methodology (or integration of strategies), for the development of “smart” actuators based on shape-memory polymers. The combination of computer-aided design, computer-aided engineering and additive manufacturing technologies is analyzed and applied to the complete development of interesting shape-memory polymer-based actuators. Aspects such as geometrical design and optimization, development of the activation system, selection of the adequate materials and related manufacturing technologies, training of the shape-memory effect, final integration and testing are considered, as key processes of the methodology. Current trends, including the use of low-cost 3D and 4D printing, and main challenges, including process eco-efficiency and biocompatibility, are also discussed and their impact on the proposed methodology is considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: shape-memory polymers; additive manufacturing; 3D printing; 4D printing; “smart” materials and structures; shape-memory composites; advanced actuators shape-memory polymers; additive manufacturing; 3D printing; 4D printing; “smart” materials and structures; shape-memory composites; advanced actuators
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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. (CC BY 4.0).
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Díaz Lantada, A. Systematic Development Strategy for Smart Devices Based on Shape-Memory Polymers. Polymers 2017, 9, 496.

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