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Fluids 2017, 2(2), 13; doi:10.3390/fluids2020013

Effects of Loading Rate on the Relaxation and Recovery Ability of an Epoxy-Based Shape Memory Polymer

1
Department of Engineering, St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX 78228, USA
2
Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), Dayton, OH 45433, USA
3
Multi-Scale Composite and Polymers Division, University of Dayton Research Institute, Dayton, OH, 45469, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mehrdad Massoudi
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract

The majority of aerospace structural composites use thermoset resins for their processing flexibility, temperature capability, and environmental durability. In this study, the recovery behavior of Veriflex-E, an epoxy-based, thermosetting, thermally-triggered shape memory polymer (SMP) resin, is investigated in glassy (25 °C) and rubbery (130 °C) states, as a function of shape memory cycles, and as a means to evaluate its potential as a resin for a shape memory composite. At 25 °C, Veriflex-E exhibits a promising high elastic modulus and a positive, nonlinear strain rate sensitivity in monotonic loading. At 130 °C, the strain rate sensitivity in monotonic loading decreases. Stress relaxation after storage in the deformed temporary state and subsequent shape recovery is of particular interest, a challenge to measure, and has not been widely reported for SMPs. The current experimental program measures the influence of strain rate changes in the 10−4–10−2 s−1 range on the stress relaxation response of the material, as well as on the strain recovery behavior at both 25 °C and 130 °C. As expected, the post-relaxation strain is larger with faster loading. Unexpectedly, the total strain recovered after shape memory cycling is more similar to the low temperature deformation. Overall, the results suggest that, while being influenced by both the loading rate and the test temperature, Veriflex-E is a promising candidate for a shape memory composite which could enable adaptive structures. View Full-Text
Keywords: shape memory polymer; stress relaxation; recovery; viscous response shape memory polymer; stress relaxation; recovery; viscous response
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

McClung, A.J.; Tandon, G.P.; Baur, J.W. Effects of Loading Rate on the Relaxation and Recovery Ability of an Epoxy-Based Shape Memory Polymer. Fluids 2017, 2, 13.

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