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Hybrid Nanocomposites of Cellulose/Carbon-Nanotubes/Polyurethane with Rapidly Water Sensitive Shape Memory Effect and Strain Sensing Performance

1
Key Laboratory of Eco-Textiles, Ministry of Education, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China
2
Shenzhen Digital Life Institute, Shenzhen 581000, China
3
Fujian Key Laboratory of Novel Functional Textile Fibers and Materials, Minjiang University, Fuzhou 350108, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Equal authors.
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1586; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101586
Received: 26 August 2019 / Revised: 13 September 2019 / Accepted: 24 September 2019 / Published: 27 September 2019
In this work, a fast water-responsive shape memory hybrid polymer based on thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) was prepared by crosslinking with hydroxyethyl cotton cellulose nanofibers (CNF-C) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The effect of CNTs content on the electrical conductivity of TPU/CNF-C/CNTs nanocomposite was investigated for the feasibility of being a strain sensor. In order to know its durability, the mechanical and water-responsive shape memory effects were studied comprehensively. The results indicated good mechanical properties and sensing performance for the TPU matrix fully crosslinked with CNF-C and CNTs. The water-induced shape fixity ratio (Rf) and shape recovery ratio (Rr) were 49.65% and 76.64%, respectively, indicating that the deformed composite was able to recover its original shape under a stimulus. The TPU/CNF-C/CNTs samples under their fixed and recovered shapes were tested to investigate their sensing properties, such as periodicity, frequency, and repeatability of the sensor spline under different loadings. Results indicated that the hybrid composite can sense large strains accurately for more than 103 times and water-induced shape recovery can to some extent maintain the sensing accuracy after material fatigue. With such good properties, we envisage that this kind of composite may play a significant role in developing new generations of water-responsive sensors or actuators. View Full-Text
Keywords: hybrid nanocomposites; rapid recovery; sharp memory polymer; strain sensor hybrid nanocomposites; rapid recovery; sharp memory polymer; strain sensor
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, G.; Gu, Y.; Hou, X.; Li, R.; Ke, H.; Xiao, X. Hybrid Nanocomposites of Cellulose/Carbon-Nanotubes/Polyurethane with Rapidly Water Sensitive Shape Memory Effect and Strain Sensing Performance. Polymers 2019, 11, 1586.

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