Thermo-mechanical behavior of epoxy shape memory polymer foams
Shape memory polymer foams have significant potential in biomedical and aerospace applications, but their thermo-mechanical behavior under relevant deformation conditions is not well understood. In this paper we examine the thermo-mechanical behavior of epoxy shape memory polymer foams with an average relative density of nearly 20%. These foams are deformed under conditions of varying stress, strain, and temperature. The glass transition temperature of the foam was measured to be approximately 90 °C and compression and tensile tests were performed at temperatures ranging from 25 to 125 °C. Various shape recovery tests were used to measure recovery properties under different thermo-mechanical conditions. Tensile strain to failure was measured as a function of temperature to probe the maximum recovery limits of the foam in both temperature and strain space. Compression tests were performed to examine compressibility of the material as a function of temperature; these foams can be compacted as much as 80% and still experience full strain recovery over multiple cycles. Furthermore, both tensile strain to failure tests and cyclic compression recovery tests revealed that deforming at a temperature of 80 °C maximizes macroscopic strain recovery. Deformation temperatures above or below this optimal value lead to lower failure strains in tension and the accumulation of non-recoverable strains in cyclic compression. Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) scans of the foam at various compressed states were used to understand foam deformation mechanisms. The micro-CT studies revealed the bending, buckling, and collapse of cells with increasing compression, consistent with results from published numerical simulations. © IOP Publishing Ltd.
Di Prima, MA; Lesniewski, M; Gall, K; McDowell, DL; Sanderson, T; Campbell, D
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