Shape Memory Plastics

from the polymerdirt-lives! dept

It’s been a while since we’ve posted any “polymerdirt” articles, and our resident soon-to-be polymer chemist went and changed careers on us. But, for old times sake, here’s an article about shape memory plastics, which are polymer structures that can be bent and twisted, but at certain temperatures will automatically return to a certain shape. The article talks about how useful these can be in medical devices, and other things like robots. Of course, I’m sure our former polymer chemist expert will enlighten us on where the article went wrong.

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Comments on “Shape Memory Plastics”

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mhh5 says:

still into polymers...

Ok. I’m still a polymer chemist, dude. check your facts…. 🙂

So these polymers are kinda cool. What they don’t tell you that it’s not like you can even lift a paperclip with these plastics. Developing the super-cool shape-memory plastics of the future is still a ways off. Also, they don’t seem to mention that shape memory plastics have been around (and commercially important) for decades. What about heat-shrink insulation? That’s technically a shape-memory polymer…. Are you going to build robots with it? Sure, if you need to splice together some wiring…. Artificial muscles aren’t quite there yet.

M. tupper (user link) says:

Re: still into polymers...

Composite Technology Development (CTD) has developed Elastic Memory Composites (EMC) materials. These are fiber reinforced composites using a CTD formulated elastic memory matrix material. Actuators have been built that have been able to lift 30 times their weight against gravity. It is cool stuff! Got any ideas for us?

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