A finite deformation thermomechanical constitutive model for triple shape polymeric composites based on dual thermal transitions

Qi Ge, Xiaofan Luo, Christian B. Iversen, Hossein Birjandi Nejad, Patrick T. Mather, Martin L. Dunn, H. Jerry Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Shape memory polymers (SMPs) have gained strong research interests recently due to their mechanical action that exploits their capability to fix temporary shapes and recover their permanent shape in response to an environmental stimulus such as heat, electricity, irradiation, moisture or magnetic field, among others. Along with interests in conventional "dual-shape" SMPs that can recover from one temporary shape to the permanent shape, multi-shape SMPs that can fix more than one temporary shapes and recover sequentially from one temporary shape to another and eventually to the permanent shape, have started to attract increasing attention. Two approaches have been used to achieve multi-shape shape memory effects (m-SMEs). The first approach uses polymers with a wide thermal transition temperature whilst the second method employs multiple thermal transition temperatures, most notably, uses two distinct thermal transition temperatures to obtain triple-shape memory effects (t-SMEs). Recently, one of the authors' group reported a triple-shape polymeric composite (TSPC), which is composed of an amorphous SMP matrix (epoxy), providing the system the rubber-glass transition to fix one temporary shape, and an interpenetrating crystallizable fiber network (PCL) providing the system the melt-crystal transition to fix the other temporary shape. A one-dimensional (1D) material model developed by the authors revealed the underlying shape memory mechanism of shape memory behaviors due to dual thermal transitions. In this paper, a three-dimension (3D) finite deformation thermomechanical constitutive model is presented to enable the simulations of t-SME under more complicated deformation conditions. Simple experiments, such as uniaxial tensions, thermal expansions and stress relaxation tests were carried out to identify parameters used in the model. Using an implemented user material subroutine (UMAT), the constitutive model successfully reproduced different types of shape memory behaviors exhibited in experiments designed for shape memory behaviors. Stress distribution analyses were performed to analyze the stress distribution during those different shape memory behaviors. The model was also able to simulate complicated applications, such as a twisted sheet and a folded stick, to demonstrate t-SME.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2777-2790
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number15-16
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014


  • Multi-shape memory polymers
  • Polymeric composite
  • Thermomechanical constitutive model
  • Triple-shape memory effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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