Thermomechanical behavior of a two-way shape memory composite actuator

Qi Ge, Kristofer K. Westbrook, Patrick T. Mather, Martin L. Dunn, H. Jerry Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Shape memory polymers (SMPs) are a class of smart materials that can fix a temporary shape and recover to their permanent (original) shape in response to an environmental stimulus such as heat, electricity, or irradiation, among others. Most SMPs developed in the past can only demonstrate the so-called one-way shape memory effect; i.e., one programming step can only yield one shape memory cycle. Recently, one of the authors (Mather) developed a SMP that exhibits both one-way shape memory (1W-SM) and two-way shape memory (2W-SM) effects (with the assistance of an external load). This SMP was further used to develop a free-standing composite actuator with a nonlinear reversible actuation under thermal cycling. In this paper, a theoretical model for the PCO SMP based composite actuator was developed to investigate its thermomechanical behavior and the mechanisms for the observed phenomena during the actuation cycles, and to provide insight into how to improve the design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number055009
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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