A ‘frozen volume’ transition model and working mechanism for the shape memory effect in amorphous polymers

Haibao Lu, Xiaodong Wang, Yongtao Yao, Richard Fu

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Phenomenological models based on frozen volume parameters could well predict shape recovery behavior of shape memory polymers (SMPs), but the physical meaning of using the frozen volume parameters to describe thermomechanical properties has not been well-established. In this study, the fundamental working mechanisms of the shape memory effect (SME) in amorphous SMPs, whose temperature-dependent viscoelastic behavior follows the Eyring equation, have been established with the considerations of both internal stress and its resulted frozen volume. The stress-strain constitutive relation was initially modeled to quantitatively describe effects of internal stresses at the macromolecular scale based on the transient network theory. A phenomenological "frozen volume" model was then established to characterize the macromolecule structure and SME of amorphous SMPs based on a two-site stress-relaxation model. Effects of the internal stress, frozen volume and strain rate on shape memory behavior and thermomechanical properties of the SMP were investigated. Finally, the simulation results were compared with the experimental results reported in the literature, and good agreements between the theoretical and experimental results were achieved. The novelty and key differences of our newly proposed model with respect to the previous reports are (1). The "frozen volume" in our study is caused by the internal stress and governed by the two-site model theory, thus has a good physical meaning. (2). The model can be applied to characterize and predict both the thermal and thermomechanical behaviors of SMPs based on the constitutive relationship with internal stress parameters. It is expected to provide a power tool to investigate the thermomechanical behavior of the SMPs, of which both the macromolecular structure characteristics and SME could be predicted using this "frozen volume" model.
Original languageEnglish
Article number065023
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number6
Early online date8 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


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