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Shape memory polymers debut in textile segment
Jan '10
A novel entry in the textile segment is shape memory polymers that can sense and respond to external stimuli in predetermined shape. These polymers have a one-way memory effect of having one permanent shape which is formed at low temperatures.

Shape-memory polymers (SMP) are a new product created by utilizing the shape memorizing mechanism of elastomers of the polyurethane family. These materials exhibit novel properties such as sensing (thermal, stress, optical, chemical), actuation, high damping, adaptive responses, super-elasticity capability, and air permeability.

SMP's undergoing deformation at higher temperatures, "retain" the deformed shape when cooled and return to their original configuration when heated above "glass transition temperature". SMP's should avoid "permanent deformation".

Such types of materials capable of undergoing thermal shape transition are a division of smart or intelligent materials. Studies are conducted to synthesize polymeric materials with one and two switching temperatures as SMP.

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