Light-Activated Shape Memory Composite
Agency / Branch:
DOD / DARPA
Future systems such as morphing aircraft will adapt and reconfigure to accommodate mission needs. These shape changes must allow change while still bearing substantial loads. Fiber-reinforced composites are the preferred reinforcement materials due to their mechanical and lightweight properties suited for meeting the requirements of morphing systems. Although thermally activated shape memory composites have been demonstrated and are progressing rapidly as the state-of-the-art for morphing skins and structures, they possess fundamental limitations, such as switching time and thermal energy, which must be overcome to maximize performance. Additionally, morphing materials under investigation lack stiffness characteristics necessary to prevent undesired out-of-plane deformations. Future morphing systems will require no thermal signature and no time delay while offering low power consumption and improved stiffness. For these requirements, light-activated shape memory polymer (LASMP) holds significant promise. Future morphing systems will also require long life cycles for affordability, electrical conductivity modulation for survivability, reconfigurable thermal flow paths for shape change near hot areas, and color change for camouflage operations in a variety of environments. For these requirements basic shape memory polymer functionality provides an ideal matrix material for further technology integration that will lead to "situationally responsive" systems.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
CORNERSTONE RESEARCH GROUP, INC.
2750 Indian Ripple Road Dayton, OH 45440
Number of Employees:
UNIV. OF PITTSBURGH
Office of Research
320 Thackray Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Nonprofit college or university