Adaptive Liquid Crystalline Elastomer Nanocomposites with a Unique Morphology
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
As part of the trend over the years of polymers replacing metals, substituting metallic wing skins with shape memory polymers (SMPs) that have excellent mechanical properties provides an opportunity to develop a new kind of morphing aircraft that can fulfil the needs of future military missions. Additionally, SMPs that can exert large recovery and regenerative stresses are needed for a broad range of space and medical device applications. Building upon work done by our STTR partner at Case Western Reserve University, we propose to develop SMP nanocomposites based on liquid crystalline elastomers to achieve reversible contractions and expansions of more than 100% upon application of a small load and heat, along with substantially higher elastic modulus in the z-direction as compared to those in the x and y directions. The key aspect of the proposed effort is in developing a novel microstructure for the nanocomposite. Nanocomposites will be synthesized and evaluated for their structural, mechanical and shape memory properties. In the Phase I program, we will demonstrate that shape memory LCE nanocomposites can exhibit high elongation-to-break ratio and high modulus in the z-direction, along with excellent shape memory properties.
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CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIV.
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106
Nonprofit college or university