Design of Active Materials and Structures based on Composites of Shape Memory Alloy and Shape Memory Polymer

Introduction Shape memory alloys (SMA) and shape memory polymers (SMP) have shown tremendous promise for a wide variety of applications because of their ability to “remember” a previous state when heated. However, they can only remember a single shape. The ability to remember two shapes would make these materials much more useful as morphing or
“smart” materials in which the change of shape is reversible between the two
“remembered” states. Technology Description Professor Taya at the University of Washington has developed an SMA/SMP composite material with the ability to “remember” two shapes. Each of these two shapes is exhibited at a different temperature, and the change between the two is reversible. This material is highly versatile and can be fabricated into a wide variety of forms. This ability to interchange between two predefined states presents opportunities that are simply not possible in similar conventional materials that possess only a single predefined state. Business Opportunity This material has potential applications as components, such as actuators and valves, in critical machinery in the fields of aeronautics and biomedicine. Additionally, opportunities exist for the creation of deformable structures and surfaces, such as aircraft wings and safety equipment. Intellectual Property Position The UW has patents pending on this technology.

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