Multi-Functional Soft Smart Materials and their Applications
Stimulus-active polymers can change their shapes with respect to configuration or dimension upon exposure to a particular stimulus such as heat, electricity, light, magnetic, solvent and pH value. These unique characteristics enable stimulus-active polymers to be used in a myriad of fields, including clothing manufacturing, automobile engineering, medical treatment, and aerospace engineering. Stimulus-active polymers can be applied in smart textiles and apparels, intelligent medical instruments and auxiliaries, artificial muscles, biomimetic devices, heat shrinkable materials for electronics packaging, micro-electro-mechanical systems, self-deployable sun sails in spacecrafts, miniature manipulator, actuators and sensors, and many more. This paper presents some recent progress of soft smart materials and their applications. Special emphasis is focused upon shape memory polymer (SMP), electro-active polymer (EAP) for aerospace engineering such as space deployable structures and morphing aircraft, which has highlighted the need for development of these materials. A detailed overview of development in these smart soft materials, of which the undergoing and future applications are used in adaptive structures and active control, is presented. The paper concludes with a short discussion for multi-functional soft smart materials and their composites that are expected to extend the range of development and applications available to the related researches and engineers.
Prof. Alan Kin Tak Lau, Prof. Tirumalai S. Srivatsan, Debes Bhattacharyya, Ming Qiu Zhang and Mabel M.P. Ho
J. S. Leng, "Multi-Functional Soft Smart Materials and their Applications", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 410, pp. 25-25, 2012