Novel Behavior in Smart Polymeric Materials: Stress Memory and its Potential Applications


Article Preview

Materials, structures and systems, responsive to an external stimulus are smart and adaptive to our human demands. Among smart materials, polymers with shape memory effect are at the forefront of research leading to comprehensive publications and wide applications. In this paper, we extend the concept of shape memory polymers to stress memory ones, which have been discovered recently. Like shape memory, stress memory represents a phenomenon where the stress in a polymer can be programmed, stored and retrieved reversibly with an external stimulus such as temperature and magnetic field. Stress memory may be mistaken as the recovery stress which was studied quite broadly. Our further investigation also reveals that stress memory is quite different from recovery stress containing multi-components including elastic and viscoelastic forces in addition to possible memory stress. Stress memory could be used into applications such as sensors, pressure garments, massage devices, electronic skins and artificial muscles. The current revelation of stress memory potentials is emanated from an authentic application of memory fibres, films, and foams in the smart compression devices for the management of chronic and therapeutic disorders.



Edited by:

Pietro Vincenzini




J. L. Hu and H. Narayana, "Novel Behavior in Smart Polymeric Materials: Stress Memory and its Potential Applications", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 97, pp. 93-99, 2017

Online since:

October 2016




* - Corresponding Author

[1] A. Lendlein, and R. Langer, Biodegradable, elastic shape-memory polymers for potential biomedical applications. Science. 296(2000) 1673-1676.


[2] P.T. Mather, X.F. Luo, and I.A. Rousseau, Shape Memory Polymer Research, Ann. Rev. Mater. Res. 39(2000) 445-471.

[3] T. Xie, Tunable polymer multi-shape memory effect. Nature, 464(2010)267-270.

[4] J.L. Hu, Y. Zhu, H.H. Huang, J. Lu, Recent advances in shape-memory polymers: Structure, mechanism, functionality, modeling and applications. Prog. Polym. Sci. 37(2012)1720-1763.


[5] J. S. Leng, X. Lan, Y.J. Liu, S. Y. Du, Shape-memory polymers and their composites: Stimulus methods and applications. Prog. Mater. Sci. 56(2011)1077-1135.


[6] A. C. S. Martien, W. T. S. Huck, J. Genzer, M. Muller, C. Ober, M. Stamm, GB. Sukhorukov, I. Szleifer, VV. Tsukruk, M. Urban, F. Winnik, S. Zauscher, I. Luzinov, S. Minko, Emerging applications of stimuli-responsive polymer materials. Nat. Mater. 9(2010).


[7] P. Miaudet, A. Derre, M. Maugey, C. Zakri, P.M. Piccione, R. Inoubli, P. Poulin, Shape and temperature memory of nanocomposites with broadened glass transition. Science. 318(2007)1294-1296.


[8] J.L. Hu, B. Kumar, and H. Narayana, Stress memory polymers. J. Polym. Sci. Pol. Phys. 53(2015)893-898.

[9] Y. Wu, J.L. Hu, H.H. Huang, J. Li, Y. Zhu, B.Z. Tang, J.P. Han, L.B. Li, Memory Chromic Polyurethane with Tetraphenylethylene. J. Polym. Sci. Pol. Phys. 52(2014)104-110.


[10] J.K. Yuan, C. Zakri, F. Grillard, W. Neri, P. Poulin, Temperature and Electrical Memory of Polymer Fibers. Times of Polymers (Top) and Composites, 1599(2014)198-201.


[11] Q.X. Yang, and G.Q. Li, Investigation into Stress Recovery Behavior of Shape Memory Polyurethane Fiber. J. Polym. Sci. Pol. Phys. 52(2014)1429-1440.

[12] K. Yu, Q. Ge, and H.J. Qi, Reduced time as a unified parameter determining fixity and free recovery of shape memory polymers. Nat. Commun. 5(2014).


[13] M. Ahmad, J.K. Luo, and M. Miraftab, Feasibility study of polyurethane shape-memory polymer actuators for pressure bandage application. Sci. Technol. Adv. Mat. 13(2012).

[14] A.Q. Wang, and G.Q. Li, Stress memory of a thermoset shape memory polymer. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 132(2015).

[15] Y.P. Liu, K. Gall, M.L. Dunn, A.R. Greenberg, J. Diani, Thermomechanics of shape memory polymers: Uniaxial experiments and constitutive modeling. Int. J. Plasticity, 22(2006)279-313.


[16] Q.H. Meng, J.L. Hu, Y. Zhu, J. Lu, Y. Liu, Polycaprolactone-based shape memory segmented polyurethane fiber. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 106(2007)2515-2523.


[17] Y. Zhu, J.L. Hu, L.Y. Yeung, Y. Liu, F.L. Ji, K.W. Yeung, Development of shape memory polyurethane fiber with complete shape recoverability. Smart Mater. Struct. 15(2006)1385-1394.


[18] N. Labropoulos, A.P. Gasparis, J.A. Caprini, H. Partsch, Compression stockings to prevent post-thrombotic syndrome. Lancet, 384(2014)129-130.


[19] H. Partsch, and P. Mortimer, Compression for leg wounds. Brit. J. Dermatol. 173(2015)359-369.

[20] B. Kumar, J.L. Hu, N. Pan, H. Narayana, A smart orthopedic compression device based on a polymeric stress memory actuator. Materials & Design, 97(2016)222-229.