Subscribe to Make Magazine Today!

Shape-memory metals get a fair amount of attention, but shape memory polymers exist, too. In fact, heat-shrink tubing is a familiar example of a simple shape-memory effect in a polymer. This video uploaded by MIT researcher Vikas Srivastava back in 2009 is a more impressive demonstration of heat-induced shape recovery. The plastic material is tBA / PEGDMA, which has a shape-change temperature that is close to human body temperature. It’s under investigation for use in medical implants. The referenced paper is freely available as a PDF.

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Supplies at Maker Shed