Shape memory polymer composite (SMPC) samples for long-term exposure in Space environment have been designed and tested. SMPC laminates consisted of two carbon fiber reinforced (CFR) plies and a SMP interlayer. Samples were manufactured by prepreg lamination and molding with subsequent thermomechanical processing for shape change. Commercial raw materials were selected both for CFR plies and SMP interlayer. Differential scanning calorimetry and dynamic mechanical analysis have been used to evaluate the thermo-mechanical behavior of the SMPC laminate in comparison with the neat CFR laminate and the SM epoxy resin of the interlayer. Results show that the hybrid nature of the SMPC laminate is responsible for their good shape memory behavior. A small disk with a simple shape change has been prepared to be integrated in the MISSE-FF platform for long-term exposure to Space environment. Recovery tests under IR light exposure highlighted the optimal functional behavior of this kind of sample. Copyright © VBRI Press.

Graphical Abstract

Shape Memory Polymer Composites for Long-Term Exposure to Space Environment