Novel fast-responding shape-memory polyurethanes were prepared from bio-based polyols, diphenyl methane diisocyanate and butane diol for the first time. The bio-based polyester polyols were synthesized from 9-hydroxynonanoic acid, a product obtained by ozonolysis of fatty acids extracted from soy oil and castor oil. The morphology of polyurethanes was investigated by synchrotron ultra-small angle X-ray scattering, which revealed the inter-domain spacing between the hard and soft phases, the degree of phase separation, and the level of intermixing between the hard and soft phases. We also conducted thorough investigations of the thermal, mechanical, and dielectric properties of the polyurethanes, and found that high crystallization rate of the soft segment gives these polyurethanes unique properties suitable for shape-memory applications, such as adjustable transition temperatures, high degree of elastic elongations, and good mechanical strength. These materials are also potentially biodegradable and biocompatible, therefore suitable for biomedical and environmental applications.
Petrović, Z. S., Milić, J., Zhang, F., & Ilavsky, J. (2017). Fast-responding bio-based shape memory thermoplastic polyurethanes. Polymer, 121, 26–37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymer.2017.05.072