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Shape Memory Materials

Patent Abstracts

From 06/24/2014 to 10/21/2011  

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Patents with Abstracts

10. Shape Memory Polymers

U.S. Patent 8,470,935 (June 25, 2013), “Shape-Memory resin, Molded Product composed of the Resin, and Method of using the Molded Product,” Midori Shimura, Kazuhiko Inoue, and Masatoshi Iji (NEC Corporation, Tokyo, Japan).

The pressure for renewable materials is growing.  Polylactic acid (PLA) is a candidate, renewable material with 150 to 180 C melting point and a strength comparable to polystyrene. However, polylactic acid is more expensive than petroleum-based resins, and no mechanical properties which are superior to those of petroleum-based resins.  To make PLA materials cost effective, new functions need to be added.. Shimura Inoue and  Iji developed a PLA resin with a three-dimensional structure and shape memory features.  This PLA derivative having two or more crosslinking functional groups results in flexible polymers with a low Tg less than 30 C.  The crosslinks  provide a shape-recovering ability and excellent strength.  This material is suitable for wearable electronics in which shapes can be molded and reformed easily by users.  

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9. 8,357,442 
Heat shrink wire marker carrier 

Whittaker and Morrison of Panduit Corp, Illinois, developed a wire marker included a first layer having at least one opening, two bands applied to opposite edges of the first layer, the bands including an adhesive on at least one side, and a label secured into the opening and attached to the adhesive.  At least one access perforation may be located on the first layer that is horizontal and adjacent to one side of the opening.  The access perforation facilitates removal of the label from the carrier and allows for insertion of a cable through the label.  Several horizontal carrier perforations may be located between each opening on the first layer to facilitate removal of the carrier strip from a printer.  (RDC 1/28/2013)

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8. 8,344,034 
Shape memory materials comprising polyelectrolyte segments 

Lendlein of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Zentrum fuer Material und Kuestenferschung GmbH, Germany, developed shape memory materials with polyelectrolyte segments. These segments can be used for fixing a permanent shape and/or such segments can also be employed as switching segments responsible for the fixation and release of the temporary shape.  Polyelectrolyte segment molecular weights range from 500 to 15000. (RDC 1/10/2013)

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7. 8,303,625 
Biodegradable shape memory polymeric sutures
 
Lendlein and Langer of Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Zentrum fuer Material- und Kuestenforschung GmbH, Germany, developed medical sutures based on a group of degradable, thermoplastic polymers which are able to change their shape after an increase in temperature. Their shape memory capability enables bulky implants to be placed in the body through small incisions or to perform complex mechanical deformations automatically.  The shape memory polymers are preferably biocompatible and can be biodegradable or non-degradable polymers. Preferably, the biodegradable polymer has a linear degradation rate.  In a specifically preferred embodiment, the suture is formed of biodegradable polymer capable of forming a self-tightening knot.  (RDC 12/5/2012)

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6. 8,187,252 
Shape memory system with integrated actuation using embedded particles
 
Buckley and Maitland of Lawrence Livermore National Security, California, developed a shape memory material with integrated actuation using embedded particles such as a shape memory body containing magnetic pieces.  Thus the structure can be deforemed into a secondary shape, place in place and returned to the primary shape induced by the magnetic particles triggered by inductive heating.  (RDC 6/5/2012)

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5. 8,136,536 
Shape memory polymer mascara brush
 
Bickford of ELC Management, New York developed a mascara brush includes bristles made from shape memory polymer (SMP) filaments.  The SMP filaments are selected to exhibit a first shape during assembly of the brush, and a second shape after exposure to an external stimulus in the form of heat or other energy.  During assembly, the SMP filaments are clamped between wire segments twisted to form a core.  The first shape can be straight to facilitate assembly of the fibers in the wire core. The second shape, after assembly in the core and after being subjected to the external stimulus, can be any bristle shape suitable for enhancing the function of the brush, e.g., kinked, wavy or coiled. The brush head may be made solely of SMP filaments, or may be a blend of SMP filaments and any other suitable filament (e.g., nylon, natural plant or animal fibers, etc.).  (RDC 5/10/2012)

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4. 8,088,233 
Method of characterizing phase transformations in shape memory materials
 
Magnuson and Liu of Cook Medical Technologies, Indiana, developed a method of characterizing phase transformations of a shape memory material by recording data from the specimen during heating and cooling. (RDC 1/24/2012

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3. 8,061,550
Reconfigurable storage bins having a structural component formed of a shape memory material

Browne et al of General Motors, Michigan, developed reconfigurable bins from shape memory materials such as a shape memory polymer or a shape memory alloy.  The shape memory material can be activated to change on command.  The reconfigurable bin can include a mesh network or may be formed of panels or a combination panels and mesh. (RDC 11/28/2011)

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2. 8,039,572
Shape memory cyanate ester copolymers

Tong, Hreha and Vining of Connerstone Research, Ohio, developed cyanate ester shape memory polymers (SMP).  The polymers are preferably formed via reaction of a multifunctional cyanate ester and a mono functional cyanate ester and exist, in one inventive aspect, in the form of a cross-linked thermoset network.  Optional catalysts and structural modifiers may be added to the reaction moieties to help control the glass transition temperature of the resulting SMP to greater than 0.degree. C., preferably from about 150.degree. C.-300.degree. C.  (RDC 10/21/2011)

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1. 7,795,350
Blends of amorphous and semicrystalline polymers having shape memory properties

Mather Liu and Camp of the University of Connecticut have developed shape memory polymers by blending an amorphous polymer, such as poly(vinyl acetate) (PVAc) and a semicrystalline polymer such a poly(lactic acid) (PLA) or poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF).

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Roger D. Corneliussen
Editor
www.maropolymeronline.com

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Copyright 2012 by Roger D. Corneliussen.
No part of this transmission is to be duplicated in any manner or forwarded by electronic mail without the express written permission of Roger D. Corneliussen
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** Date of latest addition; date of first entry is 5/9/2012.