Shape-Memory Properties of Electrospun Non-wovens Prepared from Amorphous Polyetherurethanes Under Stress-free and Constant Strain Conditions


The shape-memory properties of electrospun polyetherurethanes (PEU) non-wovens with a single fiber diameter of around 1 μm were explored. In uniaxial cyclic, thermomechanical tensile tests a dual-shape shape-memory creation procedure (SMCP) was applied and the shape recovery was examined under stress-free and constant strain conditions. The thermal properties of the electrospun PEU non-wovens were found to be similar to those obtained for bulk PEU samples, whereas the mechanical properties revealed differences with respect to the elongation at break (εb) at increased temperatures. Excellent dual-shape properties were achieved for the PEU non-wovens with a high shape fixity rate (Rf) and shape recovery rate (Rr). A significant higher recovery stress (σmax) was obtained under constant strain recovery conditions for the electrospun non-wovens compared to the bulk PEU samples, which might be attributed to the higher degree of orientation of the polymer chains in the microfibers. Therefore the influence of different (single) fiber diameters as well as the variation of the programming elongation εm and temperature Tprog on σmax is an interesting issue for future investigations.
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