Synthesis of Shape-Memory Polyurethanes: Combined Experimental and Simulation Studies


The presented research focuses on the synthesis and structure–properties relationship of poly(carbonate-urea-urethane) (PCUU) systems including investigations on shape-memory effect capability. Furthermore, we approached the topic from a broader perspective by conducting extensive analysis of the relationship between the synthesized compounds and the results of computer simulations by means of the Monte Carlo method. For the first time, by using a unique simulation tool, the dynamic lattice liquid model (DLL), all steps of multi-step synthesis of these materials were covered by the simulations. Furthermore, broad thermal, mechanical, and thermomechanical characterization of synthesized PCUUs was performed, as well as determining the shape-memory properties. PCUUs exhibited good mechanical properties with a tensile strength above 20 MPa, elongation at break around 800%, and an exhibited shape-memory effect with shape fixity and shape recovery ratios above 94% and 99%, respectively. The dynamic lattice liquid model was employed to show the products and their molar mass distribution, as well as monomer conversion or the dispersity index for individual reaction steps. The results obtained in the following manuscript allow the planning of syntheses for the PCUUs of various structures, including crosslinked and soluble systems, which can provide a broad variety of applications of these materials, as well as a better understanding of the composition–properties relationship.
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