University Chemistry ›› 2022, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (5): 2109106.doi: 10.3866/PKU.DXHX202109106

Special Issue: 第2届全国大学生化学实验创新设计竞赛

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Synthesis of High-Temperature Shape Memory Polyimide

Haolin Du, Wenhui Zhu, Hai Huang, Bing Li, Xinli Xiao(), Xin Li()   

  • Received:2021-09-29 Accepted:2021-11-04 Published:2022-03-08
  • Contact: Xinli Xiao,Xin Li;


Shape memory polyimide (SMPI) as a smart material has attracted remarkable attention in high-tech fields such as aerospace and intelligent photoelectricity due to its shape memory effect and work capability at high temperatures. By designing the simple and effective device to obtain water-free and oxygen-free conditions, the polyamic acid (PAA) precursor is produced from polycondensation of 1, 3-bis(3-aminophenoxy)benzene and 4, 4'-oxydiphthalic anhydride, and then PAA is converted into SMPI via step-wise thermal curing. SMPI was characterized using gel permeation chromatography, infrared spectrometry, dynamic mechanical analysis, and thermogravimetric analysis. SMPI exhibits excellent shape memory effects and good work capability, indicated by overturning a metal sheet 11.93 times higher than its own weight. This highly comprehensive experiment incorporates polymer synthesis, product characterization, mechanical property testing, and applications. Due to stable experimental phenomena and reproducible results, this experiment is suitable for undergraduate teaching. Through simulating the deployable process of red flag in Tianwen-1, this experiment can stimulate scientific interest, cultivate innovative thinking, and enhance students' comprehension. It can also make students appreciate the unique style of aerospace in China and enhance national pride.

Key words: Shape memory polymers, Polyimide, Deployable space structure, High-temperature actuator


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