Patent Number: 8,586,176

Title: Shape memory alloy fibers and shape memory polymer fibers and films and their composites for reversible shape changes

Abstract: A plurality of reversible active composite materials are disclosed, including composites based on a shape memory alloy member (SMA) and a shape memory polymer member (SMP), as well as composites based on two different SMP members. Each different member (SMA or SMP) will be trained to remember a specific shape at a specific temperature. Where two different SMP members are employed, the members exhibit different glass transition temperatures. Such composite materials can be implemented in many form factors, including two generally planar members, a single generally planar SMP member with SMA fibers distributed throughout the SMP, and a SMA fiber/wire coated with a SMP coating. In particular, the SMA fiber/wire coated with a SMP layer can be used to form helical coils that can be used in paired hinges to achieve reversible bending of a structure into which such paired hinges are incorporated.

Inventors: Taya; Minoro (Mercer Island, WA), Liang; Yuanchang (Seattle, WA)

Assignee: University of Washington

International Classification: F01B 29/10 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 1/19/12018