Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

I. Joga Rao

Second Advisor

R. S. Sodhi

Third Advisor

Zhiming Ji

Fourth Advisor

Bernard Koplik

Fifth Advisor

Thomas Michael Juliano


The aim of this research is to develop constitutive models for non-linear materials. Here, issues related for developing constitutive model for glassy shape memory polymers are addressed in detail. Shape memory polymers are novel material that can be easily formed into complex shapes, retaining memory of their original shape even after undergoing large deformations. The temporary shape is stable and return to the original shape is triggered by a suitable mechanism such heating the polymer above a transition temperature. Glassy shape memory polymers are called glassy because the temporary shape is fixed by the formation of a glassy solid, while return to the original shape is due to the melting of this glassy phase.

The constitutive model has been developed to capture the thermo-mechanical behavior of glassy shape memory polymers using elements of nonlinear mechanics and polymer physics. The key feature of this framework is that a body can exist stress free in numerous natural configurations, the underlying natural configuration of the body changing during the process, with the response of the body being elastic from these evolving natural configurations. The aim of this research is to formulate a constitutive model for glassy shape memory polymers (GSMP) which takes in to account the fact that the stress-strain response depends on thermal expansion of polymers. The model developed is for the original amorphous phase, the temporary glassy phase and transition between these phases. The glass transition process has been modeled using a framework that was developed recently for studying crystallization in polymers and is based on the theory of multiple natural configurations. Using the same frame work, the melting of the glassy phase to capture the return of the polymer to its original shape is also modeled. The effect of nanoreinforcement on the response of shape memory polymers (GSMP) is studied and a model is developed. In addition to modeling and solving boundary value problems for GSMP's, problems of importance for CSMP, specifically a shape memory cycle (Torsion of a Cylinder) is solved using the developed crystallizable shape memory polymer model. To solve complex boundary value problems in realistic geometries a user material subroutine (UMAT) for GSMP model has been developed for use in conjunction with the commercial finite element software ABAQUS. The accuracy of the UMAT has been verified by testing it against problems for which the results are known.