Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2015

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering - (M.S.)


Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Shawn Alexander Chester

Second Advisor

I. Joga Rao

Third Advisor

Pushpendra Singh


Traditional Shape Memory Polymers (SMPs) belong to a class of smart materials which have shown promise for a wide range of applications. They are characterized by their ability to maintain a temporary deformed shape and return to an original parent permanent shape. The first SMPs developed responded to changes in temperature by exploiting the difference in modulus and chain mobility through the glass transition temperature. However, in recent years, new SMPs have been developed that respond to other stimuli besides temperature; these can include electricity, magnetism, changes in chemical concentration, and even light.

In this thesis, we consider the photo-mechanical behavior of Light Activated Shape Memory Polymers (LASMPs), focusing on the numerical aspects. The mechanics behind LASMPS is rather abstract and cumbersome, even for simple geometries. In order to move these materials out of the lab and into the more modern engineering design framework of commercial design and engineering software, robust numerical methods must be developed in order to implement sound and accurate simulations.

The photo-mechanical theory is summarized and some constitutive laws that govern LASMPS are described. Implementation of the multiphysics governing equations takes the form of a user defined element subroutine within the commercial software package ABAQUS/STANDARD. Simulations are carried out with varied geometries and symmetries, for example plane-strain, axisymmetric, and three-dimensional geometries under complex photo-mechanical loadings.



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