Waterborne polyurethane nanocomposites having shape memory effects
UV curable waterborne polyurethane/silica nanocomposites were designed and synthesized with functionalized silicas, where the functionalization was made with allyl isocyanate. The incorporated silica particles gave triple effects of multifunctional chemical cross-links, reinforcing fillers, and stress relaxation retarders. Consequently, functionalized silica incorporated into the polymer chains showed significantly improved mechanical and thermal properties than the simple addition of unmodified silica. Notably, over 99% shape fixity and shape recovery with minimum cyclic hysteresis were obtained for the repeated cycles at 1% loading of the modified silica.