By Anthony Clark, Plastics & Rubber Weekly
A new thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) developed by Bayer MaterialScience in partnership with the BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing in Berlin demonstrates that plastics can have a memory.
Parts made of the material, Desmopan DP 2795A SMP, can be reshaped but when heated to a switching temperature they "remember" their original shape and return to it virtually unchanged. In this case the switching temperature is approximately 40°C.
"Given this special property, there are virtually no limits to the potential applications for the plastic," said Jürgen Hättig, head of business development for TPU at Bayer MaterialScience.
"We can imagine applications in areas ranging from mechanical engineering and the automotive, textile, sports and leisure industries to toy manufacturing and aerospace engineering," he added.
Possible applications include the easy repair of damaged bodywork parts using a hair dryer, remote temperature sensors, artificial muscles, hinges, self-loosening screws, packaging and shrink tubing.