As the need for deployable space structures continues to increase, a deeper understanding of the mechanical properties and the responses of shape memory composites will be needed. Past research efforts have been focused on woven (0/90) carbon fiber composites which limit the shape memory capabilities due to the brittle nature of this fiber. The current work not only utilizes a synthetic fiber which allowed for a greater versatility in the composite, but also investigates the effects of angle plies and fiber volume fraction on the attainable bend ratio of the laminates. Four types of laminates were made to test the effects of laminate thickness, angle-plies, and fiber volume fraction. The specimens from these laminates were placed in both bending and tensile tests to investigate the effect of the fiber reinforcement on the polymer’s stiffness, strength and recovery. Testing revealed that the thicker specimens demonstrated improved recovery over the thinner samples, and that the angle-ply specimens recovered better than the (0/90) specimens. The recovery of the (0/90) specimens was improved by increasing the fiber volume fraction. Most significantly, the specimens were able to achieve smaller bend ratios than in previous studies without fiber microbuckling or fiber breakage. The tensile test data revealed that the bending cycles had little to no affect on the material properties of the composite. Only the modulus of the 5-ply (0/90) was seen to slightly decrease as the bending ratio decreased.

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