In the present study, a series of novel linear polyaspartimide-based silane endcapped (cross-linked) polymers are synthesized using 4-4′ bismaleimidodiphenylmethane, Jeffamine D-400 (BMI-JA-400), and (3-Aminopropyl) trimethoxysilane. To add strength to these systems, the trimethoxysilane moiety is cross-linked with the addition of water to create a thermosetting material with both improved toughness and variable cross-link densities. Thermal analysis is done to evaluate the developed shape-memory polymer (SMP) resin for composite processing feasibility. The solvent content in the resin and thermal stability is monitored using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) while advanced rheometric expansion system (ARES) with parallel plate geometry is used to measure viscosity variation with temperature.
The resin BMI-JA-400-Si-70/30 is chosen for making the composite based on its viscosity, weight change, and kinetic results. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is performed to determine the cure kinetics including the temperatures at which the cure reaction initiates and completes in order to develop the cure cycle for composite fabrication. The selected SMP resin is hand-impregnated with T-300 plain-weave and T-700 uni-weave carbon fabric. Six-ply composites are successfully fabricated with < 2% void content using both fabric weaves. The thermo-mechanical properties of the SMP resin are measured using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). In addition, the shape memory cycle with free recovery is conducted on the SMP resin and composites.