This paper presents three-dimensional numerical simulation of thermomechanical constitutive model for shape memory polymers. Shape memory polymers (SMPs) are a class of smart materials with high potential for application to automotive, aerostructures, and medical devices, which can benefit from its intrinsic shape changing properties. In particular, looking at its application to aerospace substructure such as morphing wings, thermomechanical behavior of the SMPs needs to be well established and predicted.

In order to predict the thermomechanical behavior of SMPs structures, a one-dimensional rheological thermomechanical constitutive model was adopted and a numerical simulation of this model was developed using a commercial finite element analysis package ABAQUS. The particular one-dimensional model was selected due to its potential to represent the key material behaviors of SMP with a relatively low number of required material constants, which is practical for engineering industrial applications. The model was expanded to a three-dimensional isotropic model and then incorporated into the finite element method by means of an ABAQUS user-defined subroutine (UMAT). The methods of three-dimensional expansion and numerical implementation are presented in this work. A time evolution of the analysis was conducted by making use of the backward difference method, which was applied to all quantities within the model including the material properties. A comparison of the numerical simulation results was carried out with the available experimental data.

Numerical simulation results clearly exhibit the thermomechanical properties of the material, which include shape fixity, shape recovery, and recovery stress. Finally, a preliminary set of predictions for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) morphing wing skin are also presented.

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