What is it about?

Metamaterials are artificially engineered materials that are designed to have unique properties typically not found in naturally occurring materials. We have studied how heat transfer takes place in metamaterials made of a shape memory polymer (SMP), which can remember and restore its original shape by itself. Contrary to heat transfer in typical materials that are governed by thermal conduction, we have discovered that the dominant heat transfer mechanism in SMP metamaterials is thermal radiation.

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Why is it important?

Unique properties of metamaterials are often determined not by their chemical composition but microstructural architecture. Since thermal radiation strongly depends on geometry, our findings indicate that it is possible to create a material with a desired thermal property through geometric control. Furthermore, shape-shifting metamaterials printed with SMP may lead to unprecedented material systems with dynamic and adaptive thermal properties.

Perspectives

Metamaterials are attracting growing attention because they provide new opportunities to access to previously unattainable properties. While electromagnetic, acoustic, and mechanical domains have been widely studied, this paper provides new insights into thermal transport mechanisms in shape-shifting metamaterials. Since SMP plays a central role in 4D-printed morphing structures, we believe that this study lays a foundation for establishing design guides for tunable thermal systems.

Associate Professor Howon Lee
Seoul National University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Thermal transport in 3D printed shape memory polymer metamaterials, APL Materials, August 2022, American Institute of Physics, DOI: 10.1063/5.0094036.
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