Lightweight memory materials for adaptive and self-healing automotive structures

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: The Warwick Manufacturing Group


This project will provide optimum combinations of self-healing polymers filled with nanoparticles to form advanced light-weight materials for car components that can self-heal upon applied stimuli (e.g. light, temperature), improve fuel efficiency and ultimately contribute to weight saving. These materials will have a copolymer structure where one polymer component will provide the strength and the second polymer component is vital for flexibility and its ability to be remoulded. The experimental part of the project will involve polymer and composite preparation, and advanced characterisation thereof. Computational modelling will assist experiments to provide a better understanding of self-healing characteristics of polymer in the presence of the nanoparticles. Further examination into how shape-memory components could be used for these components and how this might further the exploitation of such materials. A potential automotive component, suitable with available facility, will be identified and manufactured to demonstrate the technology. This project fits within the Manufacturing the Future theme and research areas including Materials engineering - composites and Polymer materials.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/P510695/1 30/09/2016 31/12/2021
1791833 Studentship EP/P510695/1 02/10/2016 30/11/2020 Andrew James Smith
Description We have been successful in developing a new method to achieve thin films with a layered internal structure using zirconium phosphate
Exploitation Route Further development could lead to incorporating these films into specific applications
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Healthcare