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Update: Journal Club Entry July 2014: Overcoming Challenges in Liquid Crystalline Elastomers

Chris Yakacki's picture

Dear iMechanica,

Last July I posted a journal club entry on overcoming the traditional challenges in mechanically actuating liquid-crystalline elastomers (http://imechanica.org/node/16853). I'm glad to say we finally got our first manuscript regarding this work published in RSC Advances (DOI: 10.1039/C5RA01039J). 

The manuscript, Tailorable and programmable liquid-crystalline elastomers using a two-stage thiol-acrylate reaction, demonstrates our approach to making these unique materials in a more accessible and scalable manner. Although the title might invoke fear of being too chemistry related, the methodology is simple enough for a mechanical engineering student to embrace.

On that note, Kevin Long and I are organizing sessions on Soft Active Materials as well as Soft Materials with Chemistry for IMECE 2015. This session will focus on soft materials with active, stimuli-sensitive functionality (i.e. thermal, photo, electrical, stress-based functionality). This includes a wide range of shape changing materials such as shape-memory polymers, liquid-crystalline elastomers, electro-active polymers, and more. Presentations should cover mechanics of these materials in response to stimulus. Translational applications of these materials are also welcome.

Submit abstracts to either 12-15: Soft Active Materials or 12:13: Soft Materials with Chemistry by March 2nd, 2015.

See you in Houston!

Christopher M. Yakacki

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