Reconfigurable Poly(urea-urethane) Thermoset Based on Hindered Urea Bonds with Triple-Shape-Memory Performance

Yunchao Jia, Hanze Ying, Yanfeng Zhang, Hui He, Jianjun Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thermoset shape memory polymers (SMPs) have a series of advantages in practical applications when compared with thermoplastic SMPs. However, the reprocessing and reshaping of thermosets are difficult due to the covalent crosslinking which severely limits the reconfiguration of polymer networks even under high temperature. Here, hinered urea bond (HUB), a urea bearing a bulky substituent on its nitrogen atom that can reversibly dissociate to the corresponding bulky amine and isocyanate, is integrated into the poly(urea-urethane) (PUU) crosslinked networks, enabling the networks to topologically reconfigure to other structures. Instead of having to cure the thermoset in a mold, the incorporation of HUBs can decouple the synthesis and shape-forming steps, which is a huge advantage for the processing of thermoset materials compared to conventional thermosets. This new PUU thermoset shows a broad glass transition behavior and exhibits excellent triple-shape-memory performance. With the incorporation of this dynamic urea bonds, permanent shapes can be flexibly tuned via the network reconfiguration, which is often neglected but significant to the practical application of SMPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1900148
JournalMacromolecular Chemistry and Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • dynamic covalent bonds
  • hindered urea bonds
  • reconfigurable thermoset
  • triple-shape-memory polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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