Matrix‐phase material selection for shape memory polymer composites: A comparative analysis of multi‐criteria decision‐making

Geoffrey Barongo Omosa*, F. M. Mwema, Esther T. Akinlabi, T. C. Jen, J. M. Mutua

*Corresponding author for this work

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In the present study, the selection of suitable shape memory polymers (SMPs) to be used as the matrix‐phase material with various (In)organic filler materials to achieve the required optimum multi‐stimuli response in shape memory polymer composites (SMPC) systems is analyzed. The selection of these materials is based on their mechanical and physical properties as well as other underlying factors such as cost, availability, shape recovery rate, and aesthetic characteristics. In this study, the entropy method was applied to estimate the weightages of the various criteria while the gray relation analysis (GRA) and the technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS). Multi‐criteria decision‐making (MCDM) approaches have been used to rank the suitable matrix‐phase polymer materials for manufacturing shape memory polymer composites (SMPC) system. A total of eight alternative SMP matrix‐phase materials based on a set of nine criteria were analyzed and ranked. The proposed methodology and the result obtained thereof have been illustrated in detail. The results obtained from TOPSIS and GRA methods have been compared to conclude the effects of the material properties on the ranking and the selection of the SMP materials. Among all the eight alternatives considered, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) was found to be the best material in both the MCDM methods. The material cost, resistivity, % elongation, and hydrophobicity present the most influencing properties on the SMP material selection, whereas density presents no effect on the SMP matrix material selection. The robustness of the results for the comparative analysis was verified using TOPSIS methodology to validate its reliability. It was revealed that the TPU, polycarbonate, polypropylene, and epoxy‐resin/poly(lactic acid) are the most dominant matrix‐phase SMP material alternatives when a deviation in the entropy weights of the primary evaluation criteria is applied. The novelty of this study is the exploration and application of statistical MCDM methods of engineering material selection problems based on a set of decision criteria, which can be time‐consuming and costly while using experimental analysis methods. Highlights: SMPCs are applicable engineering materials thus making their research viable. SMPC systems can undergo various shape changes under external stimuli. Selection of matrix‐phase polymer is critical in achieving desired objectives. GRA and TOPSIS MCDM approaches have been applied in the selection process. TPU was found as the best material in both methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalPolymer Engineering & Science
Early online date3 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 May 2024

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