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TEMBOŽ Shape Memory Polymers and Elastic Memory Composites

TEMBOŽ is a family of thermoset (epoxy) shape-memory polymers (SMP) developed by CTD. These polymers have been used to create TEMBOŽ Elastic Memory Composites.



TEMBOŽ Elastic Memory Composites

TEMBOŽ Elastic Memory Composites (EMC) combine the structural properties of fiber reinforced composites with shape memory characteristics of shape memory polymers. Components and structures fabricated with TEMBOŽ EMC materials can provide lightweight structures that are strong and stiff. Additionally, they can be folded, rolled, or otherwise packaged to a different shape for storage and later returned to the original as-manufactured shape, without loss of performance. This shape change is affected by use of a thermo mechanical process (see series of figures), where heat and force are required to package, and heat alone is needed to deploy the TEMBOŽ EMC component back to its 'as-fabricated' shape.

TEMBOŽ components can replace mechanical systems with a deployable material that becomes an integral part of the deployed structure. TEMBOŽ Elastic Memory Composite (EMC) materials can accommodate high strain without damage, while providing very high deployed stiffness and strength-to-weight performance. This enables the design of simple, rigid, deployable composite structures that can be compactly packaged, efficiently integrated with other equipment, and reliably deployed with predictable performance.

Characteristics and Benefits of TEMBOŽ Components and Structures

  • High strength to weight ratio
  • Large volume reduction when packaged
  • Reduced part counts, as the EMC structure eliminates complex moving parts associated with traditional deployment mechanisms.
  • Reduced costs, with fewer parts to assemble, qualify and/or inspect.
  • Lower mass, since the EMC material is multifunctional, replacing multiple dedicated components from traditional systems.
  • EMC device can:
    • Provide necessary deployment forces
    • Function as the primary structure once deployed
    • Dampen excessive deployment energy
  • No mechanical force required to regain original shape, only applied heat
  • Customized transition temperatures to meet specific application requirements
  • Can package and deploy multiple times

TEMBOŽ Redefines Space Deployment Mechanisms

The requirements and needs for spacecraft deployable structures have provided an excellent proving ground for TEMBOŽ EMC components and structures.

In December 2006 two spaceflights incorporated the use of TEMBOŽ EMC materials. On the Air Force's TacSat 2, TEMBOŽ EMC hinges deployed a solar array. While the Elastic Memory Composite Hinge (EMCH) experiment demonstrated the reliability and robustness of the TEMBOŽ EMC hinges aboard the International Space Station (ISS). This heritage of space performance will ensure future mission managers that TEMBOŽ composites are ready to fly.

TEMBOŽ is the start of something big! With the use of TEMBOŽ deployable structures, traditional size and scaling barriers for spacecraft deployable systems are vanishing. Future mission concepts requiring large lightweight structures are now near realization. Based on TEMBOŽ composites, CTD is developing RAPDAR, Roll-out and Passively Deployed Array, a lightweight deployable solar array that can provide more power to satellites than currently available solar arrays. CTD is also using TEMBOŽ materials to develop large aperture, high frequency reflectors that will provide more bandwidth at a lower cost than current reflector designs.

RAPDAR™ Solar Array

TEMBOŽ Large Aperture,
High Frequency Reflectors

EMCH Flight Hardware

TEMBOŽ EMC Providing New Capabilities in Many Markets

TEMBOŽ EMC and TEMBOŽ Foams are being qualified for a variety of products for use in space, on aircraft and unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), for marine and maritime structures, in oil and gas equipment, automotive components, medical devices, composite tooling, and other industrial applications.


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