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Title: Conductive and Ferromagnetic Syntactic Foam with Shape Memory and Self‐Healing/Recycling Capabilities

Herein, a new lightweight syntactic foam is reported with strong mechanical properties, unique multifunctionalities, and recyclability. Multifunctionality of materials and structures has gained ever‐increasing interest as an excellent approach to designing minimalistic systems. Inspired by nature, these materials can perform multiple functions besides bearing a load. Due to their shape‐changing and damage‐healing property, shape memory vitrimers (SMVs) are a great example of multifunctional materials readily exploited for many applications. Using nickel and silver‐plated hollow glass microbubbles (HGMs), an SMV‐based syntactic foam is introduced here that supplements the multifunctionality of SMVs with electrical conductivity and ferromagnetism, which enables a series of additional potentials such as strain sensing, damage monitoring, Joule heating, and electromagnetic interference shielding. Despite its low density and outstanding mechanical properties, this foam exhibits shape memory behavior, which can be triggered by an electrical current, and damage healing capability due to its reversible dynamic covalent bonds. Especially its recyclability makes recycling the expensive silver‐coated and nickel‐coated HGMs feasible, making this foam cost‐effective and environmentally sustainable. With its many features and economical manufacturability, this syntactic foam has a potential to be utilized in many applications, ranging from aerospace structures to biomedical devices to household items.

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Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Advanced Functional Materials
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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