Shape memory polymer screws

Shape memory polymer screws

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Caption: Shape memory polymer screws and fasteners for use in self-disassembling electronic devices. These contain shape memory polymers (SMPs), plastics which change their shape when heated to a trigger temperature, forcing components to break apart. Researchers at Brunel University, UK, are using them to build electronic devices that disassemble at the end of their lifetime. The technique (Active Disassembly using Smart Materials, ADSM), will speed recycling, allowing retrieval of valuable components and materials and disposal of toxic chemicals. The trigger temperatures of components will vary, allowing disassembly in controlled stages. Photographed in 2002.

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