Shape Morphing Smart Structures: Mechanics, Materials and  Applications 

Jinsong Leng

Centre for Composite Materials and Structures, Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), Harbin 150080, People’s Republic of China.


Shape memory polymers (SMPs) and their composites (SMPC), as a typical stimulus response material, can memorize various shapes and restore to the original shape under external stimulation. Owing to the advantages of fast response speed, long life, high elasticity, light weight, stretch ability, low cost and easy processing, SMP and SMPC have wide application prospects. In addition to the application fields in intelligent textile, tactile display, biomedical device and self-healing system, SMPs and SMPC show great potential in aerospace field. Various deployable structures have been performed spaceflight experiments. The first geostationary orbit experiment used SMPC was conducted by our team in 2016. Moreover, worlds first spaceflight on-orbit demonstration of a flexible solar array system based SMPC was successful in 2020. It can be expected that the smart composite structures will bring more opportunities for aerospace applications in the future.

Keywords: Shape Memory Polymers, Composites, Smart structures, Aerospace application



Prof. Jinsong Leng is the Cheung Kong Chair Professor at Harbin Institute of Technology, and he is the director of the Center for Smart Materials and Structures and Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Smart and Nano Materials. His Research Fields include Smart Materials and Structures, Sensors and Actuators, Stimulus Responsive Polymers (Shape Memory and Electro-Active Polymers) and their composites, Multifunctional Nanocomposites, etc. Prof. Leng has been served as the Vice President of International Committee on Composite Materials (ICCM), Vice President of Chinese Society for Composite Materials (CSCM). He has also been elected as Foreign Member of Academia Europaea, Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, World Fellow of ICCM, Fellow of AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), Fellow of the SPIE, Fellow of Institute of Physics (IOP), Fellow of Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), Fellow of Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining (IMMM) and Associate Fellow of AIAA.