Instantaneous surface stresses of swelling and drying of polymeric gels
When a polymeric network is immersed in a solvent, the network imbibes molecules from the solvent, forming an aggregate known as a polymeric gel. As the solvent molecules mix into the network, the gel swells and develops inhomogeneous fields of stress and solvent concentration. This paper simulates the swelling of a thin layer of the gel immersed in the solvent and subject to applied forces in the plane of the gel. The swelling is regarded as a nonequilibrium thermodynamic process, motivated by the increase of the entropy due to mixing the polymers and the solvent molecules, but resisted by the decrease of the entropy due to stretching the polymeric network. The stress in the gel can be very high, consistent with the reported experimental observations of ruptures and wrinkles.
Zhou, J; Hong, W; Zhao, X; Suo, Z
Advances in Heterogeneous Material Mechanics 2008 - Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Heterogeneous Material Mechanics, ICHMM 2008
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