Untangling the mechanics of entanglement in slide-ring gel towards both super-deformability and toughness

Ziyu Xing, Dongwei Shu, Haibao Lu, Yongqing Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Entanglement plays a critical role in determining dynamic properties of polymer systems, e.g., resulting in slip links and pulley effects for achieving their large deformation and high strength. Although it has been studied for decades, the mechanics of entanglement for stiffness-toughness conflict is not well understood. In this study, a topological knot theory incorporating an extended tube model is proposed to understand the entanglements in slide-ring (SR) gel, which slips over a long distance to achieve large deformation and high toughness via the pulley effect. Based on the topological knot theory, the sliding behavior and pulley effect of entanglement among molecular chains and cross-linked rings are thoroughly investigated. Based on the rubber elastic theory, a free-energy function is formulated to describe mechanical toughening and slipping of topological knots, while the SR gel retains the same binding energy. Finally, effectiveness of the proposed model is verified using both finite element analysis and experimental results reported in literature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSoft Matter
Early online date10 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jan 2022

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