Independently Control over Stiffness and Extensibility of Elastomer
Committee: Liheng Cai (MSE, Advisor)
Leonid V. Zhigilei (MSE)
Tao Sun (MSE)
Baoxing Xu (MAE)
Elastomer networks are unique compared to hard materials such as metal and ceramic due to their small stiffness, large stretchability and ability to get back to its original size and shape after deformation. Yet the stiffness and stretchability of an elastomer network are intrinsically correlated: an elastomer network with a higher stiffness is less stretchable. To achieve independent control over the stiffness and extensibility of elastomer network, we designed linear-hybrid bottlebrush-linear (LhBBL) triblock copolymers, in which end blocks are linear polymers of relatively a high glass transition temperature Tg, whereas the middle blocks consist both bottlebrush polymers of relatively a low glass transition temperature Tg and short linear polymers of relatively a high glass transition temperature Tg. We use both tensile test and large amplitude oscillatory shear (LAOS) to investigate the mechanical the behavior of the LhBBL copolymers. By increasing the ratio between short linear polymers and bottlebrush polymers, the elastomers exhibit stable stiffness but increasing extensibility.
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