A thermo-mechanically coupled theory for fluid permeation in elastomeric materials: Application to thermally responsive gels

Shawn A. Chester, Lallit Anand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations

Abstract

An elastomeric gel is a cross-linked polymer network swollen with a solvent, and certain gels can undergo large reversible volume changes as they are cycled about a critical temperature. We have developed a continuum-level theory to describe the coupled mechanical deformation, fluid permeation, and heat transfer of such thermally responsive gels. In discussing special constitutive equations we limit our attention to isotropic materials, and consider a model based on a FloryHuggins model for the free energy change due to mixing of the fluid with the polymer network, coupled with a non-Gaussian statisticalmechanical model for the change in configurational entropy - a model which accounts for the limited extensibility of polymer chains. We have numerically implemented our theory in a finite element program. We show that our theory is capable of simulating swelling, squeezing of fluid by applied mechanical forces, and thermally responsive swelling/de-swelling of such materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1978-2006
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Volume59
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

Keywords

  • Diffusion
  • Elastomeric materials
  • Gels
  • Large deformations
  • Thermodynamics

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