Ultimate swelling described by limiting chain extensibility of swollen elastomers

Dai Okumura, Shawn A. Chester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In this study, we study ultimate swelling characterized by limiting chain extensibility of swollen elastomers. Limiting chain extensibility is introduced into the Flory–Rehner theory using the Arruda–Boyce eight chain model and the Gent phenomenological model. The difference between these models is unified by defining a single scalar function. The inequality derived from this function allows for analysis to provide an ultimate value of swelling ratio. This ultimate value is not exceeded at equilibrium swelling regardless of the set of material constants. Under uniaxial loading at equilibrium swelling, deswelling can occur even in tension. Further, the very large swelling behavior of pH sensitive hydrogels is found to originate from the resistance generated by approaching the ultimate value of swelling ratio.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-539
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Mechanical Sciences
StatePublished - Aug 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • General Materials Science
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


  • Elastomers
  • Gels
  • Hyperelasticity
  • Limiting chain extensibility
  • Swelling


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