Authors Natarajan, T. S. ; Okamoto, S. ; Stöckelhuber, K.W. ; Wießner, S. ; Reuter, U. ; Fischer, D. ; Ghosh, A. K. ; Heinrich, G. ; Das, A.
Title In situ polymorphic alteration of filler structures for biomimetic mechanically adaptive elastomer nanocomposites
Date 20.04.2018
Number 55416
Abstract A mechanically adaptable elastomer composite is prepared with reversible soft–stiff properties that can be easily controlled. By the exploitation of different morphological structures of calcium sulfate, which acts as the active filler in a soft elastomer matrix, the magnitude of filler reinforcement can be reversibly altered, which will be reflected in changes of the final stiffness of the material. The higher stiffness, in other words, the higher modulus of the composites, is realized by the in situ development of fine nanostructured calcium sulfate dihydrate crystals, which are formed during exposure to water and, further, these highly reinforcing crystals can be transformed to a nonreinforcing hemihydrate mesocrystalline structure by simply heating the system in a controlled way. The Youngs modulus of the developed material can be reversibly altered from ~6 to ~17 MPa, and the dynamic stiffness (storage modulus at room temperature and 10 Hz frequency) alters its value in the order of 1000%. As the transformation is related to the presence of water molecules in the crystallites, a hydrophilic elastomer matrix was selected, which is a blend of two hydrophilic polymers, namely, epichlorohydrin–ethylene oxide–allyl glycidyl ether terpolymer and a terpolymer of ethylene oxide–propylene oxide–allyl glycidyl ether. For the first time, this method also provides a route to regulate the morphology and structure of calcium sulfate nanocrystals in a confined ambient of cross-linked polymer chains.
Publisher ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Citation ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 10 (2018) 16148-16159
Tags biomimetic composites calcium sulfate mechanoadaptive elastomers nanocomposites reversible mechanical properties water responsive

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