Volume 78, Number 5, June 2007
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||22 May 2007|
A local damage model for anomalous high toughness of double-network gels
Creative Research Initiative Sousei, Hokkaido University - Sapporo 001-0021, Japan
Accepted: 25 April 2007
We present a phenomenological model for anomalously high fracture energy of double-network (DN) gels, which consist of a substantially cross-linked polyelectrolyte gel (first network) and of a quite poorly cross-linked neutral polymer (second network) penetrating into the first network (Gong J. P., Katsuyama Y., Kurokawa T. and Osada Y., Adv. Mater., 15 (2003) 1155). The model assumes that the material locally softens around crack tip due to damage of the first network, and then the crack extends within the softened zone. An order estimation indicates that energy dissipation by the softening greatly exceeds the “bare fracture energy” of the softened material, and that the effective fracture energy can reach the order of . This is consistent with the experimental value .
PACS: 61.41.+e – Polymers, elastomers, and plastics / 62.20.Mk – Fatigue, brittleness, fracture, and cracks / 81.05.Qk – Reinforced polymers and polymer-based composites
© Europhysics Letters Association, 2007
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