Paper on modeling elastomers with ionic bonds and entanglements out in Mechanics of Materials

Dynamic crosslinks and entanglements play a significant role in tuning mechanical properties of elastomers and gels. In our recent paper in the journal of Mechanics of Materials, we report a continuum modeling framework that considers these two mechanisms for adding toughness and strength to polymers – ionic bonding and entanglements. This theoretical study led by Zhongtong Wang investigates these mechanisms in the context of bulk polyelectrolyte mechanical properties. This work firstly establishes the constitutive model that couples entanglement evolution with the ionic crosslink effects and ionic bonds provide strength and dissipate energy without stiffness loss. This theoretical framework could direct the design of customized materials for various applications.  

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