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Research Papers

Phase Transition of Temperature-Sensitive Hydrogel Under Mechanical Constraint

[+] Author and Article Information
Zheng Shoujing

State Key Laboratory for Strength and
Vibration of Mechanical Structures,
International Center for Applied Mechanics,
Xi'an Jiaotong University,
No. 28, West Xianning Road,
Xi'an Shaanxi 710049, China
e-mail: zsjaa123@stu.xjtu.edu.cn

Liu Zishun

State Key Laboratory for Strength and
Vibration of Mechanical Structures,
International Center for Applied Mechanics,
Xi'an Jiaotong University,
No. 28, West Xianning Road,
Xi'an Shaanxi 710049, China
e-mail: zishunliu@mail.xjtu.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS. Manuscript received October 13, 2017; final manuscript received November 13, 2017; published online December 6, 2017. Assoc. Editor: M. Taher A. Saif.

J. Appl. Mech 85(2), 021002 (Dec 06, 2017) (7 pages) Paper No: JAM-17-1571; doi: 10.1115/1.4038497 History: Received October 13, 2017; Revised November 13, 2017

Temperature-sensitive hydrogel is blessed with outstanding properties which may be utilized for innovative appliance. However, this is not achievable if the phase transition property of it is not well understood. Under certain mechanical constraint or temperature stimuli, the hydrogel shows the phase transition, a very special phenomenon that has been study for decades. Those studies have cumulated many qualitative conclusions, yet the quantitative ones are still evasive. Using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), we have conducted experiments to quantitatively investigate this peculiar behavior. It is evident that the higher the temperature stimuli applied to hydrogel, the higher the stress which triggers phase transition. Based on the experimental results, a decision rule which predicts the stress triggering phase transition is proposed. Furthermore, theoretical study has also been carried out to study this phase transition phenomenon. With a proper fitting parameter and a transformation from referential state to free swelling state, we can compare the theoretical prediction of the stress–stretch curve with results from experiments. Besides experimental observations and theoretical analyses, another feature of this paper is to provide a numerical method to study phase transition under mechanical constraints.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematics of the phase transition of temperature-sensitive hydrogel triggered by uniaxial load

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Fig. 2

(a) Schematics of the sample and (b) the NIPA gel sample with acrylic plate on both sides

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Fig. 3

(a) This figure represents experimental stretch-stress curves of temperature-sensitive hydrogel under different temperatures and (b) theoretical prediction (Nv = 0.01, T = 305.5K) of temperature-sensitive hydrogel during phase transition under uniaxial load. The curves on left and right represent the stable states before and after phase transition, respectively. The middle curves represent the metastable states, the saddle points of free energy. The solid curves are obtained by the theory. The marks on the curves are the corresponding numerical predictions.

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Fig. 4

In the (V/V0−s) plane, theoretical prediction (Nv = 0.01, T = 305.5 K) of temperature-sensitive hydrogel during phase transition under uniaxial load

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Fig. 5

(a) Free energy difference with respect to the loading stress at T=305.15K and (b) the dimensionless Helmholtz free energy as a function of volume ratio at T = 305.15 K

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Fig. 6

(a) Analytical and experimental results of the critical stress as a function of temperature and (b) experimental stress–stretch curves with different temperature surroundings

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Fig. 7

(a) Stress–stretch curves of the theoretical and FEM predictions at 307.15 K and (b) stress–stretch curves of experiments as well as of transformed predictions of theory and FEM at 307.15 K. The arrow is the critical stress predicted by the decision rule.

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