Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(11), 22380-22394; doi:10.3390/ijms141122380
Article

Superior Mechanical Properties of Double-Network Hydrogels Reinforced by Carbon Nanotubes without Organic Modification

The Key Laboratory of Food Colloids and Biotechnology, Ministry of Education, School of Chemical and Material Engineering, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 September 2013; in revised form: 22 October 2013 / Accepted: 30 October 2013 / Published: 13 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Material Sciences and Nanotechnology)
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Abstract: A facile method is developed to fabricate nanocomposite double-network (DN) gels with excellent mechanical properties, which do not fracture upon loading up to 78 MPa and a strain above 0.98, by compositing of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) without organic modification. Investigations of swelling behaviors, and compressive and tensile properties indicate that equilibrium swelling ratio, compressive modulus and stress, fracture stress, Young’s modulus, and yield stress are significantly improved in the presence of CNTs. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) reveals that the pore size of nanocomposite DN gels is decreased and some embedded micro-network structures are observed on the fracture surface in comparison to DN gels without CNTs, which leads to the enhancement of mechanical properties. The compressive loading-unloading behaviors show that the area of hysteresis loop, dissipated energy, for the first compressive cycle, increases with addition of CNTs, which is much higher than that for the successive cycles. Furthermore, the energy dissipation mechanism, similar to the Mullins effect observed in filled rubbers, is demonstrated for better understanding the nanocomposite DN polymer gels with CNTs.
Keywords: nanocomposite hydrogels; double network; CNTs; mechanical strength

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dong, W.; Huang, C.; Wang, Y.; Sun, Y.; Ma, P.; Chen, M. Superior Mechanical Properties of Double-Network Hydrogels Reinforced by Carbon Nanotubes without Organic Modification. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 22380-22394.

AMA Style

Dong W, Huang C, Wang Y, Sun Y, Ma P, Chen M. Superior Mechanical Properties of Double-Network Hydrogels Reinforced by Carbon Nanotubes without Organic Modification. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(11):22380-22394.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dong, Weifu; Huang, Chiguang; Wang, Yang; Sun, Yujie; Ma, Piming; Chen, Mingqing. 2013. "Superior Mechanical Properties of Double-Network Hydrogels Reinforced by Carbon Nanotubes without Organic Modification." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 11: 22380-22394.

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