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Materials 2015, 8(2), 474-485; doi:10.3390/ma8020474

Patterning the Stiffness of Elastomeric Nanocomposites by Magnetophoretic Control of Cross-linking Impeder Distribution

1
Department of Engineering Physics, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L7, Canada
2
Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Tech, 495 Old Turner Street, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
4
Department of Mechanical Engineering, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Walter Caseri
Received: 27 October 2014 / Revised: 9 January 2015 / Accepted: 22 January 2015 / Published: 30 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Advanced Composites)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [818 KB, uploaded 30 January 2015]   |  

Abstract

We report a novel method to pattern the stiffness of an elastomeric nanocomposite by selectively impeding the cross-linking reactions at desired locations while curing. This is accomplished by using a magnetic field to enforce a desired concentration distribution of colloidal magnetite nanoparticles (MNPs) in the liquid precursor of polydimethysiloxane (PDMS) elastomer. MNPs impede the cross-linking of PDMS; when they are dispersed in liquid PDMS, the cured elastomer exhibits lower stiffness in portions containing a higher nanoparticle concentration. Consequently, a desired stiffness pattern is produced by selecting the required magnetic field distribution a priori. Up to 200% variation in the reduced modulus is observed over a 2 mm length, and gradients of up to 12.6 MPa·mm−1 are obtained. This is a significant improvement over conventional nanocomposite systems where only small unidirectional variations can be achieved by varying nanoparticle concentration. The method has promising prospects in additive manufacturing; it can be integrated with existing systems thereby adding the capability to produce microscale heterogeneities in mechanical properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: functional grading; nano composites; nanoindentation; magnetic nanoparticles functional grading; nano composites; nanoindentation; magnetic nanoparticles
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ghosh, S.; Tehrani, M.; Al-Haik, M.S.; Puri, I.K. Patterning the Stiffness of Elastomeric Nanocomposites by Magnetophoretic Control of Cross-linking Impeder Distribution. Materials 2015, 8, 474-485.

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