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Polymers 2018, 10(9), 1025; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10091025

High-Strength Nanocomposite Hydrogels with Swelling-Resistant and Anti-Dehydration Properties

1
Key Laboratory of Eco-Textile, Ministry of Education, College of Textile and Clothing, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China
2
College of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266590, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart and Functional Elastomers, Hydrogels, and Ionogels)
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Abstract

Hydrogels with excellent mechanical properties have potential for use in various fields. However, the swelling of hydrogels under water and the dehydration of hydrogels in air severely limits the practical applications of high-strength hydrogels due to the influence of air and water on the mechanical performance of hydrogels. In this study, we report on a kind of tough and strong nanocomposite hydrogels (NC-G gels) with both swelling-resistant and anti-dehydration properties via in situ free radical copolymerization of acrylic acid (AA) and N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone (VP) in the water-glycerol bi-solvent solutions containing small amounts of alumina nanoparticles (Al2O3 NPs) as the inorganic cross-linking agents. The topotactic chelation reactions between Al2O3 NPs and polymer matrix are thought to contribute to the cross-linking structure, outstanding mechanical performance, and swelling-resistant property of NC-G gels, whereas the strong hydrogen bonds between water and glycerol endow them with anti-dehydration capacity. As a result, the NC-G gels could maintain mechanical properties comparable to other as-prepared high-strength hydrogels when utilized both under water and in air environments. Thus, this novel type of hydrogel would considerably enlarge the application range of hydrogel materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanocomposite hydrogels; alumina; high-strength; anti-dehydration; swelling resistance nanocomposite hydrogels; alumina; high-strength; anti-dehydration; swelling resistance
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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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Xu, B.; Liu, Y.; Wang, L.; Ge, X.; Fu, M.; Wang, P.; Wang, Q. High-Strength Nanocomposite Hydrogels with Swelling-Resistant and Anti-Dehydration Properties. Polymers 2018, 10, 1025.

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