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Solid–Liquid Self-Adaptive Polymeric Composite

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journal contribution
posted on 27.01.2016, 00:00 by Pei Dong, Alin Cristian Chipara, Phillip Loya, Yingchao Yang, Liehui Ge, Sidong Lei, Bo Li, Gustavo Brunetto, Leonardo D. Machado, Liang Hong, Qizhong Wang, Bilan Yang, Hua Guo, Emilie Ringe, Douglas S. Galvao, Robert Vajtai, Mircea Chipara, Ming Tang, Jun Lou, Pulickel M. Ajayan
A solid–liquid self-adaptive composite (SAC) is synthesized using a simple mixing–evaporation protocol, with poly­(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) and poly­(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) as active constituents. SAC exists as a porous solid containing a near equivalent distribution of the solid (PVDF)–liquid (PDMS) phases, with the liquid encapsulated and stabilized within a continuous solid network percolating throughout the structure. The pores, liquid, and solid phases form a complex hierarchical structure, which offers both mechanical robustness and a significant structural adaptability under external forces. SAC exhibits attractive self-healing properties during tension, and demonstrates reversible self-stiffening properties under compression with a maximum of 7-fold increase seen in the storage modulus. In a comparison to existing self-healing and self-stiffening materials, SAC offers distinct advantages in the ease of fabrication, high achievable storage modulus, and reversibility. Such materials could provide a new class of adaptive materials system with multifunctionality, tunability, and scale-up potentials.