Probing the cross-effect of strains in non-linear elasticity of nearly regular polymer networks by pure shear deformation.

Research paper by Takuya T Katashima, Kenji K Urayama, Ung-il UI Chung, Takamasa T Sakai

Indexed on: 10 May '15Published on: 10 May '15Published in: The Journal of chemical physics


The pure shear deformation of the Tetra-polyethylene glycol gels reveals the presence of an explicit cross-effect of strains in the strain energy density function even for the polymer networks with nearly regular structure including no appreciable amount of structural defect such as trapped entanglement. This result is in contrast to the expectation of the classical Gaussian network model (Neo Hookean model), i.e., the vanishing of the cross effect in regular networks with no trapped entanglement. The results show that (1) the cross effect of strains is not dependent on the network-strand length; (2) the cross effect is not affected by the presence of non-network strands; (3) the cross effect is proportional to the network polymer concentration including both elastically effective and ineffective strands; (4) no cross effect is expected exclusively in zero limit of network concentration in real polymer networks. These features indicate that the real polymer networks with regular network structures have an explicit cross-effect of strains, which originates from some interaction between network strands (other than entanglement effect) such as nematic interaction, topological interaction, and excluded volume interaction.