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Rheological Predictions of Network Systems Swollen with Entangled Solvent
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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The mechanical properties of a cross-linked polydimethylsiloxane PDMS network swollen with nonreactive entangled PDMS solvent was previously studied experimentally. In this article, we use the discrete slip-link model to predict its linear and nonlinear rheology. Model parameters are obtained from the dynamic modulus data of pure solvent. Network rheology predictions also require an estimate of the fraction and architecture of dangling or inactive strands in the network, which is not directly measurable. The active strand fraction is estimated from dynamic modulus measurements, and the molecular weight is adjusted to fit the dynamic modulus data. Then, the nonlinear rheology can be predicted without adjustments. These successful predictions strongly suggest that the observed rheological modification in the swollen blend arises from the constraint dynamics between the network chains and the dangling ends.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE