Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 19, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

A three-dimensional transient mixed hybrid finite element model for superabsorbent polymers with strain-dependent permeability

Author affiliations

Abstract

A hydrogel is a cross-linked polymer network with water as solvent. Industrially widely used superabsorbent polymers (SAP) are partially neutralized sodium polyacrylate hydrogels. The extremely large degree of swelling is one of the most distinctive characteristics of such hydrogels, as the volume increase can be about 30 times its original volume when exposed to physiological solution. The large deformation resulting from the swelling demands careful numerical treatment. In this work, we present a biphasic continuum-level swelling model using the mixed hybrid finite element method (MHFEM) in three dimensions. The hydraulic permeability is highly dependent on the swelling ratio, resulting in values that are orders of magnitude apart from each other. The property of the local mass conservation of MHFEM contributes to a more accurate calculation of the deformation as the permeability across the swelling gel in a transient state is highly non-uniform. We show that the proposed model is able to simulate the free swelling of a random-shaped gel and the squeezing of fluid out of a swollen gel. Finally, we make use of the proposed numerical model to study the onset of surface instability in transient swelling.

Graphical abstract: A three-dimensional transient mixed hybrid finite element model for superabsorbent polymers with strain-dependent permeability

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 07 Aug 2017, accepted on 16 Apr 2018 and first published on 17 Apr 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01587A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018,14, 3834-3848
  •   Request permissions

    A three-dimensional transient mixed hybrid finite element model for superabsorbent polymers with strain-dependent permeability

    C. Yu, K. Malakpoor and J. M. Huyghe, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 3834
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01587A

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements