Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 6, 2015
Previous Article Next Article

Extremely tough composites from fabric reinforced polyampholyte hydrogels

Author affiliations

Abstract

Ligaments are unique wet biological tissues with high tensile modulus and fracture stress, combined with high bending flexibility. Developing synthetic materials with these properties is a significant challenge. Hydrogel composites made from high stiffness fabrics is a strategy to develop such unique materials; however, the ability to produce these materials has proven difficult, since common hydrogels swell in water and interact poorly with solid components, limiting the transfer of force from the fabric to the hydrogel matrix. In this work, for the first time, we successfully produce extraordinarily tough hydrogel composites by strategically selecting a recently developed tough hydrogel that de-swells in water. The new composites, consisting of polyampholyte hydrogels and glass fiber woven fabrics, exhibit extremely high effective toughness (250 000 J m−2), high tear strength (∼65 N mm−1), high tensile modulus (606 MPa), and low bending modulus (4.7 MPa). Even though these composites are composed of water-containing, biocompatible materials, their mechanical properties are comparable to high toughness Kevlar/polyurethane blends and fiber-reinforced polymers. Importantly, the mechanical properties of these composites greatly outperform the properties of either individual component. A mechanism is proposed based on established fabric tearing theory, which will enable the development of a new generation of mechanically robust composites based on fabrics. These results will be important towards developing soft biological prosthetics, and more generally for commercial applications such as tear-resistant gloves and bulletproof vests.

Graphical abstract: Extremely tough composites from fabric reinforced polyampholyte hydrogels

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 03 Jul 2015, accepted on 10 Aug 2015 and first published on 10 Aug 2015


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C5MH00127G
Citation: Mater. Horiz., 2015,2, 584-591
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
  •   Request permissions

    Extremely tough composites from fabric reinforced polyampholyte hydrogels

    D. R. King, T. L. Sun, Y. Huang, T. Kurokawa, T. Nonoyama, A. J. Crosby and J. P. Gong, Mater. Horiz., 2015, 2, 584
    DOI: 10.1039/C5MH00127G

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements