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Issue 12, 2018
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Structural evolution and stability of non-crosslinked fiber networks with inter-fiber adhesion

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Abstract

Adhesion plays an important role in the mechanics of nanoscale fibers such as various biological filaments, carbon nanotubes and artificial polymeric nanofibers. In this work we study assemblies of non-crosslinked filaments and characterize their adhesion-driven structural evolution and their final stable structure. The key parameters of the problem are the network density, the fiber length, the bending stiffness of fibers and the strength of adhesion. The system of fibers self-organizes in one of three types of structures: locked networks, in which fibers remain in the as-deposited state, cellular networks, in which fibers form bundles and these organize into a larger scale network, and disintegrated networks, in which the network of bundles becomes disconnected. We determine the parametric space corresponding to each of these structures. Further, we identify a triangular structure of bundles, similar to the Plateau triangle occurring in foams, which stabilizes the network of bundles and study in detail the stabilization mechanism. The analysis provides design guidelines and a physical picture of the stability and structure of random fiber networks with adhesion.

Graphical abstract: Structural evolution and stability of non-crosslinked fiber networks with inter-fiber adhesion

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Dec 2017, accepted on 01 Mar 2018 and first published on 01 Mar 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02555F
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018,14, 2254-2266
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    Structural evolution and stability of non-crosslinked fiber networks with inter-fiber adhesion

    R. C. Picu and A. Sengab, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 2254
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02555F

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