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Issue 8, 2015
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Anisotropic swelling of thin gel sheets

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We describe the anisotropic swelling within the Flory–Rehner thermodynamic model through an extension of the elastic component of the free-energy, which takes into account the oriented hampering of the swelling-induced deformations due to the presence of stiffer fibers. We also characterize the homogeneous free-swelling solutions of the corresponding anisotropic stress-diffusion problem, and discuss an asymptotic approximation of the key equations, which allows us to explicitly derive the anisotropic solution of the problem. We propose a proof-of-concept of our model, realizing thin bilayered gel sheets with layers having different anisotropic structures. In particular, for seedpod-like sheets, we observe and quantitatively measure the helicoid versus ribbon transition determined by the aspect ratio of the composite sheet.

Graphical abstract: Anisotropic swelling of thin gel sheets

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Nov 2014, accepted on 19 Dec 2014 and first published on 19 Dec 2014

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02485K
Citation: Soft Matter, 2015,11, 1492-1499
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    Anisotropic swelling of thin gel sheets

    P. Nardinocchi, M. Pezzulla and L. Teresi, Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 1492
    DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02485K

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