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Issue 13, 2021
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Effect of precise linker length, bond density, and broad temperature window on the rheological properties of ethylene vitrimers

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Abstract

Dynamic networks which undergo topology conserving exchange reactions, sometimes called vitrimers, show properties intermediate to thermosets and thermoplastics. The dynamic nature of the networks results in complex rheological properties and has attracted much attention in the past decade for self-healing, malleable and recyclable polymers. Here, we investigate a series of precise, high crosslink density telechelic ethylene vitrimers as a function of temperature and crosslink density. The networks show a rubbery plateau at high frequencies and a terminal flow regime at lower frequencies. With increasing crosslink density, the rubbery plateau modulus shows a monotonic increase and the terminal flow shifts to lower frequencies. The plateau modulus at high frequency increases as a function of temperature, as expected for a conserved network topology. When plotted against inverse temperature, the zero shear viscosities show a characteristic Arrhenius behavior, and the activation energy monotonically increases with crosslink density. Crossover frequency and shift factors (from time temperature superposition) also show Arrhenius behavior with activation energies in good agreement with those determined from zero shear viscosity. A positive deviation from this Arrhenius trend is observed beginning as high as 100 K above the glass transition temperature for C6 and C8 networks. Further investigations of such networks are critical for the development of sustainable and recyclable replacements for commercial plastics.

Graphical abstract: Effect of precise linker length, bond density, and broad temperature window on the rheological properties of ethylene vitrimers

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
26 Aug 2020
Accepted
09 Nov 2020
First published
24 Nov 2020

Soft Matter, 2021,17, 3569-3577
Article type
Paper

Effect of precise linker length, bond density, and broad temperature window on the rheological properties of ethylene vitrimers

B. Soman and C. M. Evans, Soft Matter, 2021, 17, 3569 DOI: 10.1039/D0SM01544J

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