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Johannes Nowak, Caroline Barhold, Christian Kessler, Stefan Odenbach
Gelation of a Nanocomposite-Hydrogel system and its dependency on mechanical loads

Appl. Rheol. 27:5 (2017) 52850 (6 pages)

Abstract: Hydrogels are cross-linked polymer networks which are water-insoluble. They are suitable for several technical and biomedical applications due to the ability of some gels to swell and deswell as reaction to external stimuli. Such gels are synthesized and shift from a fluid-like liquid with solved components towards the final polymeric network with gel-like properties. Monitoring and characterizing this process is fundamental on the one hand to understand the chemical and physical behavior and on the other hand to adopt the application and production of such gels. Therefore, this investigation focuses on the characterization of the gelation of a nanocomposite hydrogel system based on PNIPAm with and without mechanical loads applied, using rheology. Measurements are conducted featuring rotational and oscillating rheometry and the results found are compared and evaluated. Furthermore the impact of a strong pre-shear, preventing the gelation, prior to the actual gelation, is investigated. The results found show a strong influence of the applied load as well as of an applied pre-shear on the gelation and furthermore on the mechanical properties of the final hydrogels. Therefore those parameters be taken into account for future investigations as well as for the large scale productions of hydrogels. © 2017 Applied Rheology.

DOI 10.3933/ApplRheol-27-52850

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