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Mechanical properties of double network hydrogels.

Hugh R. Brown Department of Mechanical, Mechatronic and Materials Engineering, University of Wollongong, Australia

The aim of this work has been to examine both (a) the influence of hydrogen bonding on the tensile and failure properties of a number of double network (DN) hydrogels and (b) the nature of the mechanical hysteresis in compression of one specific DN hydrogel, to distinguish between chain scission and the breakage of (recoverable) secondary bonds. I will show that hydrogen bonding does indeed influence the failure properties of some hydrogels. In compression, for the specific hydrogel a minimum total strain, measured from network synthesis, is required to cause chain scission. Below that minimum strain, hysteresis can occur in this material but is caused by the breakage of secondary bonds.