Center for Mechanics of Solids, Structures and Materials

Seminar Schedule - Spring 2016

Home > Seminars > 2016.04.15

Friday, February 15, 2016
Time: 3:30-5:00 PM
Place: POB 2.402

Tough Hydrogels

Zhigang Suo - Harvard University

What can we do if water is a tough solid? A hydrogel aggregates water and a polymer network. The polymer network makes the hydrogel a solid, but water in the hydrogel retains its exceptional physical and chemical properties. Several recent findings show that hydrogels can achieve properties and applications well beyond previously imagined. Most existing hydrogels, like Jell-O and tofu, are fragile and dry out in open air. We make hydrogels as tough as rubber, and retain water in low-humidity environment. We show that the hydrogels readily function as stretchable conductors in artificial muscles, skins, and axons. We show that hydrogels outperform existing fire-retarding materials. We also demonstrate fiber-reinforced hydrogels that dissipate energy. This talk describes the mechanics and chemistry of these materials and applications.

For further information please contact Dr. Rui Huang at rui or (512) 471-7558.

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