Abstract and Keywords
This article focuses on the rubberlike elasticity of elastomers, with particular emphasis on rubberlike materials that exhibit high deformability and recoverability. It begins with a discussion of the variety of practical ways to form and characterize a rubber-elastic network, including random chemical crosslinking, highly specific chemical end-linking, polymerizations with multi-functional monomers, physical aggregation, and crosslinking in solution and in the deformed state. It then considers the effects of network structure on elastomeric properties, along with the results of elasticity experiments regarding the mechanical properties of elastomeric materials. It also examines the evolution of theories of rubber elasticity describes the specific properties of swollen polymer gels where the possibility of solvent exchange leads to some dramatic transformations in the system. Finally, it evaluates new emerging classes of rubber-elastic materials, such as liquid crystalline elastomers, where the internal microstructure added to the random network leads to some unique mechanical properties.
Keywords: Elastomers, rubberlike materials, crosslinking, polymerizations, rubber elasticity, polymer gels, solvent exchange, rubber-elastic materials, liquid crystalline elastomers, internal microstructure
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