Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: doi:10.22028/D291-35793
Title: Water in polyurethane networks: physical and chemical ageing effects and mechanical parameters
Author(s): Possart, Wulff
Zimmer, Bettina
Language: English
Title: Continuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics
Publisher/Platform: Springer Nature
Year of Publication: 2022
Free key words: Polyurethane
Water uptake
Moist–warm ageing
Chemical ageing
Physical ageing
Mechanical modulus
Fracture parameters
DDC notations: 500 Science
Publikation type: Journal Article
Abstract: The chemical structure, polymer mobility and mechanical properties are studied for a cross-linked amorphous poly(ether urethane) (PU) from glass transition to rubber elasticity for juvenile dry samples and for water-saturated states after exposure to humid air (r.h. = 29, 67, 95, 100%) at 60 ◦C during 1 y of ageing. For saturated samples, network chain cleavage is the chemical ageing mechanism, but it is too weak and slow to affect on the physical properties significantly within 1 y. Water acts primarily in a physical manner. Within 1 d, H2O molecules replace part of the weak urethane H-bonds by H2O–urethane H-bonds and reduce all other physical interactions between network chains by solvating hydrophilic segments. Thus, the cooperative polymer mobility strongly amplifies: The gain of specific conformational entropy doubles across the caloric glass transition, which shifts by −17 K. A H2O concentration of only cH2O ≈ (0.4 ... 0.5) cH2O,max suffices for the major part of these fast rearrangements. Some part of the water slowly forms (during 3–4 months) a finely dispersed water-rich mixed phase with the PU chains. Except the new phase, these molecular processes of physical ageing strongly affect the mechanical properties at damage-free deformation. For dry PU in the glass transition, the shear modulus, μrelaxed(T), after viscoelastic stress relaxation only depends on the deformation-induced entropy change—like in the rubber elastic state. Within one month, water drastically decreases the viscoelastic response, as expected for plasticisation. However, μrelaxed(T) slightly grows in wet PU. H2O molecules cause these opposite trends by boosting the cooperative mobility (i.e. extension of the accessible conformational space and entropy by reduction in energy barriers) and by occupation of free volume compartments. Water quickly reduces the fracture parameters by about 50%. We explain that embrittlement by the H2O-induced facilitation of cooperative network chain motions, which let fracture proceed with less energy. In summary, our findings provide a detailed conception of the molecular effects the H2O molecules have on the PU network, and they explain the consequences for the mechanical properties.
DOI of the first publication: 10.1007/s00161-022-01082-y
Link to this record: urn:nbn:de:bsz:291--ds-357939
ISSN: 1432-0959
Date of registration: 18-Mar-2022
Faculty: NT - Naturwissenschaftlich- Technische Fakultät
Department: NT - Materialwissenschaft und Werkstofftechnik
Professorship: NT - Prof. Dr. Wulff Possart
Collections:SciDok - Der Wissenschaftsserver der Universität des Saarlandes

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