280360 Polymer Gels for Defense Applications

Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 10:00 AM
Butler West (Westin )
Randy A. Mrozek1, Yelena R. Sliozberg1, Jan W. Andzelm1, Roza Mahmoodian2, Z. Ilke Kalcioglu2, Simona Socrate3, Krystyn J. Van Vliet2 and Joseph Lenhart1, (1)Macromolecular Science and Technology Branch, US Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, (2)Materials Science and Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA, (3)Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

This talk will present research spanning a broad program in polymer gels for defense applications.  A polymer gel is a physically or chemically cross-linked polymer that is highly swollen by solvent.  The gel properties can be tuned by varying the polymer chemistry, solvent type, polymer-solvent architecture and molecular weight, and solvent loading. In addition, small molecule additives and fillers can be incorporated into the gel formulation to enhance the properties further.  This tunability offers the potential for gel implementation in an array of Army related technologies ranging from combat casualty care and tissue surrogates, to robotics and electronics devices.  While potentially versatile materials, several obstacles hinder widespread deployment of gel-based technologies including: 1) limited operational temperature windows and material lifetimes; 2) poor toughness and durability; 3) unstable performance in other harsh environmental conditions (ie. extreme mechanical, electrical, chemical, and radiation environments); and 4) limited multi-functional capability.  This talk will summarize our progress in these areas, and demonstrate how multifunctional soft polymer composites can be realized through the judicious selection of materials and processing approaches.  The relevance of these materials will primarily be discussed in terms of tissue simulants but they also represent a broad platform for various technologies including robotics, smart clothing, armor, sensors, energy storage, battlefield medicine, etc.

Extended Abstract: File Not Uploaded
See more of this Session: Polymer Networks and Gels I
See more of this Group/Topical: Materials Engineering and Sciences Division