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In ACS omega

The mechanical adaptive material is a kind of functional material that can effectively dissipate energy and suppress the increase of its stress under continuous strain in a large deformation area, which are vital in artificial muscles, connection devices, soft artificial intelligence robots, and other areas. Scientists have been working to broaden the platform of the material's mechanical adaptive platform and improve its mechanical strength by specific structure design. Based on it, we expect to introduce a mechanism of energy dissipation from the molecular chain scale to further improve mechanical adaptability. We developed a liquid crystal-modified polydimethylsiloxane rubber with mechanical adaptability based on chain extension in the process of crosslinking. Results showed that liquid crystal (0.7 mol %)-modified silicone rubber can obviously dissipate energy to achieve mechanical adaptive function, and the energy dissipation ratio of polydimethylsiloxane rubber (MQ), 4-propyl-4'-vinyl-1,1'-bi(cyclohexane)-modified polydimethylsiloxane rubber (3CCV-MQ), and 4-methoxyphenyl-4-(3-butenyloxy) benzoate-modified polydimethylsiloxane rubber (MBB-MQ) gradually decreases from 30 to 24%. Excessive thiol groups of liquid crystal-modified polydimethylsiloxane react with its vinyl group to achieve the chain extension, which significantly improves the mechanical strength from 2.74 to 5.83 MPa and elongation at break from 733 to 1096%. This research offers some new insights into improving the mechanical strength of silicone rubber and is of great significance for the application of the mechanical adaptive material.

Liu Zhe, Wang Hua, Zhou Chuanjian