Tough organogels based on polyisobutylene with aligned porous structures


DOGU S., Okay O.

POLYMER, vol.49, no.21, pp.4626-4634, 2008 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 49 Issue: 21
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.polymer.2008.08.024
  • Title of Journal : POLYMER
  • Page Numbers: pp.4626-4634

Abstract

Macroporous gels with aligned porous structures were prepared by solution crosslinking of butyl rubber (PIB) in cyclohexane at subzero temperatures. Sulfur monochloride was used as a crosslinker in the organogel preparation. The reactions were carried out at various temperatures between 20 and -22 degrees C as well as at various freezing rates. The structure of the gel networks formed at -2 degrees C consists of pores of about 100 mu m in length and 50 mu m in width, separated by polymer domains of 10-20 mu m in thickness. The aligned porous structure of PIB gels indicates directional freezing of the solvent crystals in the direction of the temperature gradient. The size of the pores in the organogels could be regulated by changing the freezing rate of the reaction solution. The results suggest that frozen cyclohexane templates are responsible for the porosity formation in cyclohexane. In contrast to the regular morphology of the gels formed in cyclohexane, benzene as a crosslinking solvent produces irregular pores with a broad size distribution from micrometer to millimeter sizes due to the phase separation of PIB chains at low temperatures. Macroporous organogels prepared at subzero temperatures are very tough and can be compressed up to about 100% strain without any crack development. The gels also exhibit superfast swelling and deswelling properties as well as reversible swelling-deswelling cycles in toluene and methanol, respectively. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.