Toronto Metropolitan University
polymers-11-01076-v2.pdf (5.6 MB)

Computer Simulation of Anisotropic Polymeric Materials Using Polymerization-Induced Phase Separation under Combined Temperature and Concentration Gradients

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-17, 17:48 authored by Shima Ghaffari, Philip K. Chan, Mehrab MehrvarMehrab Mehrvar

In this study, the self-condensation polymerization of a tri-functional monomer in a monomer-solvent mixture and the phase separation of the system were simultaneously modeled and simulated. Nonlinear Cahn-Hilliard and Flory-Huggins free energy theories incorporated with the kinetics of the polymerization reaction were utilized to develop the model. Linear temperature and concentration gradients singly and in combination were applied to the system. Eight cases which faced different ranges of initial concentration and/or temperature gradients in different directions, were studied. Various anisotropic structural morphologies were achieved. The numerical results were in good agreement with published data. The size analysis and structural characterization of the phase-separated system were also carried out using digital imaging software. The results showed that the phase separation occurred earlier in the section with a higher initial concentration and/or temperature, and, at a given time, the average equivalent diameter of the droplets was larger in this region. While smaller droplets formed later in the lower concentration/temperature regions, at the higher concentration/temperature side, the droplets went through phase separation longer, allowing them to reach the late stage of the phase separation where particles coarsened. In the intermediate stage of phase separation, was found proportional to t*(alpha), where alpha was in the range between 1/3 and 1/2 for the cases studied and was consistent with published results. 




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