(6hq) From Chemical Bond Forces and Breakage to Macroscopic Fracture of Soft Materials
AIChE Annual Meeting
Sunday, October 28, 2018 - 1:00pm to 3:30pm
Soft materials are irreplaceable in engineering applications where large reversible deformations are needed, and in life sciences to replace a variety of living tissues. While mechanical strength may not be essential for all applications, excessive brittleness is a strong limitation. Yet predicting if a soft material will be tough or brittle from its molecular composition relies on empirical concepts due to the lack of proper tools to detect the damage prior failure. Taking advantage of the recent advances in materials science and mechanochemistry, we propose a groundbreaking method to investigate the mechanisms of fracture of tough soft materials. By using mechanoluminescent molecules incorporated in model materials, we will gain an unprecedented molecular understanding of where and when bonds break as the material fails and the crack propagates, and will then be able to establish a direct relation between the architecture of soft polymer networks and fracture energy, leading to a new molecular and multi-scale vision of macroscopic fracture of soft materials. Such advances will be invaluable to design soft but tough materials to replace living tissues and make lightweight tough and flexible parts for energy efficient transport.
Topics that I am particularly interested in teaching include core chemical engineering courses such as heat and mass transport, thermodynamics, and chemical reaction engineering; as well as more specialized courses in my areas of expertise related to polymer physics, polymer chemistry, and mechanics of soft materials.