Mesoscopic simulations of hydrophilic cross-linked polycarbonate polyurethane networks: Structure and morphology

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9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Polyurethane (PU) cross-linked networks are frequently used in biomedical and marine applications, e.g., as hydrophilic polymer coatings with antifouling or low-friction properties and have been reported to exhibit characteristic phase separation between soft and hard segments. Understanding this phase-separation behavior is critical to design novel hydrophilic polymer coatings. However, most of the studies on the structure and morphology of cross-linked coatings are experimental, which only assess the phase separation via indirect methods. Herein we present a mesoscopic simulation study of the network characteristics of model hydrophilic polymer networks, consisting of PU with and without methyl-polyethylene glycol (mPEG) dangling chains. The systems are analyzed using a number of tools, such as the radial distribution function, the cross-link point density distribution and the Voronoi volume distribution (of the cross-linking points). The combined results show that the cross-linked networks without dangling chains are rather homogeneous but contain a small amount of clustering of cross-linker molecules. A clear phase separation is observed when introducing the dangling chains. In spite of that, the amount of cross-linker molecules connected to dangling chains only, i.e., not connected to the main network, is relatively small, leading to about 3 wt% extractables. Thus, these cross-linked polymers consist of a phase-separated, yet highly connected network. This study provides valuable guidelines towards new self-healing hydrophilic coatings based on the molecular design of cross-linked networks in direct contact with water or aqueous fluids, e.g., as anti-fouling self-repairing coatings for marine applications.

LanguageEnglish
Pages5029-5040
Number of pages12
JournalSoft Matter
Volume12
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

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polycarbonate
Polyurethanes
polycarbonates
Phase separation
Polymers
Coatings
Marine applications
coatings
simulation
antifouling
polymers
Molecules
Fouling
Contacts (fluid mechanics)
Distribution functions
healing
Friction
radial distribution
maintenance
density distribution

Cite this

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title = "Mesoscopic simulations of hydrophilic cross-linked polycarbonate polyurethane networks: Structure and morphology",
abstract = "Polyurethane (PU) cross-linked networks are frequently used in biomedical and marine applications, e.g., as hydrophilic polymer coatings with antifouling or low-friction properties and have been reported to exhibit characteristic phase separation between soft and hard segments. Understanding this phase-separation behavior is critical to design novel hydrophilic polymer coatings. However, most of the studies on the structure and morphology of cross-linked coatings are experimental, which only assess the phase separation via indirect methods. Herein we present a mesoscopic simulation study of the network characteristics of model hydrophilic polymer networks, consisting of PU with and without methyl-polyethylene glycol (mPEG) dangling chains. The systems are analyzed using a number of tools, such as the radial distribution function, the cross-link point density distribution and the Voronoi volume distribution (of the cross-linking points). The combined results show that the cross-linked networks without dangling chains are rather homogeneous but contain a small amount of clustering of cross-linker molecules. A clear phase separation is observed when introducing the dangling chains. In spite of that, the amount of cross-linker molecules connected to dangling chains only, i.e., not connected to the main network, is relatively small, leading to about 3 wt{\%} extractables. Thus, these cross-linked polymers consist of a phase-separated, yet highly connected network. This study provides valuable guidelines towards new self-healing hydrophilic coatings based on the molecular design of cross-linked networks in direct contact with water or aqueous fluids, e.g., as anti-fouling self-repairing coatings for marine applications.",
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Mesoscopic simulations of hydrophilic cross-linked polycarbonate polyurethane networks : Structure and morphology. / Iype, E.; Esteves, A.C.C.; De With, G.

In: Soft Matter, Vol. 12, No. 22, 2016, p. 5029-5040.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mesoscopic simulations of hydrophilic cross-linked polycarbonate polyurethane networks

T2 - Soft Matter

AU - Iype,E.

AU - Esteves,A.C.C.

AU - De With,G.

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N2 - Polyurethane (PU) cross-linked networks are frequently used in biomedical and marine applications, e.g., as hydrophilic polymer coatings with antifouling or low-friction properties and have been reported to exhibit characteristic phase separation between soft and hard segments. Understanding this phase-separation behavior is critical to design novel hydrophilic polymer coatings. However, most of the studies on the structure and morphology of cross-linked coatings are experimental, which only assess the phase separation via indirect methods. Herein we present a mesoscopic simulation study of the network characteristics of model hydrophilic polymer networks, consisting of PU with and without methyl-polyethylene glycol (mPEG) dangling chains. The systems are analyzed using a number of tools, such as the radial distribution function, the cross-link point density distribution and the Voronoi volume distribution (of the cross-linking points). The combined results show that the cross-linked networks without dangling chains are rather homogeneous but contain a small amount of clustering of cross-linker molecules. A clear phase separation is observed when introducing the dangling chains. In spite of that, the amount of cross-linker molecules connected to dangling chains only, i.e., not connected to the main network, is relatively small, leading to about 3 wt% extractables. Thus, these cross-linked polymers consist of a phase-separated, yet highly connected network. This study provides valuable guidelines towards new self-healing hydrophilic coatings based on the molecular design of cross-linked networks in direct contact with water or aqueous fluids, e.g., as anti-fouling self-repairing coatings for marine applications.

AB - Polyurethane (PU) cross-linked networks are frequently used in biomedical and marine applications, e.g., as hydrophilic polymer coatings with antifouling or low-friction properties and have been reported to exhibit characteristic phase separation between soft and hard segments. Understanding this phase-separation behavior is critical to design novel hydrophilic polymer coatings. However, most of the studies on the structure and morphology of cross-linked coatings are experimental, which only assess the phase separation via indirect methods. Herein we present a mesoscopic simulation study of the network characteristics of model hydrophilic polymer networks, consisting of PU with and without methyl-polyethylene glycol (mPEG) dangling chains. The systems are analyzed using a number of tools, such as the radial distribution function, the cross-link point density distribution and the Voronoi volume distribution (of the cross-linking points). The combined results show that the cross-linked networks without dangling chains are rather homogeneous but contain a small amount of clustering of cross-linker molecules. A clear phase separation is observed when introducing the dangling chains. In spite of that, the amount of cross-linker molecules connected to dangling chains only, i.e., not connected to the main network, is relatively small, leading to about 3 wt% extractables. Thus, these cross-linked polymers consist of a phase-separated, yet highly connected network. This study provides valuable guidelines towards new self-healing hydrophilic coatings based on the molecular design of cross-linked networks in direct contact with water or aqueous fluids, e.g., as anti-fouling self-repairing coatings for marine applications.

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