Document Type : Research Note
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran.
In this work, the equilibrium swelling of temperature sensitive hydrogel networks is studied with an emphasis on the chain locking of the network. Using Gent model for elastic part of free energy and modifying the mixing part of the free energy, a continuous model is developed which consider inextensibility of the network chains and has a good agreement with the experimental data particularly for smaller values of crosslinking density of the network and larger values of the swelling ratio. After validating the modified model, it is employed for the studying the inhomogeneous swelling of a spherical shell on a hard core both analytically and numerically. The analytical solution is used for validating the numerical method. Finally, the inhomogeneous swelling of a bilayer beam with an active temperature sensitive hydrogel is investigated and the results are presented. The obtained results show the importance level of considering the chain locking in swelling of the network in the applied problems.