Hydrated behavior of multilayer polyelectrolyte-nanoclay coatings on porous materials and demonstration of shape memory effect

Jonathan Acheson, Aoife McFerran, Dichu Xu, Monika Ziminska, Saurav Goel, Alex B. Lennon, Nicholas Dunne, Andrew Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly is a powerful technique for fabricating nanocomposite thin-film coatings with a diverse range of constituents, properties, and functionalities. Templated deposition of these coatings has enabled the translation of mechanical properties from the microscale of thin-films to the macro-scale of nanocomposite-coated porous materials and has been used to tailor the elastic modulus and porosity of coated open-cell foams for potential applications including lightweight structures and engineered tissue scaffolds. However, the presence of moisture in these application environments is expected to affect the physico-mechanical behavior of the nanocomposite coating. In this work, open-cell foams coated with nanocomposites consisting of poly(ethyleneimine), poly(acrylic acid), and Na+-montmorillonite were characterised under high relative humidity and upon complete submersion in water. The nanocomposite coating imparted a substantial increase in compressive elastic modulus when tested under ambient conditions, from 0.08 ± 0.00 MPa to 4.90 ± 0.46 MPa, but had little to no mechanical effect when hydrated, and upon drying the mechanical properties of coated foams recovered to pre-hydrated levels. Chemical crosslinking of amine groups within the polymers resulted in the retention of significant compressive elastic modulus of 2.91 ± 0.49 MPa when hydrated. Initial trials showed that un-crosslinked coated foams exhibit a hydration induced shape memory effect that could be used to enable the actuation or expansion of a previously passive open-cell foam.
Original languageEnglish
Article number129335
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Volume458
Early online date14 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Blagden Specialty Chemicals and BYK additives for their kind provision of a sample of Cloisite Na + nanoclay powder. We also acknowledge Dr. Paul Baine from Queen's University Belfast, School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science for kindly providing access to and assistance with stylus profilometry. This work was funded by a PhD studentship from the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland .

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Blagden Specialty Chemicals and BYK additives for their kind provision of a sample of Cloisite Na+ nanoclay powder. We also acknowledge Dr. Paul Baine from Queen's University Belfast, School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science for kindly providing access to and assistance with stylus profilometry. This work was funded by a PhD studentship from the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Layer-by-layer assembly
  • Crosslinking
  • Shape memory foams
  • Hydration

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