Enhancing the electro-mechanical properties of polydimethylsiloxane elastomers through blending with poly(dimethylsiloxane-co-methylphenylsiloxane) copolymers

Peter Jeppe Madsen, Liyun Yu, Sarah Boucher, Anne Ladegaard Skov*

*Corresponding author for this work

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In this work, improved electro-mechanical properties of silicone-based dielectric elastomers are achieved by means of adding so-called “voltage-stabilisers” prepared from phenyl-functional copolymers prepared using oxyanionic ring-opening polymerisation of octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4) and either tetramethyltetraphenylcyclotetrasiloxane (T4) or octaphenylcyclotetrasiloxane (O4). The concentration of the voltage stabiliser was varied both by changing the molar ratio between methyl and phenyl groups in the copolymer and also by varying the amount of copolymer mixed into a PDMS-based elastomer. The phenyl-functional copolymers were generally found to disperse homogeneously in the PDMS matrix and this resulted in networks with improved mechanical and electrical properties. The developed elastomers were inherently extensible with enhanced tensile and tear strengths, due to phenyl-rich microphases acting as reinforcing domains. Furthermore, addition of phenyl-functional copolymers resulted in elastomers with increased relative permittivity and electrical breakdown strength compared to control elastomers while retaining a low dielectric loss. This demonstrates their efficiency as voltage stabilisers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalR S C Advances
Pages (from-to)23077-23088
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Open Access Article. Published on 25 June 2018. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence.

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