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Huipeng Chen, Ziniu Yu and Ronald C. Hedden Influence of thermal history on mesoscale ordering in polydomain smectic networks Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics 51

Version of Record online: 8 NOV 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23207

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The effect of thermal history on the mechanical behavior of smectic liquid crystalline elastomers is vital to know for their numerous applications, such as shape memory materials and soft actuators. Here, it is shown that the formation of larger, more stable smectic domains stiffens the material, increases the yield stress, and lowers extensibility. From a practical standpoint, crosslinker concentration can be used to suppress both domain growth and crystallization and decrease the material's sensitivity to thermal history.

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