Polymer Mechanical Damping Composites
The present invention describes a new method of reshaping an article comprising a polyelectrolyte complex made up of an intermolecular blend of a predominantly positively-charged polyelectrolyte and a predominantly negatively charged polyelectrolyte by controlling the salt doping level.
The method includes contacting the article with a first solution to change a salt doping level ratio within the polyelectrolyte complex from an initial salt doping level to a second salt doping level, wherein the salt doping level ratio is changed by varying one or more factor selected from the group consisting of salt type, salt concentration, temperature, and pH within the complex; and applying a mechanical force to the article at the second salt doping level in order to reform the complex into a persistent shape.
The second salt doping level ratio is between about 0.50 and about 0.990 and the article is fully hydrated when the mechanical force is applied. The mechanical force is applied by a mechanism selected from the group consisting of piston, syringe, screw, rollers, hydrostatic pressure, magnetic field, and any combination thereof.
Finally, contacting the compacted polyelectrolyte complex with a second solution to change the doping level ratio in the polyelectrolyte complex from the second doping level ratio to a third doping level ratio, whereby changing the doping level ratio in the polyelectrolyte complex changes the complex shear modulus of the polyelectrolyte complex from the second complex shear modulus to a third complex shear modulus.