Polymer Gel

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Definition - What does Polymer Gel mean?

A polymer gel is a type of gel that consists of a three dimensional cross-linked polymer network that can undergo significant deformation. This is possible because these gels are soft and filled with a solvent such as water or some other liquid solvent that imparts deformation properties in various shapes and sizes. These gels can expand or shrink up to 1000 times in volume.

Polymer gels are also known as hydrogel.

Corrosionpedia explains Polymer Gel

Polymer gels are soft, wet materials that have an elastic cross-linked network with interstitial spaces that can hold a liquid solvent, thus giving them a wet feel. The elastic cross-linked network also imparts solidity as it holds a liquid solvent.

The most common types of polymer gels used in industry are:

  • Poly vinyl alcohol (PVA)
  • Poly acrylic acid (PAA)
  • Poly acrylonitrile (PAN)

These gels find applications in the following industries:

  • Robotics (manufacturing artificial muscles and robotic actuators)
  • Chemical manufacturing
  • Petrochemicals
  • Paints and coatings

The polymer gels are micro-sized gel fibers (an elastic cross-linked fiber network) that can shrink in milliseconds, whereas thick polymer layers require many minutes to react, generally two hours to days.

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