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Title: Origin of Toughness in Dispersion-Cast Nafion Membranes

In this study, the gelation behavior of Nafion dispersions was investigated using small-angle neutron scattering to better understand the mechanical toughness of dispersion-cast Nafion membranes. Three types of gelation were observed, depending on dispersing fluids: (i) homogeneous, thermally reversible gelation that was present in most aprotic polar dispersing fluids; (ii) inhomogeneous, thermally irreversible gelation as films, found in alcohols; and (iii) inhomogeneous, thermally irreversible gelation which precipitates in water/monohydric alcohol mixtures. The mechanical toughness of dispersion-cast Nafion membranes depends on the dispersing fluid, varying by more than 4 orders of magnitude. Excellent correlation between the critical gelation concentration and mechanical toughness was demonstrated with the Nafion membranes cast at 140 °C. Additional thermal effects among Nafion membranes cast at 190 °C were qualitatively related to the boiling point of dispersing fluids. Little correlation between mechanical toughness and percent crystalline area of Nafion was observed, suggesting that the origin of mechanical toughness of dispersion-cast Nafion membranes is due to chain entanglements rather than crystallinity. Finally, the correlation between critical gelation concentration and mechanical toughness is a new way of predicting mechanical behavior in dispersion-cast polymer systems in which both polymer-dispersing fluid and polymer–polymer interactions play a significant role in the formationmore » of polymer chain entanglements.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-14-29620
Journal ID: ISSN 0024-9297
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Macromolecules
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 48; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 0024-9297
Publisher:
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Program (EE-3F)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
OSTI Identifier:
1176818
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1337083