Energy‐Dissipating Polymeric Silicone Surfactants
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Materials that are able to withstand impact loadings by dissipating energy are crucial for a broad range of different applications, including personal protective applications. Shear-thickening fluids (STFs) are often used for this purpose, but their preparation is still limited, in part, to high production costs. It is demonstrated that polymeric surfactants comprised of linear telechelic sugar-modified silicones-with neither additives nor particles-generate transient polymer networks (TPNs) that represent a promising alternative to STFs. The reported polymers have distinct viscoelastic properties and can turn from a liquid into a rubbery network when force is applied. Saccharide-modified silicones with short chains (degree of polymerization (DP) ≈ 34, 68) are solids, but become energy-absorbing viscoelastic fluids when diluted in low-viscosity silicone oils; longer silicones (DP ≈ 338, 675) with low saccharide contents are viscoelastic fluids at room temperature. Excellent damping properties are found for the reported silicone surfactants, even those containing only 0.1% saccharides. The degree of energy absorption can be tailored simply by controlling the sugar/silicone ratio.
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