Shock Wave Energy Dissipation in Catalyst-Free Poly(dimethylsiloxane) Vitrimers

Jaejun Lee, Jaejun Lee, Brian B. Jing, Brian B. Jing, Brian B. Jing, Laura E. Porath, Laura E. Porath, Laura E. Porath, Nancy R. Sottos, Nancy R. Sottos, Christopher M. Evans, Christopher M. Evans, Christopher M. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Materials that absorb shock wave energy from blasts and high-speed impacts are critical for protection of structures, vehicles, and people. Incorporating dynamic bonds into polymers has enabled precise control over the time-dependent response and energy-dissipating modes, but this work has focused on much slower time scales and lower forces than those associated with shock waves. Here, we design polymers networks with dynamic covalent bonds, called vitrimers, where reversible exchange reactions provide a potential mechanism for shock wave energy dissipation. Increasing the density of dynamic bonds leads to a systematic increase in energy dissipation, measured by the drop in peak pressure of a laser-induced shock wave. An analogous permanent polymer network shows no dependence of dissipation on cross-link density. The vitrimers can absorb shock multiple times while maintaining performance, attributed to bond exchange and the intrinsic self-healing ability of the polymer. Our results are the first to demonstrate that vitrimers are an effective route to the design of energy-dissipating materials, particularly at the high frequencies and pressures associated with shock waves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4741-4747
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 23 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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