Relaxation of a viscoelastic gel bar: I. theory

George W. Scherer

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28 Scopus citations


When a rod of gel is deflected in 3-point bending, two types of relaxation process occur: hydrodynamic relaxation caused by flow of liquid within the gel network, and viscoelastic relaxation of the network itself. The kinetics of load relaxation have previously been analyzed for the case of hydrodynamic relaxation within a perfectly elastic network. That analysis describes, for example, the behavior of silica gel in a nonreactive solvent, such as acetone. When the liquid can attack the gel network, then true viscoelastic relaxation is superimposed on hydrodynamic relaxation, and that situation is examined in the present paper. To a very good degree of approximation, the total relaxation is equal to the product of the hydrodynamic and viscoelastic relaxation functions. In Part II, it will be shown that the present analysis describes the behavior of silica gel in an aqueous solvent and in an alcohol/amine solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Biomaterials


  • beam-bending
  • mechanical properties
  • permeability
  • relaxation
  • viscoelasticity


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