It has been demonstrated experimentally that pre-stretch affects the swelling of an elastomeric membrane when it is exposed to a solvent. We study theoretically the one-dimensional swelling of a pre-stretched thin elastomeric sheet, bonded to an impermeable rigid substrate, to quantify the influence of pre-stretch. We show that the solvent uptake increases when pre-stretch increases, both at equilibrium and during the swelling transient, where it exhibits two different scaling regimes. The coupling between the solvent uptake and pre-stretch may be practically exploited to design soft actuators where the swelling-induced deformations can be controlled by varying the pre-stretch.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)