The tensile creep of the acid form of Nafion N1 110 was examined under controlled environmental conditions of temperature, 25 ≤ T ≤ 110 °C, and water activity, 0 ≤ a w ≤ 0.95. Water plasticizes Nafion at 25°C; creep strain after 1 h increases and the elastic modulus decreases with increasing water activity. At temperatures ≥40 °C the elastic modulus of Nafion goes through a maximum as a function of water activity; the elastic modulus of Nafion increases as a w increases from 0 to 0.01 and then decreases with increasing water activity for a w > 0.1. Under dry conditions (a w = 0), Nafion undergoes a transition between 60 and 80 °C where its creep rate increases rapidly and its elastic modulus decreases with increasing temperature. Above this transition temperature a small water activity, a w < 0.1, dramatically reduces the creep rate and increases the elastic modulus of Nafion-at elevated temperature water stiffens Nafion. At intermediate temperatures (40-80 °C) the elastic and viscous components of creep recovery show two local minima as functions of water activity at constant temperature. We attribute the transitions in the viscoelastic response of Nafion to microphase structural transitions driven by changes in temperature and water activity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry