Reliable hydrogel with mechanical ‘fuse link’ in an aqueous environment
Shinji Kondo, Takashi Hiroi, Young-Soo Han, Tae-Hwan Kim, Mitsuhiro Shibayama, Ung-il Chung, and Takamasa Sakai
A robust hydrogel with a reliable deformation region in an aqueous environment is proposed. The gel has a homogeneous network where hydrophilic/hydrophobic components are uniformly distributed. In an aqueous environment, aggregated hydrophobic segments serve as “mechanical fuse links,” inhibiting sudden macroscopic fracture. The gel endures threefold stretching for more than 100 cycles in water without mechanical hysteresis.