A Well-defined Hierarchical Hydrogen Bonding Strategy to Polyureas with Simultaneously Improved Strength and Toughness
A well-defined quadruple hydrogen bonding strategy involving dimerization of 2-ureido-4[1H]-pyrimidone (UPy) units is innovatively designed to prepare polyureas with high overall mechanical properties. Three polyureas containing different amounts of UPy units were synthesized by replacing a portion of isophorone diisocyanate (IPDI) with a UPy-derived diisocyanate. The formation of quadruple hydrogen bonds in hard segments via UPy dimers was confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The mechanical properties of the polyureas were evaluated by uniaxial tensile testing. Compared to the polyurea without UPy units, remarkable improvements in Young’s modulus, tensile strength, and toughness were simultaneously achieved when UPy units were incorporated. The mechanism behind the strong strengthening effect rooted in the stronger intermolecular forces among hard segments brought by the quadruple hydrogen bonds, which were stronger than the inherent bidentate and monodentate hydrogen bonds among urea groups, and the slower soft segmental dynamics reaveled by both increased Tg and relaxation time of the soft segments. The mechanism behind the strong toughening effect was ascribed to more effective energy dissipation brought by the quadruple hydrogen bonds that served as stronger sacrificial bonds upon deformation. This work may offer new insight into the design of polyurea elastomers with comprehensively improved mechanical properties.
KeywordsMechanical properties Strength Toughness Quadruple H-bonds Polyurea elasomers
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This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51673110 and 51473085), the Joint Funds of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. U1862205), and Tsinghua University-Suzhou Innovation Leading Program (No. 2016SZ0315).
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