Challenges for implementing polymer gels in defense applications

Joseph L. Lenhart*, Randy A. Mrozek, Kenneth R. Shull, Kathryn J. Otim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Polymer gels are soft, lightly crosslinked polymers that are highly swollen with solvent. The gel properties can be tuned by manipulating the polymer and solvent chemistry, solvent loading, polymer and solvent chain architecture, and the incorporation of various fillers and additives. This tunability provides broad utility in military applications including electronic devices, sensors, robotics, multi-functional textiles, responsive coatings, combat medical care, and tissue surrogates for ballistic testing. While potentially useful, a number of challenges can hinder gel utility for the Army. This paper describes recent efforts that offer promise to overcome these obstacles, including improving operational temperature performance and gel toughness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDynamic Behavior of Materials - Proceedings of the 2012 Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2013
Event2012 Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics - Costa Mesa, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 11 2012Jun 14 2012

Publication series

NameConference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series
ISSN (Print)2191-5644
ISSN (Electronic)2191-5652


Other2012 Annual Conference on Experimental and Applied Mechanics
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCosta Mesa, CA


  • Gelatin
  • Polymer gel
  • Toughness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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