Mr Xiangchao Feng's paper apperas in Soft Matter


In January 2021, Dr. Xiangchao Feng (now at Qian Xuesen Laboratory of Space Technology), Dr. Zhuo Ma (now at Schlumberger) and Mr. Jonathan MacArthur (now at MIT) published their work at Iowa State University on Soft Matter, entitled “Magnetic double-network composite capable of large recoverable deformation”.

This paper presents the design and fabrication of a magnetic double network (DN) composite, which consists of permanent magnet chains embedded in an elastomer matrix, and was capable of large yet fully recoverable deformation. The initially connected magnets served as reusable sacrificial components in the composite. The strong magnetic attraction between neighboring magnetics endowed the composite with the high strength while the compliance of the elastomer matrix provided the high extensibility. Having a similar mechanism as DN gels, the composite was found to be significantly tougher than either of the constituents. The unloading curves appeared drastically different from the loading curves, as the force needed to separate two magnets was much higher than the force at which two separated magnets snapped back. With a combination of desired properties including high stretchability, self-healing, and high toughness, the magnetic DN composite is a viable candidate for various applications.