We present a theory of the kinetics of the swelling of a gel. The characteristic time of swelling is proportional to the square of a linear dimension of the gel and is also proportional to the diffusion coefficient of the gel network, which is defined as D=E/f where E is the longitudinal bulk modulus of the network, and f is the coefficient of friction between the network and the gel fluid. This constitutes an essential difference between the present theory and the previous theory which is based on the assumption that the swelling time is determined by the diffusion coefficient of the fluid molecules. Experimental data are shown for spheres of 5% polyacrylamide gels and are analyzed using the present theory. The value of the diffusion coefficient obtained from the macroscopic swelling experiments shows excellent agreement with that obtained microscopically using laser light scattering spectroscopy.
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Research Article| July 28 2008
Kinetics of swelling of gels
J. Chem. Phys. 70, 1214–1218 (1979)
Toyoichi Tanaka, David J. Fillmore; Kinetics of swelling of gels. J. Chem. Phys. 1 February 1979; 70 (3): 1214–1218. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.437602
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