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Relaxation of entangled polymers at the classical gel point

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Publication details

JournalJournal de physique Paris
DatePublished - 1 Jan 1990
Issue number8
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)757-775
Original languageEnglish


We examine the relaxation behaviour of an entangled cross-linked polymer gel as it approaches the gel point in mean field (Flory-Stockmayer) percolation. The calculation is based on a tube model for the topological interactions in which stress is lost via hierarchical fluctuation of the primitive paths between cross-links. The decay time of a segment is calculated via a recursion relation which has an analytic solution near the gel point. The startling conclusion is that all clusters relax in a finite time T For timescales much shorter than T this may resemble a weak power law. The unphysically rapid relaxation of the largest clusters is prevented by a transition to percolation statistics at long length scales. The timescale separating the two regimes is close to T.

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