Professor: Alan Zehnder
Project Description: This will study the crack healing in a self-healing hydrogel. The gels consist of a dual network, one of which can re-bond and hence partially heal fractures that occur. The student will be involved in synthesizing samples of the material, performing crack closure rate experiments, and analyzing and presenting the data. The experimental setup is conceptually simple, consisting of sheets of hydrogel separated by a glass sphere. Gravity loading will draw the sheets together, allowing them to bond (or heal). The rate and extent of this healing will tell us the degree of healing and the energy of healing.
The REU student will work with a PhD student and will participate in semi-weekly group meetings to discuss results and plans for next steps of the research.