Influence of Sepiolite on the Rheological Properties of PVA Composite Hydrogels

Document Type


Publication Date



Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) hydrogel has attracted significant attention in the field of biomedicine, sensors, and other related areas due to their exceptional biocompatibility and interfacial properties. However, conventional single-component hydrogels often face challenges associated with insufficient mechanical and rheological properties, lacking the structural strength required for practical applications. This study aims to investigate the impact of introducing sepiolite on the rheological behavior of PVA hydrogels. To this end, sepiolite/PVA composite hydrogels were fabricated using a chemical cross-linking technique. Subsequently, a comprehensive series of rheological experiments was conducted to assess their properties. Experimental results and model comparisons demonstrate that fractional order constitutive equations can accurately describe the rheological behavior of the hybrid hydrogels. With the increase of sepiolite content in the hydrogel, the critical strain does not change significantly, but both the storage modulus and loss modulus of the hydrogel gradually increase. When the sepiolite content reaches 10 wt %, the tensile strength of the composite hydrogel at the yield point jumps to 17.07 kPa, and the toughness increases to 549.69 kJ/m3. This significant improvement in toughness is accompanied by a fracture strain of approximately 4000 %. By adjusting the sepiolite content, different rheological properties can be achieved.

Publication Title