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Abstract : We consider the intermediate swelling of gels close to the gelation threshold. We treat both gels made of small polyfunctional units and vulcanized linear macromolecules. We first analyze carefully, within a Flory approximation, the structure of the gels in the reaction bath. We find that ideal branched blobs are present even in critical vulcanizates. For vulcanized gels, swelling includes two successive stages. In the classical case, these correspond to the disinterpenetration of the various networks that are present in the reaction bath, then to the gradual swelling of the ideal blobs. We discuss the conformation of the gel at all distance scales in the various concentration regimes.

keyword : gels

Author: A. Johner M. Daoud



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