Journal Papers Published by the Rubber Research Group
"The Physical Behaviour of Elastomers Containing Hollow Spherical Fillers"
Journal: Constitutive Models for Rubber V edited by A. Boukamel, L. Laiarinandrasana, S. Meo & E. Verron (2008) pp. 107-112
Elastomer materials frequently incorporate fillers. The mechanical behaviour is fairly well understood for elastomers filled with rigid particles, where the stiffness increases as the amount of filler material is increased, or for elastomer foams with either closed or open cells that become softer as the volume of the voids is increased. This research explores the relatively unknown mechanical behaviour of a third type, a novel elastomer where hollow plastic microspheres are used as a filler material. For this analysis a foam is produced by adding hollow plastic microspheres of about 40μm in diameter to the elastomer. The mechanical behaviour of the filled elastomer material is compared to a model of the microsphere in an elastomer matrix using FEA. A physical model was also used where a table tennis ball was embedded in a transparent elastomer material to observe the bending, buckling and de-wetting under strain. There is an observed increase in the stiffness of the filled material at small strains and a reduction in the stiffness at large strains. Micro-structural finite element analysis models of the embedded microspheres in the elastomer show that the interfacial adhesion is a key parameter in determining the exact mechanical response. This work therefore indicates that the physical behaviour of the filled material is strongly determined by the polymer filler interaction.
Related site: http://www.materials.qmul.ac.uk/rubber