Scaling of Network Segment Dimensions in Hyperelastic Composites
The change in elastomer tensile moduli, as formulated in the Gaussian statistical theory of rubber elasticity, with deformation, is considered both experimentally and theoretically. Gum elastomers of different structures and corresponding materials filled with carbon black, as reinforcing filler, are investigated experimentally. For all materials considered, the same scaling pattern with negative and low slope for small deformations, and positive and higher slope for large deformations is obtained, indicating two distinct mechanisms of elastic response. Most pronounced is the similarity of small deformation responses for filled materials. Considering the modulus as an elastic energy density gradient dependent on structure changes with deformation, and interpreting the changes for small deformations in terms of conformational energy change, the fractal dimension of a new type is formulated. It describes the decrease in elastomer network connectivity with deformations, which is discussed in terms of conformon dynamics. Possibilities of application of Faynman's path integral method and statistical method of random walk to the lattice are considered for the conformon, as well.
Dragan P. Uskokovic, Slobodan K. Milonjic, Djan I. Rakovic
M.B. Plavšić et al., "Scaling of Network Segment Dimensions in Hyperelastic Composites", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 494, pp. 463-468, 2005