Micromechanical model for isolated polymer-colloid clusters under tension

TitleMicromechanical model for isolated polymer-colloid clusters under tension
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsDargazany, R, Lin, J, Khalili, L, Itskov, M, Chen, H, Alexander-Katz, A
JournalPhysical Review E
Date Published2016/10/10/
ISBN Number2470-0045
Keywordscarbon-black networking, deformation, elastic properties, element-method, filled elastomers, nonlinear behavior, scaling behavior, shear-flow, strain, volume-fraction

Binary polymer-colloid (PC) composites form the majority of biological load-bearing materials. Due to the abundance of the polymer and particles, and their simple aggregation process, PC clusters are used broadly by nature to create biomaterials with a variety of functions. However, our understanding of the mechanical features of the clusters and their load transfer mechanism is limited. Our main focus in this paper is the elastic behavior of close-packed PC clusters formed in the presence of polymer linkers. Therefore, a micromechanical model is proposed to predict the constitutive behavior of isolated polymer-colloid clusters under tension. The mechanical response of a cluster is considered to be governed by a backbone chain, which is the stress path that transfers most of the applied load. The developed model can reproduce the mean behavior of the clusters and is not dependent on their local geometry. The model utilizes four geometrical parameters for defining six shape descriptor functions which can affect the geometrical change of the clusters in the course of deformation. The predictions of the model are benchmarked against an extensive set of simulations by coarse-grained-Brownian dynamics, where clusters with different shapes and sizes were considered. The model exhibits good agreement with these simulations, which, besides its relative simplicity, makes the model an excellent add-on module for implementation into multiscale models of nanocomposites.

Short TitlePhys. Rev. E