A model for the Mullins effect in multi-network elastomers

[+] Author and Article Information
Mattia Bacca

Mechanical Engineering Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z4, Canada

Costantino Creton

Laboratoire PPMD, ESPCI Paris Tech, 10 Rue Vauquelin, 75231 Paris, France

Robert M. McMeeking

Materials & Mechanical Engineering Departments, University of California, Santa Barbara CA 93106, USA; School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK; INM - Leibniz Institute for New Materials, Campus D2 2, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037881 History: Received July 24, 2017; Revised September 06, 2017


Double and triple network elastomers can be made by infusing monomers into a single network polymer, causing it to swell, and then polymerizing and cross-linking the monomers. The result is a double network elastomer in which one network is stretched and the other is in hydrostatic compression. Triple network systems are made by repeating the process starting with the double network material. The multi-network elastomers exhibit a Mullins effect in which softening occurs upon a first cycle of loading, with the elastomer stiffness recovered above the previous maximum strain. The Mullins effect is attributed to rupture of the stretched network, eliminating the constraint on the compressed network, thereby motivating straining at the lower stiffness of the remaining material. A model for this process is developed, based on previous work of Horgan, Ogden and Saccomandi (Proc. Roy. Soc. A, 460, 2004, 1737-1754). In the proposed model, a composite stiffness for the multi-network system is developed and a damage process introduced to degrade the contribution of the stretched network. The damage model is designed to account for the progressive elimination of chains that are most highly loaded in the stretched network, so that the undamaged stiffness is restored when the strain rises above levels previously experienced. The proposed model reproduces the behavior of the Mullins effect in the multi-network system.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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