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research-article

An experimental study on stretchy and tough PDMS/fabric composites

[+] Author and Article Information
Ruofei Chang

Department of Engineering Mechanics, Soft Matter Research Center, and Key Laboratory of Soft Machines and Smart Devices of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
crfei696893@163.com

Zhou Chen

Department of Engineering Mechanics, Soft Matter Research Center, and Key Laboratory of Soft Machines and Smart Devices of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
qq459268665@126.com

Cunjiang Yu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering Program, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
cyu15@uh.edu

Jizhou Song

Department of Engineering Mechanics, Soft Matter Research Center, and Key Laboratory of Soft Machines and Smart Devices of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
jzsong@zju.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041679 History: Received September 11, 2018; Revised October 07, 2018

Abstract

Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) has a good elasticity but with a pretty low fracture toughness, which limits its use in practical applications. This paper presents a simple and low-cost approach to manufacture a PDMS/fabric composite through incorporating the commercially available stretchy plain weft-knitted nylon fabric into the PDMS matrix. The fracture toughness of the composite is much higher than that of pure PDMS with an increase up to 700%. The toughening mechanism, which can be attributed to the deformation localization induced fiber stretch and damage propagation in the PDMS matrix, is fully investigated. During cyclic loadings, the composite may exhibit a linear elastic response or a significant hysteresis depending on the stretch level. These results provide physical insights on the deformation mechanism of a soft fabric-reinforced composite and may offer practical routes to realize robust crack-insensitive PDMS.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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