On curing silicone elastomers with a plasticising solvent

27 Dec 2017  ·  Jain Utkarsh ·

There is a growing interest in producing materials with mechanical behaviours similar to those of internal organs. An artificial tissue may be expected to experience several types of compressive and shear deformation in the course of normal usage... Thus research into mechanical modelling of these types of materials which behave similar to biological tissues, or can be used in making implants, is of importance to understand their usability and performance when subjected to different types of stresses. Here we study the behaviour of plasticised silicone elastomers and comment on the feasibility for modelling the behaviour of tissues. We perform compression tests on samples made of a silicone elastomer which is diluted with (plasticiser) silicone oil in the cross-linking stage. We show that the modification of material broadly follows a simple law of mixtures. Further, we use samples with a specific periodic structure which has neatly separated behavioural regimes under compression where it first extends outwards and then undergoes internal buckling. In terms of material behaviour, this results in two neatly separated regimes where the deformation is averaged throughout the length in the first regime, and highly localised in the later regime. This allows us to disentangle the two types of deformations (simple compression and shear of the same material) and study how the recovery of the material upon re-crosslinking, if any, affects its elastic properties. read more

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Applied Physics Soft Condensed Matter