Large amplitude oscillatory measurements as mechanical characterization methods for soft elastomers

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Mechanical characterization of soft elastomers is usually done either by traditional shear rheometry in the linear viscoelastic (LVE) regime (i.e. low strains) or by extensional rheology in the nonlinear regime. However, in many
commercially available rheometers for nonlinear extensions the measurements rely on certain assumptions such as a predefined shape alteration and are very hard to perform on soft elastomers in most cases. The LVE data provides
information on important parameters for DEAP purposes such as the Young’s modulus and the tendency to viscous dissipation (at low strains only) but provides no information on the strain hardening or softening effects at larger strains, and the mechanical breakdown strength. Therefore it is obvious that LVE can not be used as the single mechanical characterization tool in large strain applications. We show how the data set of LVE, and large amplitude oscillating
elongation (LAOE)1 and planar elongation2, 3 make the ideal set of experiments to evaluate the mechanical performance of DEAPs. We evaluate the mechanical performance of several soft elastomers applicable for DEAP purposes such as
poly(propyleneoxide) (PPO) networks3, 4 and traditional unfilled silicone (PDMS) networks5.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering
Pages (from-to)83401C
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices 2012 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 12 Mar 201215 Mar 2012


ConferenceElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices 2012
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Elastomers
  • Elasticity
  • Loss modulus
  • Storage modulus
  • Material functions
  • Mechanical breakdown

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