Micromechanical based model for predicting aged rubber fracture properties
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
Environmental aging induces a slow and irreversible alteration of the rubber material’s macromolecular network. This alteration is triggered by two mechanisms which act at the microscale: crosslinking and chain scission. While crosslinking induces an early hardening of the material, chain scission leads to the occurrence of dangling chains responsible of the damage at the macromolecular scale. Consequently, the mechanical behavior as well as the fracture properties are affected. In this work, the effect of aging on the mechanical behavior up to fracture of elastomeric materials and the evolution of their fracture properties are first experimentally investigated. Further, a modeling attempt using an approach based upon a micro-mechanical but physical description of the aging mechanisms is proposed to predict the mechanical and fracture properties evolution of aged elastomeric materials. The proposed micro-mechanical model incorporates the concepts of residual stretch associated with the crosslinking mechanism and a so-called “healthy” elastic active chain (EAC) density associated with chain scission mechanism. The validity of the proposed approach is assessed using a wide set of experimental data either generated by the authors or available in the literature.
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