Reinforcement Mechanisms in Filled Elastomers

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Scott Smith, Polymer Engineering, University of Akron, Akron, OH and David Simmons, University of Akron, Akron, OH
Despite the abundance of filled elastomers in society, the mechanism by which fillers yield superior elastomer toughness is not well understood. As a result, achieving rational control of toughness and energy dissipation properties in functional materials such as passenger tires has been a major challenge. Here we describe coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of failure in filled elastomers spanning a range of filler properties. The resulting data provide new insights into the molecular origins of filler-induced toughening and the relationship between toughening and filler properties. These results provide guidance towards the rational design of high-toughness elastomers with targeted mechanical properties.