Birefringence Analysis of Inhomogeneous Swelling in Filled Elastomers
The inhomogeneous swelling of an elastomeric matrix containing isolated, spherical filler particles has been described in detail elsewhere . In this paper, the birefringence resulting from the spherically symmetric swelling field is considered in detail. Equations are derived that predict the retardation of polarized light that would be observed in a plane. Experimental results on cross-linked natural rubber containing bonded glass spheres and swollen in benzene and o-dichlorobenzene are given.
Observations on the interfacial retardation, decay of retardation with distance from the filler, effect of filler size, and the dependence on Flory-Huggins χ parameter are in quantitative agreement with the theory. Additional data on the effect of crosslink density indicate that cohesive failure of elastomer at low cross-linking and non-Gaussian network statistics and/or failure at high crosslinking must be taken into consideration.
KeywordsNatural Rubber Crosslink Density Rigid Inclusion Cohesive Failure Infinite Matrix
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