Experimental Methods for Rubberlike Solids

  • Paul Buckley
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 452)


Rubberlike solids are typified by a highly elastic response to stress, combined with a low Young’s modulus typically of order 1 MPa. They are amorphous polymers, crosslinked (chemically or physically) and at temperatures above their glass transition. Filler particles are often present. In experimental studies, length scales and time scales are usually chosen to ensure the measured response is that of a homogeneously deforming continuum, and protocols recognize the possibility of stress-induced structural changes. To characterise the response in three dimensions, experiments are conducted with various strain-states. These can be achieved with a variety of experimental configurations, including purpose-built biaxial testing machines. Each experiment explores a path in principal stretch space. Since rubberlike solids show some deviation from ideal elasticity, it is also necessary to characterise the dependence of their response on the time-sequence of strain or stress. For small strains the response is then linear viscoelastic, giving creep, stress relaxation and hysteresis effects, related through the linear theory. At larger strains, and especially in the presence of reinforcing fillers, characteristic deviations from linearity are observed — the well-known Payne and Mullins effects, for which stress-induced structural breakdown is at least partially responsible. Experiments are also used to validate numerical models for prediction of non-uniform deformations. It is advantageous to employ simple geometries, preferably where there is a known analytical solution to provide a benchmark.


Constitutive Model Stress Relaxation Natural Rubber Strain Energy Function Nominal Strain 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Buckley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Engineering ScienceUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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