Europhys. Lett.
Volume 75, Number 4, August 2006
Page(s) 590 - 596
Section Condensed matter: structural, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 19 July 2006
Europhys. Lett., 75 (4), pp. 590-596 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2006-10161-2

Fluctuations and critical phenomena of a filled elastomer under deformation

Xr. Wang and M. Rackaitis

Applied Physics Research Group, Bridgestone Americas, Center for Research & Technology - 1200 Firestone Parkway, Akron, OH 44317-0001, USA

received 5 April 2006; accepted in final form 4 July 2006
published online 19 July 2006

Fluctuations and critical phenomena have drawn much attention for many years. But, no report anticipates that an elastomer containing fillers under gentle deformations will show similar effects. In this letter, we discover for the first time that a filled rubber system under about 2% strain may display feature fluctuations that could be associated with a transition of the filler from an elastic solid state to a dispersed fluid state and that is reminiscent of critical phenomena. In addition, we show that the fluctuation of macroscopic parameters can be related to the microscopic fluctuation of filler structures in the rubber compound and in principle it can act as a probe of what is happening physically at the microscopic scale.

64.70.Dv - Solid-liquid transitions.
83.80.Hj - Suspensions, dispersions, pastes, slurries, colloids.
81.05.Qk - Reinforced polymers and polymer-based composites.

© EDP Sciences 2006