Interfacial tension and a three-phase generalized self-consistent theory of non-dilute soft composite solids
2016 (English)In: Soft Matter, ISSN 1744-683X, E-ISSN 1744-6848, Vol. 12, no 10, 2744-2750 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
In the dilute limit Eshelby's inclusion theory captures the behavior of a wide range of systems and properties. However, because Eshelby's approach neglects interfacial stress, it breaks down in soft materials as the inclusion size approaches the elastocapillarity length L equivalent to gamma/E. Here, we use a three-phase generalized self-consistent method to calculate the elastic moduli of composites comprised of an isotropic, linear-elastic compliant solid hosting a spatially random monodisperse distribution of spherical liquid droplets. As opposed to similar approaches, we explicitly capture the liquid-solid interfacial stress when it is treated as an isotropic, strain-independent surface tension. Within this framework, the composite stiffness depends solely on the ratio of the elastocapillarity length L to the inclusion radius R. Independent of inclusion volume fraction, we find that the composite is stiffened by the inclusions whenever R < 3L/2. Over the same range of parameters, we compare our results with alternative approaches (dilute and Mori-Tanaka theories that include surface tension). Our framework can be easily extended to calculate the composite properties of more general soft materials where surface tension plays a role.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The Royal Society of Chemistry , 2016. Vol. 12, no 10, 2744-2750 p.
Composite Science and Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-184564DOI: 10.1039/c5sm03029cISI: 000371743400011PubMedID: 26854096ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84960158819OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-184564DiVA: diva2:916920
FunderSwedish Research Council, 638-2013-9243
QC 201604052016-04-052016-04-012016-04-05Bibliographically approved