Effective properties and size effects in filled polymers
Journal article, 2008
Filled polymers are of special interest according to their superior mechanical properties. Special attention is given to nano-filled polymers where not only the volume fraction but also the internal surface has a significant contribution to the effective properties. In the present contribution the increase in stiffness with decreasing size of the fillers at constant volume fraction of the fillers is modelled by a phenomenological, i.e. continuum-based, approach taking into account large deformations. The proposed multiphase model allows for a systematic investigation of increasing surface-to-volume ratio which becomes important for micro- and nanosized fillers. The numerical treatment of the proposed model is based on a coupled Galerkin finite element formulation.