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Research Activities > Programs > Complex Fluids 2007

Origins of Mechanical and Rheological Properties of Polymer Nanocomposites

CSIC Building (#406), Seminar Room 4122.
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Origins of Mechanical and Rheological Properties of Polymer Nanocomposites


Professor Venkat Ganesan

University of Texas

Abstract:   Methods for studying the nonequilibrium aspects in polymer-nanoparticle mixtures are much less developed and have proceeded mainly by ignoring the presence and dynamics of the polymeric solvent. This approximation breaks down dramatically when the correlation lengths and the size of the solvent become comparable to the particle size or the interparticle distances. To address these issues, we have developed a new, coarse-grained explicit solvent approach, which faithfully accounts for the dynamical response of the solvent on the same footing as that of the particles. Our applications in this area have so-far focused on addressing the fundamental question, What are the mechanisms underlying the dynamics and mechanical properties of polymer-nanocomposites? Our recent works used the above simulation approach to study the mechanisms governing the mechanical behavior of composites of spherical nanofillers dispersed in polymer melt matrices. Our results provided new insights into the different origins of mechanical properties in the system. Specifically, a combination of (i) The particle-induced effects on the dynamics of polymer monomers; (ii) Particle jamming effects: and (iii) Modified nanoscale continuum mechanical effects, together was shown to be responsible for the overall mechanical behavior of the composite. This talk will present a summary of the developments and results.

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