Hao Huang, Chee-Ryong Joe, Dong-Uk Kim, Jehyun Lee, Heekyu Choi
September 4, 2012
A specific fiber-reinforced elastomer (FRE) composite was formed by inserting curved fibers into a rubber matrix. This material combined the hyperelastic behavior of a soft elastomer matrix with the high stiffness character of a fibrous reinforcement. A biphasic loading property could be realized physically. Based on the guided concept, experiments were performed on the specimens of pure and fiber-reinforced silicone rubber, respectively. Test results showed that this FRE composite first experienced an elastomer-dominant phase with a large recoverable deformation and then a fiber-dominant phase with rapid increasing loading. This biphasic behavior of the developed FRE composite was also identified by the constitutive equations based on the nonlinear solid mechanics. It was further discovered that the division of the two phases could be varied with the change of curved fiber length.