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A comprehensive thermo-viscoelastic experimental investigation of Ecoflex polymer

Abstract : Silicone polymers have enormous applications, especially in the areas of biomedical engineering. Ecoflex, a commercially available room temperature cured silicone polymer, has attracted considerable attention due to its wide range of applications as medical-grade silicones and as matrix materials in producing nano-filled stretchable sensors and dielectric elastomers for soft robotics. In this contribution, we have conducted a wide range of experiments under thermo-mechanical loadings. These experiments consist of loading-unloading cyclic tests, single-step relaxation tests, Mullins effects tests at different strain rates and stretches, stress recovery tests at different rest time etc. In order to assess the temperature influences on Ecoflex, a number of viscoelastic tests are performed in a thermal chamber with temperature ranging from-40 • C to 140 • C. Extensive experimental findings illustrate that Ecoflex experiences a significant stress softening in the first cycles and such a softening recovers gradually with respect to time. It also shows a significant amount of cyclic dissipation at various stretch levels as well as a considerable stress relaxation only for virgin samples. Cyclic dissipations and stress relaxation almost disappear for the case of pre-stretched samples. Furthermore, the material is more or less sensitive under a wide range of temperature differences.
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Zisheng Liao, Mokarram Hossain, Xiaohu Yao, Rukshan Navaratne, Grégory Chagnon. A comprehensive thermo-viscoelastic experimental investigation of Ecoflex polymer. Polymer Testing, Elsevier, 2020, 86, pp.106478. ⟨10.1016/j.polymertesting.2020.106478⟩. ⟨hal-02537812⟩

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