Reinforcement in Filled Natural Rubber Elastomers

  Tire Click to enlarge
The objective of this research activity is to realize breakthroughs in the understanding and control of  the properties of nano-structured elastomers, from linear up to ultimate properties. To meet this objective, we developed both experimental and theoretical approaches. We demonstrated that breakthroughs on this issue requires design of new filler surface treatments and/or interfacial agents with tuned filler/matrix interactions in order to control both dissipative properties and resistance to large amplitude deformations, or to fatigue and wear. To develop our activity in this topic, we capitalized on the understanding of reinforcement mechanisms which we have developed over the past few years. 

On the applicative side, this comprehensive understanding of the filler elastomer interactions will surely lead to innovative trade-off for rubber formulations in order to decrease the dissipation in tire, while the vehicle is running, keeping good other properties like adhesion, abrasion resistance etc.

This scientific activity has been developed over the past 5 years thanks to the financing of different ANR project (Dynafil and Taylrub) and FP7 programs (Compnanocomp and Lorry) that fostered our academic and industrial networks:

  • K. SAALWAECHTER (Univ. of Halle, Germany): Development of NMR techniques for the 
  • N. CLARKE (Univ. Of Shefield, UK): Development of a theoretical model on the dynamics of 
  • M. HUTTER (TUE, Eindhoven) : through the Compnanocomp project, development of an up-scaling technique to describe the constitutive laws of filled rubbers
  • P.-A. ALBOUY (LPS, Orsay): Collaboration on the use of X-ray techniques to characterize 
  • J.-L. LOUBET (LTDS, Ecole Centrale Lyon): Work on wear and fatigue in rubbers (2 shared PhD 
  • F. LEQUEUX (ESPCI, Paris): long lasting collaboration on filled elastomers. 2 shared ANR 

These collaborations, among others, positioned our lab as a leading entity in the worldwide community of physics of filled elastomers.

Recent Results

  • Tear rotation in reinforced Natural Rubber: Effect of tear rotation on ultimate strength in reinforced natural rubber, B. Gabrielle, L. Guy, L. Vanel, P.-A. Albouy, D. Long, P. Sotta, Macromolecules, 2011, 44, 7006-7015.
  • Breakdown of entropic elasticity in reinforced elastomers: Reinforcement in Natural Rubber Elastomer Nanocomposites: Breakdown of Entropic Elasticity, R. Pérez Aparicio, A. Vieyres, P.-A. Albouy, O. Sanséau, L. Vanel, D. R. Long, P. Sotta, Macromolecules 2013, 46, 8964-8972. 
  • Nonentropic Reinforcement in Elastomer Nanocomposites, P. Sotta, P.-A. Albouy, M. Abou Taha, D. R. Long, P. Grau, C. Fayolle, A. Papon, Macromolecules 2017, 50, 6314-6322

We combine:
  • Mechanical measurements (global response)
  • Xray diffraction with in situ stretching (selective response of the elastomer matrix)
  • Quantitative measurements of crosslink densities with NMR


Contacts: Didier Long, Paul Sotta