, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 132-141

A frictional molecular model for the viscoelasticity of entangled polymer nanocomposites

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Abstract

The dynamics of polymer melts and concentrated solutions reinforced with nanoscale rigid spherical particles is analyzed. Nanocomposites with low filler volume fraction and strong polymer-filler interactions are considered. Entanglement effects are represented by requiring the diffusion in the chain contour direction to be more pronounced than in the direction transverse to the chain primitive path. Filler particles are treated as material points. They reduce the polymer mobility in both longitudinal and transverse tube directions due to short-range energetic filler-polymer interactions. Hence, the contribution to chain dynamics and stress production of both filler-polymer and polymer-polymer interactions is considered to be purely frictional in nature. In the model, the strain rate sensitivity is associated with the thermal motion of chains, with the convective relaxation of entanglement constrains and with the polymer-filler attachment/detachment process. The effect of model parameters is discussed and the predictions are compared with experimental data.