ME Seminar Series: Elasticity and Fracture of Soft Materials
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 11:30am to 1:00pm
Abstract: Many application areas for 'soft', polymeric materials require that their mechanical properties be appropriately tuned. Here we define soft materials as those with fracture stresses that exceed their elastic modulus. Standard fracture mechanics concepts are no longer applicable in this situation. As a result the materials design strategy for producing high toughness soft materials like artificial cartilage is fundamentally different than the design strategies for producing tough, rigid materials like metals and ceramics. The focus on this talk will be on the design strategies to design soft adhesive systems and gels with a very high mechanical toughness, and the ways that these design strategies are informed by experiments with well-characterized model systems.