Novel architecture for anomalous strengthening of a particulate filled polymer matrix composite

Siva Kumar Reddy, Devi Lal, Abha Misra, Praveen Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We propose an architecture for dramatically enhancing the stress bearing and energy absorption capacities of a polymer based composite. Different weight fractions of iron oxide nano-particles (NPs) are mixed in a poly(dimethylesiloxane) (PDMS) matrix either uniformly or into several vertically aligned cylindrical pillars. These composites are compressed up to a strain of 60% at a strain rate of 0.01 s-1 following which they are fully unloaded at the same rate. Load bearing and energy absorption capacities of the composite with uniform distribution of NPs increase by ∼50% upon addition of 5 wt% of NPs; however, these properties monotonically decrease with further addition of NPs so much so that the load bearing capacity of the composite becomes 1/6th of PDMS upon addition of 20 wt% of NPs. On the contrary, stress at a strain of 60% and energy absorption capacity of the composites with pillar configuration monotonically increase with the weight fraction of NPs in the pillars wherein the load bearing capacity becomes 1.5 times of PDMS when the pillars consisted of 20 wt% of NPs. In situ mechanical testing of composites with pillars reveals outward bending of the pillars wherein the pillars and the PDMS in between two pillars, located along a radius, are significantly compressed. Reasoning based on effects of compressive hydrostatic stress and shape of fillers is developed to explain the observed anomalous strengthening of the composite with pillar architecture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62477-62485
Number of pages9
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number77
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Novel architecture for anomalous strengthening of a particulate filled polymer matrix composite'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this