An experimental study on stretchy and tough PDMS/fabric composites

Ruofei Chang, Zhou Chen, Cunjiang Yu, Jizhou Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) has a good elasticity but with a pretty low fracture toughness, which limits its use in practical applications. This paper presents a simple and low-cost approach to manufacture a PDMS/fabric composite through incorporating the commercially available stretchy plain weft-knitted nylon fabric into the PDMS matrix. The fracture toughness of the composite is much higher than that of pure PDMS with an increase up to 700%. The toughening mechanism, which can be attributed to the deformation localization induced fiber stretch and damage propagation in the PDMS matrix, is fully investigated. During cyclic loadings, the composite may exhibit a linear elastic response or a significant hysteresis depending on the stretch level. These results provide physical insights into the deformation mechanism of a soft fabric-reinforced composite and may offer practical routes to realize robust crack-insensitive PDMS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011012
JournalJournal of Applied Mechanics, Transactions ASME
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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