The nonlinear elastic response of bicontinuous rubber blends

Fabio Sozio, François Lallet, Antoine Perriot, Oscar Lopez-Pamies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rubber blends are ubiquitous in countless technological applications. More often than not, rubber blends exhibit complex interpenetrating microstructures, which are thought to have a significant impact on their resulting macroscopic mechanical properties. As a first step to understand this potential impact, this paper presents a bottom-up or homogenization study of the nonlinear elastic response of the prominent class of bicontinuous rubber blends, that is, blends made of two immiscible constituents or phases segregated into an interpenetrating network of two separate but fully continuous domains that are perfectly bonded to one another. The focus is on blends that are isotropic and that contain an equal volume fraction (50/50) of each phase. The microstructures of these blends are idealized as microstructures generated by level cuts of Gaussian random fields that are suitably constrained to be periodic so as to allow for the construction of unit cells over which periodic homogenization can be carried out. The homogenized or macroscopic elastic response of such blends are determined both numerically via finite elements and analytically via a nonlinear comparison medium method. The numerical approach makes use of a novel meshing scheme that leads to conforming and periodic simplicial meshes starting from a voxelized representation of the microstructures. Results are presented for the fundamental case when both rubber phases are Neo-Hookean, as well as when they exhibit non-Gaussian elasticity. Remarkably, irrespective of the elastic behavior of the phases, the results show that the homogenized response of the blends is largely insensitive to the specific morphologies of the phases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112660
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
StatePublished - Mar 15 2024


  • Elastomers
  • Finite deformation
  • Homogenization
  • Immiscible blends
  • Rubber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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