PhD defence

Dealing with stress Elasticity and fracture of soft network materials

PhD candidate Justin J (Justin) Tauber MSc
Promotor J (Jasper) van der Gucht
External copromotor dr S Dussi
Organisation Wageningen University, Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter

Fri 22 October 2021 16:00 to 17:30



When a soft material fails this can be impractical, think of a punctured bicycle tire, or right-out dangerous, think of a ruptured blood vessel. Therefore, there is significant interest in methods that can detect damage at an early stage and techniques that can increase the resistance of these soft materials to fracture. However, developing these approaches is challenging because for soft materials the start of the fracture process is not fully understood due to their irregular microscopic structure and stretchability. In this project we used computer simulations to unravel the relation between the structure of soft network materials, like collagen and rubber, and the way they break. Our simulations have provided new insight in how damage accumulates in soft materials, even before it becomes visible to our eyes, providing inspiration for the development of new techniques to detect or delay fracture in soft materials.