The Academy of Sciences awarded SIMM research

The Academy of Sciences has awarded the Michelin Foundation Grand Prix to a member of the laboratory, François LEQUEUX, who with Hélène Montes has devoted more than 20 years of research to the physical properties of reinforced elastomers. Together with their doctoral students and collaborators, they have shown that the mechanics of reinforced elastomers (elastomer matrix containing nano-particles of silica or carbon black) can be modelled in a simple and quasi-quantitative way. The physical image is as follows: polymer chains have a very slowed-down dynamic in the vicinity of the surface of solid particles. When two solid particles are a few nanometres apart, a vitreous bridge appears between the two particles. On a larger scale, the system is therefore a three-dimensional network of solid particles connected by vitreous bridges. It is the thermo-mechanical properties of these vitreous bridges that make it possible to describe the mechanical response of reinforced elastomers. For example, they have made it possible to quantitatively predict the effects of pressure on the mechanics of these systems. Some of this work was carried out in partnership with the companies Solvay and Hutchinson.

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Sciences et Ingénierie de la Matière Molle

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