Micromechanics of Soft Particle Glasses

RT Bonnecaze and M Cloitre, HIGH SOLID DISPERSIONS, 236, 117-161 (2010).

DOI: 10.1007/12_2010_90

Soft glasses encompass a broad class of materials at the boundaries between polymers, granular dispersions, and colloidal glasses. Although they display a huge diversity of compositions and architectures, soft glasses share a common structure as well as generic static and flow properties. In this chapter, we show that the dense amorphous microstructure of soft glasses, combined with the existence of repulsive elastohydrodynamic interactions mediated by the solvent, lie at the heart of their behavior. These two basic ingredients are incorporated into a micromechanical model and a dynamic molecular-like simulation. Our theory successfully predicts near-equilibrium quantities such as the pair distribution function and shear moduli, the slip properties that are observed when soft glasses are sheared along solid surfaces, as well as the bulk shear rheology. These results, which connect properties at the particle scale to macroscopic behavior, provide predictive tools for the design of materials with a desired rheological response.

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