Bending of gel beams: method for characterizing elastic properties and permeability

George W. Scherer

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120 Scopus citations


When a saturated gel is deformed, its mechanical response is profoundly influenced by the flow of liquid in its pores. For example, if a gel bar is suddenly deformed in 3-point bending, the liquid cannot immediately flow out of the pores, so the gel initially responds incompressibly; consequently, its deflection provides a measure of its shear modulus, Gp, rather than Young's modulus, Ep. In this paper, the kinetics of deformation of such a rod are analyzed, showing that it is possible to obtain the permeability, D, of the gel from the time-dependence of the load, as well as finding both Gp and Ep. Analyses are presented for the time dependence of the load at constant deflection for a square and cylindrical beam, and for load at constant deflection rate for a square beam. The method is applied to determine Gp, Ep, and D for a silica gel made from tetraethoxysilane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-35
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Non-Crystalline Solids
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


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