Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Materials Science and Engineering (M.S.M.S.E)


Chemical Engineering

Degree Granting Department

Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

Major Professor

Alex. A. Volinsky, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nathan Gallant, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Manoj K. Ram, Ph.D.


Elastic Modulus, Mechanical Properties, Soft Material, Viscoelasticty, Zener Model


Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) mechanical properties were measured using custom-built compression test device. PDMS elastic modulus can be varied with the elastomer base to the curing agent ratio, i.e. by changing the cross-linking density. PDMS samples with different crosslink density in terms of their elastic modulus were measured. In this project the PDMS samples with the base/curing agent ratio ranging from 5:1 to 20:1 were tested. The elastic modulus varied with the amount of the crosslinker, and ranged from 0.8 MPa to 4.44 MPa. The compression device was modified by adding digital displacement gauges to measure the lateral strain of the sample, which allowed obtaining the true stress-strain data. Since the unloading behavior was different than the loading behavior of the viscoelastic PDMS, it was utilized to asses viscoelastic properties of the polymer. The thesis describes a simple method for measuring mechanical properties of soft polymeric materials.