Filler flocculation in polymers – a simplified model derived from thermodynamics and game theory
The performance of elastomeric materials, i.e. in car tires, is substantially determined by the used reinforcing filler system. In particular, the flocculation tendency of filler particles to form clusters and even network-like structures significantly determines the mechanical properties of these elastomer materials and enhances especially their energy dissipation under periodic mechanical deformations. In a simplified thermodynamic model, inspired by a segregation model from game theory, we describe fundamental mechanisms of filler structure formation. As the final goal of this paper we want to demonstrate how similar structures in society, nature or materials like rubbers emerge when supposing obvious cardinal mechanisms of structure formation in complex systems.