Are polymers suitable rock analogs?

Saskia M. Ten Grotenhuis, Sandra Piazolo, T. Pakula, Cees W. Passchier, Paul D. Bons

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    52 Citations (Scopus)


    To evaluate if a polymer is suitable for analog modeling, it is essential to know the rheological properties of the material. Polymers used in analog modeling exhibit a complex rheological behavior; only part of which has been taken into account in most modeling studies. The mechanical behavior is strongly dependent on strain rate and temperature, and is characterized by specific dependencies of the storage and loss moduli, related to the elasticity and viscosity, on the deformation rate (frequency). We have measured the storage and loss moduli at a broad range of strain rates and strains, using an oscillatory parallel-disk rheometer. Investigated materials are polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), mixtures of PDMS and BaSO4 (filler), Rhodorsil Gomme and mixtures of Rhodorsil Gomme and plastilina, all commonly used in analog experiments. Our measurements show that the rheological properties of mixtures of plastilina and Rhodorsil Gomme depend on its deformation history. Therefore, these mixtures are problematic for analog modeling. For mixtures of PDMS and BaSO4, the significance of the elastic component increases with increasing filler content, and accordingly, these mixtures have a limited application for modeling of viscous deformation. Pure PDMS and Rhodorsil Gomme exhibit Newtonian flow behavior at strain rates commonly used in analog modeling.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35-47
    Number of pages13
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • Analog modeling
    • Deformation
    • Polymers
    • Rheology


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