Interfacial properties of carbon-rubber interfaces investigated via indentation pull-out tests and the JKR theory

Zhe Li*, Hualong Yu, Bing Jiang, Mike Poldneff, Craig Burkhart, Wing K. Liu, Q. Jane Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Properties of the interface between the filler and the matrix of a composite material draw research attention due to their contributions to the overall properties of the material, especially when the filler and the matrix differ significantly from each other. The work reported in this paper investigates the interface between amorphous carbon and a cross-linked synthetic natural rubber. The interface was experimentally simulated with the surfaces of a sputtering-coated carbon on a spherical Al2O3 tip and a flat synthetic natural rubber sample. Step-loading and pull-out tests with a micro-/nano-indentation instrument were conducted. Fully relaxation of the samples occurred during both test procedures. The penetration depth, applied load, and experimental time were recorded during each test. The Johnson-Kendall-Roberts theory was used to analyze the data at the initial point (step-loading) and the final surface separation point (pull-out) to obtain the initial equivalent modulus, infinite equivalent modulus, work of adhesion, and the average normal interfacial strength at separation. It is found that the pull-out force and the work of adhesion depend on the unloading rate, but the infinite equivalent modulus and the average interfacial strength in the normal direction of the carbon-rubber interfaces are independent of the unloading rate in current experimental domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalTribology Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Amorphous carbon
  • Indentation pull-out
  • Interface
  • Synthetic natural rubber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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