Soft gels are materials at the core of material technological innovation, andas such, they are constantly evolving to meet different requirements in termsof performance, reliability, durability, and environmental impact. Despite manyprogresses made in the case of polymer gels, a consistent theoretical frameworkfor the relationship between the microscopic structure and the mechanicalproperties of a wide range of materials ranging from colloidal gels to proteinand biopolymer gels is still lacking. A multitude of different phenomena areobserved – aging, strain stiffening, creep, banding, and fracture – that are difficult to control and properly tune to design the material properties. Here wediscuss how numerical simulations of suitably designed microscopic models canhelp develop novel insight into the microscopic mechanisms that underlie thecomplex dynamics of these versatile materials. We provide an overview of thecomputational approach we have recently developed and of the main outcomesobtained. Finally we discuss outstanding questions and future developments.
|Name||Handbook of Materials Modeling|
|Publisher||Springer International Publishing AG|