Mechanical Characterisation of Bulk Sylgard 184 for Microfluidics and Microengineering.
Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomers are extensively used for soft lithographic replication of microstructures in microfluidic and micro engineering applications. Elastomeric microstructures are commonly required to fulfill an explicit mechanical role and accordingly their mechanical properties can critically affect device performance. The mechanical properties of elastomers are known to vary with both curing and operational temperatures. However, even for the elastomer most commonly employed in microfluidic applications, Sylgard 184, only a very limited range of data exists regarding the variation in mechanical properties of bulk PDMS with curing temperature. We report an investigation of the variation in the mechanical properties of bulk Sylgard 184 with curing temperature, over the range 25 °C to 200 °C. PDMS samples for tensile and compressive testing were fabricated according to ASTM standards. Data obtained indicates variation in mechanical properties due to curing temperature for Young’s Modulus of (1.32 2.97) MPa, Ultimate Tensile Strength of (3.51 7.65) MPa, Compressive Modulus of (117.8 186.9) MPa and Ultimate Compressive Strength of (28.4 51.7) GPa in a range up to 40 % strain and Hardness of (44 54) ShA.