Elastomeric sealants are nonlinear viscoelastic materials that exhibit the Mullins effect. As a result, the behavior of a sealant depends on the previous history of strains the sample has seen. To deal with this issue, characterization tests like ASTM C1735, Standard Test Method for Measuring the Time Dependent Modulus of Sealants Using Stress Relaxation, subject the specimen to a specific strain history before measuring properties. To gain a better understanding of this history effect, this article studied a model sealant where the nonlinear viscoelastic properties were measured after a variety of strain histories ranging from no exposure to strain before the test to the history specified in ASTM C1735. The results provide insight into how strain history affects properties, supports information for the ASTM characterization test, and adds knowledge on the nature of the Mullins effect.
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