Elastomers are one of the most important materials in modern society because of the inherent viscoelastic properties due to their cross-linked polymer chains. Their vibration-absorbing and adhesive properties are especially useful and thus utilized in various applications, for example, tires in automobiles and bicycles, seismic dampers in buildings, and seals in a space shuttle. Thus, the nondestructive inspection of their internal states such as the internal deformation is essential in safety. Generally, industrial elastomers include various kinds of additives, such as carbon blacks for reinforcing them. The additives make most of them opaque in a wide spectral range from visible to mid-infrared, resulting in that the nondestructive inspection of the internal deformation is quite difficult. Here, we demonstrate transmission terahertz polarization spectroscopy as a powerful technique for investigating the internal optical anisotropy in optically opaque elastomers with conductive additives, which are transparent only in the terahertz frequency region. The internal deformation can be probed through the polarization changes inside the material due to the anisotropic dielectric response of the conductive additives. Our study about the polarization-dependent terahertz response of elastomers with conductive additives provides novel knowledge for in situ, nondestructive evaluation of their internal deformation.
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