Optimal percolation of disordered segregated composites
We evaluate the percolation threshold values for a realistic model of continuum segregated systems, where random spherical inclusions forbid the percolating objects, modellized by hard-core spherical particles surrounded by penetrable shells, to occupy large regions inside the composite. We find that the percolation threshold is generally a non-monotonous function of segregation, and that an optimal (i. e., minimum) critical concentration exists well before maximum segregation is reached. We interpret this feature as originating from a competition between reduced available volume effects and enhanced concentrations needed to ensure percolation in the highly segregated regime. The relevance with existing segregated materials is discussed.