Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Failure Behavior after Stepwise Uniaxial Extension of Entangled Polymer Melts

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This work studies how stepwise extension of various well-entangled polymer melts produce mechanical/structural breakdowns during stress relaxation. Depending on how stepwise extension is imposed on five different styrene-butadiene random copolymers, two different forms of specimen failure are observed. When a step extension is produced with a low Hencky rate or to a low strain below some thresholds, the sample breaks up rather sharply after an appreciable period of induction during which the stress relaxes quiescently. After step extension, the sample draws and undergoes unsustainable necking due to shear yielding, if the step extension is produced with a Hencky rate higher than the Rouse relaxation rate and the magnitude is beyond a Hencky strain of 1.5. Moreover, introduction of long-chain branching suppresses the elastic breakup, postponing it to Hencky strains beyond 2.5. The clearly identifiable characteristics of the elastic yielding may be understood in terms of some speculative interpretations. More convincing explanations have yet to come from future computer experiments that hopefully the present work is able to motivate.

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Journal of Rheology



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