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A model treating tensile deformation of semi-crystalline polymers: Quasi-static stress-strain relationship and viscous stress determined for a sample of polyethylene

K. Hong, A. Rastogi and G. Strobl. Macromolecules 37, 10165 (2004)

Abstract

Tensile deformation of semi-crystalline polymers follows a common scheme with changes in the mechanism at critical strains. Choosing a poly(ethylene-co-12%vinylacetate) (PEVA12) as an example we measured true stress-strain relationships at constant strain rates, determined the elastic and plastic part of imposed strain in step-cycle experiments, and followed the stress-relaxation at fixed strains. Based on the general observations a model was constructed and then used for a description of the properties of PEVA12. The model treats the stress as arising from three contributions, quasi-static stresses originating from the stretched network of entangled chains in the fluid regions and from the force-transmitting skeleton of crystallites, plus the viscous forces described by Eyring's equation. Adjustment of the measured data to the model provides a decomposition of the stress in the three parts. With increasing strain the dominance shifts from the crystal- to the network-transmitted stress, while the viscous forces increase continuously. Stress relaxation can be treated by an analytical solution of a differential equation which reproduces the results of the measurements.

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