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Shearing of particles during crack growth in polymer blends

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Author: Pijnenburg, K.G.W. · Steenbrink, A.C. · Giessen, E.V.D.
Publisher: Elsevier Science Ltd
Place: Exeter, United Kingdom
Institution: TNO Wegtransportmiddelen
Source:Polymer, 21, 40, 5761-5771
Identifier: 235175
doi: doi:10.1016/S0032-3861(98)00780-0
Keywords: Materials · Cavitation · Hydrostatic tension · Plastic deformation · Cavitation · Crack propagation · Finite element method · Fracture · Mathematical models · Microstructure · Particles (particulate matter) · Plastic deformation · Rubber · Strain · Toughening · Hydrostatic tension · Polymer blends


Microstructural investigations below the fracture surface have revealed that the rubber particles in a number of polymer-rubber blends were deformed into remarkable S-like shapes. These shapes seem to have been largely ignored in previous microstructural studies of blends, but in fact cannot be explained from the known deformation states around a crack. We hypothesize in this paper that these shape changes develop as a consequence of macroscopic shearing of the blend as the crack front sweeps through the material. Large strain, finite element models for simple shearing of a blend are reported which demonstrate the evolution of round particles into S-shape ones for a range of material parameters, and thus support our hypothesis. The 'microscopic' localized deformation processes are identified, and the implications for the toughening mechanism in these blends is discussed.