Numerical simulation of flat-tip micro-indentation of glassy polymers: influence of loading speed and thermodynamic state

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Abstract

Flat-tip micro-indentation tests were performed on quenched and annealed polymer glasses at various loading speeds. The results were analyzed using an elasto-viscoplastic constitutive model that captures the intrinsic deformation characteristics of a polymer glass: a strain-rate dependent yield stress, strain softening and strain hardening. The advantage of this model is that changes in yield stress due to physical aging are captured in a single parameter. The two materials studied (polycarbonate (PC) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)) were both selected for the specific rate-dependence of the yield stress that they display at room temperature. Within the range of strain rates experimentally covered, the yield stress of PC increases linearly with the logarithm of strain rate, whereas, for PMMA, a characteristic change in slope can be observed at higher strain rates. We demonstrate that, given the proper definition of the viscosity function, the flat-tip indentation response at different indentation speeds can be described accurately for both materials. Moreover, it is shown that the model captures the mechanical response on the microscopic scale (indentation) as well as on the macroscopic scale with the same parameter set. This offers promising possibilities of extracting mechanical properties of polymer glasses directly from indentation experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-696
JournalPhilosophical Magazine
Volume89
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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