Multilayered polymer films with biomimicking, layered structures have unique microstructures and many potential applications. However, a major limitation of polymer films is the deterioration of mechanical properties in working environments. To facilitate the design and development of multilayered polymer films, the impact of thermal aging on the mechanical behavior of micro- and nano-layered polymer films has been investigated experimentally. The composition of the polymer films that have been studied is 50 vol% polycarbonate (PC) and 50 vol% poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA). The current study focuses on the effect of film and layer thickness and temperature on the mechanical properties of the materials subjected to thermal aging. To study the effect of film and layer thickness, films with the same thickness, but various layer thicknesses, and films with the same layer thickness, but various film thicknesses, were thermally aged at 100 °C in a constant temperature oven for up to six weeks. The results show that as the layer thickness decreases to 31 nm, the film has a higher stiffness and strength, and the trend of the mechanical properties is relatively stable over aging. The ductility of all of the films decreases with aging time. To study the effect of temperature, the films with 4,096 layers (31 nm thick for each layer) were aged at 100 °C, 115 °C and 125 °C for up to four weeks. While the 100 °C aging results in a slight increase of the stiffness and strength of the films, the higher aging temperature caused a decrease of the stiffness and strength of the films. The ductility decreases with the aging time for all of the temperatures. The films become more brittle for higher aging temperatures.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited