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Stress Heterogeneity Leading to Void Nucleation within Spherulites for Semi-Crystalline Polymers

Mines ParisTech, PSL University, Centre des Matériaux (CMAT), UMR CNRS 7633, BP 87, 91003 Evry Cedex, France
Crystals 2019, 9(6), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9060298
Received: 26 April 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
PDF [710 KB, uploaded 8 June 2019]

Abstract

Linking the microstructure to the mechanical properties is a key feature in the design and assessment of the durability of semi-crystalline polymers. This paper addresses the importance of a particular architecture inside spherulites. The use of the theoretical tools of continuum mechanics has been combined with experimental observations of the deformation of the microstructure. Microstructural heterogeneities at various scales induced critical regions in the spherulite where voiding has been reported. The local stress state has been investigated using a Finite Element code. A simple Hooke’s law was used for meshes accounting for the alternating crystalline and amorphous lamellae. This allowed a better understanding of the loci of void nucleation in the equatorial region, as well as in the “polar fans”, and were explained by using a criterion based on stress equi-triaxiality.
Keywords: semi-crystalline polymers; crystallization; spherulite; cavitation; finite element semi-crystalline polymers; crystallization; spherulite; cavitation; finite element
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 (CC BY 4.0).
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Laiarinandrasana, L. Stress Heterogeneity Leading to Void Nucleation within Spherulites for Semi-Crystalline Polymers. Crystals 2019, 9, 298.

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