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Nonsteady crack propagation and craze behavior in PMMA


Pulos, Guillermo C. (1993) Nonsteady crack propagation and craze behavior in PMMA. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/4kqe-ec90.


This work is devoted to the study of nonsteady crack propagation under cyclic loading in polymers, specifically PMMA. The first part deals with the delineation of a precision loading facility allowing ultra-precise load or displacement control commensurate with the high resolution measurements of crack tip material response. A method of determining the advance of crack tip through combined microscope and computer-analyzed observation is presented. In particular, the experimental set up and software development is described by which these measurements are achieved. It is shown that automated crack tip location is possible with a precision of one to two microns, which is amply sufficient for present purposes to make definitive statements about the smoothness or discontinuity of crack propagation. The craze and crack opening displacements are measured near the free surface of the specimen both under quasi-static step loading and cyclic loading. Eleven craze opening profiles for equal load increments are acquired during a single cycle under fatigue loading. A multi-linear craze stress model is used to match the opening displacements to the measurements. While the primordial thickness can be defined from the Lorentz-Lorenz equation and from the assumption of a constant index of refraction for the quasi-static loading, the effect of load history may prevent such determinations for cyclic loading. The damage accumulated through cyclic deformation reduces the strength of the fibrils in the middle of the craze and produces a drop in the middle of the stress distribution. The craze and crack opening displacement are monitored in connection with a jump-like crack/craze advance constituting 50% of the craze length. The newly-drawn craze fibrils after the jump show mechanical behavior that is different from their behavior before the jump and exhibit no deterioration in their stress-displacement relation.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Knauss, Wolfgang Gustav
Thesis Committee:
  • Knauss, Wolfgang Gustav (chair)
  • Rosakis, Ares J.
  • Ravichandran, Guruswami
Defense Date:1 June 1993
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-08312007-104217
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3305
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:04 Sep 2007
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 23:27

Thesis Files

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