A Caltech Library Service

Hydrostatic tensile fracture of a polyurethane elastomer


Lindsey, Gerald H. (1966) Hydrostatic tensile fracture of a polyurethane elastomer. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/K12J-X907.


The investigation of fracture of polymeric materials in hydrostatic tensile fields constitutes an avenue of approach to the study of fracture in more general three-dimensional environments. The advantages created by the symmetry of the stress field are considerable and, in one of the cases studied, facilitates a theoretical treatment that includes large deformations, which are characteristic of this class of materials.

The analysis is developed through the concept of fracture originating from a flaw, which in this instance is taken to be a spherical cavity. Through the application of energy principles, a theoretical prediction of ultimate strength is made for hydrostatic tensile fields.

Experiments were conducted to demonstrate the existence of such flaws and to evaluate the theory. Results of the tests on specimens containing both residual flaws and artificially inserted ones indicate a fundamental difference in behavior as contrasted with cracks.

An explanation is given linking experimental results and theoretical predictions. It is based on the concept that a flaw "grows" in the material under load using the cavity as a nucleating point. Upon this hypothesis is built a theory of rupture in which planar cracks grow radially from the center of the cavity in the form of Saturn-ring cracks.

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):
  • Williams, Max L. (advisor)
  • Knauss, Wolfgang Gustav (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:15 December 1965
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-11232005-113650
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4643
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:23 Nov 2005
Last Modified:21 Dec 2019 03:04

Thesis Files

PDF (Lindsey_gh_1966.pdf) - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page