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Time-dependent compressibility of poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) : an experimental and molecular dynamics investigation


Sane, Sandeep Bhalchandra (2001) Time-dependent compressibility of poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) : an experimental and molecular dynamics investigation. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/saw5-7p32.


This thesis contains three chapters, which describe different aspects of an investigation of the bulk response of Poly(Methyl Methacrylate) (PMMA). The first chapter describes the physical measurements by means of a Belcher/McKinney-type apparatus. Used earlier for the measurement of the bulk response of Poly(Vinyl Acetate), it was now adapted for making measurements at higher temperatures commensurate with the glass transition temperature of PMMA. The dynamic bulk compliance of PMMA was measured at atmospheric pressure over a wide range of temperatures and frequencies, from which the master curves for the bulk compliance were generated by means of the time-temperature superposition principle. It was found that the extent of the transition ranges for the bulk and shear response were comparable. Comparison of the shift factors for bulk and shear responses supports the idea that different molecular mechanisms contribute to shear and bulk deformations. The second chapter delineates molecular dynamics computations for the bulk response for a range of pressures and temperatures. The model(s) consisted of 2256 atoms formed into three polymer chains with fifty monomer units per chain per unit cell. The time scales accessed were limited to tens of pico seconds. It was found that, in addition to the typical energy minimization and temperature annealing cycles for establishing equilibrium models, it is advantageous to subject the model samples to a cycle of relatively large pressures (GPa-range) for improving the equilibrium state. On comparing the computations with the experimentally determined "glassy" behavior, one finds that, although the computations were limited to small samples in a physical sense, the primary limitation rests in the very short times (pico seconds). The molecular dynamics computations do not model the physically observed temperature sensitivity of PMMA, even if one employs a hypothetical time-temperature shift to account for the large difference in time scales between experiment and computation. The values computed by the molecular dynamics method do agree with the values measured at the coldest temperature and at the highest frequency of one kiloHertz. The third chapter draws on measurements of uniaxial, shear and Poisson response conducted previously in our laboratory. With the availability of four time or frequency-dependent material functions for the same material, the process of interconversion between different material functions was investigated. Computed material functions were evaluated against the direct experimental measurements and the limitations imposed on successful interconversion due to the experimental errors in the underlying physical data were explored. Differences were observed that are larger than the experimental errors would suggest.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Aeronautics
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:
  • Ravichandran, Guruswami (chair)
  • Bhattacharya, Kaushik
  • Ortiz, Michael
Defense Date:6 July 2000
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:04262011-100757709
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:6354
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 May 2011 15:58
Last Modified:19 Apr 2021 22:35

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