Scratch behavior of polymers



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Texas A&M University


This dissertation work is focused on the analytical and numerical examination of the mechanical response of polypropylene (PP) under scratch deformation by a semispherical indenter. The finite element (FE) method is employed as the analysis technique and ABAQUS??, a commercial FE package is adopted to perform the analysis. Important physical and computational considerations on the implementation of FE analyses for the scratch problem are reviewed. It is shown through the discussion of the generated results that a good understanding can be gained on how different scratch conditions can affect scratch behavior of PP. A phenomenological deduction of the scratch damage process and mechanisms is also established. Considering the two main damage modes of polymers, shear yielding and crazing, it is shown that the two damage modes not only exist in the scratch deformation, and moreover, that they may compete against each other for dominance. A parametric study is also performed to assess the influence of material and surface properties on scratch response of material. A secondary research effort is also made to investigate the material constitutive modeling of polymers. Focusing on elastomeric or rubbery materials, a new mixed network model between the Gaussian and eight-chain non-Gaussian models is proposed. This mixed model inherently preserves the good predictive power of these two models and yields better predictions over a wider range of deformation than that of the rubber model adopted by ABAQUS??.