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The Physics of Deformation and Fracture of Polymers by Ali Argon

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12 Fracture of polymers

12.1 Overview

As with other engineering solids, the large-strain deformation of polymers is terminated by fracture. Since fracture defines the range of use of polymers in industrial practice, the understanding of its various forms and the factors governing it is of paramount technological interest.

We start by demonstrating that polymers are intrinsically brittle solids and fracture in a brittle manner at low temperatures and/or high strain rates. However, in common with many other intrinsically brittle solids, polymers also exhibit a brittle-to-ductile transition in their fracture behavior at a certain temperature and strain rate, often well below room temperature.

We note further that fracture is a process of material ...

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