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The Physics of Deformation and Fracture of Polymers by Ali Argon

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13 Toughening of polymers

13.1 Overview

Most, if not all, polymers are intrinsically brittle solids. While many are quite tough at room temperature under slow rates of deformation, they become brittle at lower temperatures and in the presence of notches and in impact loading. This affects all polymers, whether they are glassy thermoplastics, like PS and PMMA, semi-crystalline, like PE and Nylon, or thermosetting, like epoxy resins. Over the years, since their introduction as prominent structural materials, techniques and processes to alleviate this brittleness of polymers have been developed. In this sense we note that polymers make up only a subset of a much larger group of brittle solids, such as oxide glasses, ceramics, cements, and the ...

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