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Molecular deformation mechanisms and mechanical properties of polymers simulated by molecular dynamics
- Corresponding author
- Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal; Fax +351 253510339
- Laboratory of Advanced Polymers and Optimized Materials (LAPOM), University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203-5310, USA
- Other articles by this author:
- De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Virtual polymeric materials were created and used in computer simulations to study their behavior under uniaxial loads. Both single-phase materials of amorphous chains and two-phase polymer liquid crystals (PLCs) have been simulated using the molecular dynamics method. This analysis enables a better understanding of the molecular deformation mechanisms in these materials. It was confirmed that chain uncoiling and chain slippage occur concurrently in the materials studied following predominantly a mechanism dependent on the spatial arrangement of the chains (such as their orientation). The presence of entanglements between chains constrains the mechanical response of the material. The presence of a rigid second phase dispersed in the flexible amorphous matrix influences the mechanical behavior and properties. The role of this phase in reinforcement is dependent on its concentration and spatial distribution. However, this is achieved with the cost of increased material brittleness, as crack formation and propagation is favored. Results of our simulations are visualized in five animations.
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