Comparison of the rheology of polymer melts in shear, and biaxial and uniaxial extensions

S. A. Khan, R. K. Prud'homme, R. G. Larson

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The experimental properties of different polymer melts, polystyrene, high density polyethylene and low density polyethylene are compared for the first time in three different deformations: step shear, step biaxial extension and steady uniaxial extension. Properties of three other melts are also studied in step biaxial and shear experiments. For our comparative purposes some data of Laun and Winter from the literature are used, as well as new data reported here. In all the step strain experiments, the stresses can be factored into a time dependent relaxation modulus and a strain dependent damping function. The data are interpreted using a differential constitutive equation of Larson which satisfies this time-strain separability and has a single parameter that describes the strain softening character of the material. Results show that differences in the properties of the melts are most pronounced in uniaxial extension and least in biaxial extension. All melts follow the Doi-Edwards prediction relatively closely in biaxial extension. In uniaxial extension, the branched material shows a strong strain hardening effect although its shear and biaxial properties are similar to the other melts. The constitutive model gives a reasonably good fit to the data in all three deformations for unbranched materials for the same value of the adjustable parameter; the model, however, fails for the branched low density polyethylene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-151
Number of pages8
JournalRheologica Acta
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • Extensional deformation
  • polymer melt


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