Jamming under tension in polymer crazes

J. Rottler and M. O. Robbins, Phys Rev Lett, 89, 195501 (2002).

Molecular dynamics simulations are used to study a unique expanded jammed state. Tension transforms many glassy polymers from a dense glass to a network of fibrils and voids called a craze. Entanglements between polymers and interchain friction jam the system after a fixed increase in volume. As in dense jammed systems, the distribution of forces is exponential, but they are tensile rather than compressive. The broad distribution of forces has important implications for fibril breakdown and the ultimate strength of crazes.

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