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Temperature effect on the mechanical behavior of acrylic polymers


under quasi-static and dynamic loading
Tao Suo 1,a, Yulong Li 1,b*, Hong Yu 1,c, Fei Xu 1,d, Zhongbin Tang 1,e, Lei Li 2,f
1. School of Aeronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xian 710072, China
2. Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials, Beijing 100095,china
a
suotao_npu@163.com,bliyulong@nwpu.edu.cn,cyuhong@163.com,dxufei@nwpu.edu.cn,
e
atang_zb@163.com,flilei@163.com
Keywords: acrylic polymer, compression Hopkinson bar, quasi-static, dynamic, fracture.

Abstract. In this paper, the mechanical behavior of acrylic polymers at elevated temperature was
investigated. Four acrylic polymers were tested at high strain rate by using compression Hopkinson
bar and at quasi-static strain rate by using an Instron servo hydraulic axial testing machine with the
testing temperature from 218K to 393K. The results show that the mechanical property of acrylic
polymers depends heavily on the testing temperature. The yield stress and Youngs modulus were
found to decrease with increasing temperature at low strain rate. At very low temperature, the
materials display typical brittle fracture; however their plasticity improves remarkably at high
temperatures. The predictions of the mechanical behavior including the effect of temperature and
strain rate using a proposed theoretical model have a good agreement with experimental results.
Introduction
Acrylic polymers are widely used as the aircraft windshield. For the bird impact resistant design,
the mechanical property and its influencing factors of acrylic polymer are concerned by many
engineers and researchers; especially its sensitivity on temperature and strain rate. GSell [1]
investigated the plastic behavior of polymers under constant strain rate and found that the strain
hardening could be influenced by strain rate. Temperature and strain rate effects on PMMA under
quasi-static and moderate strain rate were analyzed by Arruda [2] and material property
characterization was also carried by Lee [3] under dynamic loading, they found that the increase of
temperature has a drastic effect on the stress-strain behavior and thermal softening was observed for
the tested materials. The effects of strain rate and temperature on the strain hardening response of
polymers have also been studied in the works of Adams [4], Machida [5], and they found that the
stored energy did not strongly depend on temperature for PC in the range 293K to 338K. The
deformation behavior of a number of polymers was studied over a range of strain rates by Walley[5],
and strain softening was found at high strain rates because of adiabatic heating effects.
In this paper, based on a series of experiments, the temperature and strain rate effects on the
mechanical behavior of four kinds of acrylic polymers were systematically investigated. A proposed
thermometrical correction function is used to consider the temperature effect in the constitutive
model of ZWT. The predictions are compared with experimental results.
The materials and experimental procedures
In order to analysis the temperature effect on acrylic polymer properties, four kinds of materials,
YB3,MDYB3,MDYB-A and MDYB-B, were tested under both quasi-static and dynamic loading.
Among them, MDYB3, MDYB-A and MDYB-B are monolithically stretched. They were offered
by Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials. The specimens were cut from a plate which is 10mm
in thickness, and were loaded in the direction of plate plane. The testing temperature was ranged
from 218K to 393K. A temperature control system was designed to heat the specimens during the
1

*Corresponding author. Tel: +86-29-88494859


E-mail address: liyulong@nwpu.edu.cn

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tests. A thermocouple was used to measure the temperature of the specimens; meanwhile a feedback
signal was given to control temperature during heating so that the heating could be automatically
stopped once the temperature reached the desired value.
The specimens used in quasi-static test were machined into a small column with the length of
14mm and the diameter of 7mm. Tests were conducted using an Instron servohydraulic axial testing
machine. During tests, the strain rate was controlled at 1.210-3S-1, and the maximum strain was
within 15%.
At the high strain rate, the specimens were also column with 7mm in both length and diameter.
Split Hopkinson pressure bar which was well built in Northwestern Polytechnical University was
used to load the specimens. The diameter of loading bars is 12.7mm. The strain rate was controlled
at 1103S-1.
Experimental results
Quasi-static experimental results. True stress-strain curves under quasi-static loading are shown
in Fig.1. It is found that temperature effect on material property is remarkable. The Youngs
modulus decreases with increased temperature and the plastic strain increases as temperature rising.
At the same time, the flow stress decreased with increased temperature, and the decrement increases
more as the strain increasing.

(b)

(a)
MDYB - A

MDYB - B

(c)

(d)

Fig. 1 True stress-strain curves under quasi-static loading


Table 1 Fracture stresses of MDYB3, MDYB-A and MDYB-B under quasi-static loading

Temperature[K]
255
218

YB3
No fracture
No fracture

MDYB3
244[MPa]
285[MPa]

MDYB-A
255[MPa]
271[MPa]

MDYB-B
No fracture
262[MPa]

Comparing Fig.1 (a) and (b), it can be found that the flow stress slightly decreases once the
material was monolithically stretched. It is also found that except MDYB3, MDYB-A and
MDYB-B fracture along the loading direction at 218K, MDYB3 and MDYB-A fracture at 255K,
other specimens are not failed when the strain reaches to 15%, although strain softening is observed
for YB3 at both 255K and 273K, and MDYB-B at 255K. However, the specimens of MDYB3 at
255K, MDYB-A at 218K and 255K are failed after strain softening is observed. It is unexpected

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that the failure strain for MDYB3 and MDYB-A at 218K is bigger than that at 255K.
Dynamic experimental results. True stress-strain curves under dynamic loading are shown in
Fig.2. It is quiet clear that most specimens are failed for various testing temperatures except the
temperature approach to the glass transition temperature. Temperature effect on the mechanical
behavior of acrylic polymers is also found to be noticeable under dynamic loading. As temperature
increasing, the flow stress of acrylic polymers decreases, but the failure strain increases. When the
temperature reaches to 373K, which approaches to the glass transition temperature of these four
acrylic polymers, the specimens are not failed during the tests after huge plastic deformation. This
actually is the general case for the acrylic materials.

(b)

(a)
MDYB - A

MDYB - B

(d)

(c)

Fig. 2 True stress-strain curves under dynamic loading

Compare Figures.2 (a) and (b), it can be found that the failure stress of MDYB3 is lower than that
of YB3. This means that the process of monolithic stretch is not benefit to the strength of the
material, however the failure strain increase substantially at low temperature. It is also found that
the failure strain of YB3 varies over a wide range at different temperatures, while the failure strain
of MDYB3 is more focused on certain strain which is around 6% when the testing temperature is
below 353K.
Theoretical model
A nonlinear viscous-elastic model of ZWT suggested by Zhu et al [7] is used to describe
mechanical behavior of these four acrylic polymers in the strain range of 8%. The expression of
ZWT model is as below:
t

= E + + + E exp(
2

) dt + E

exp(
0

) dt .

(1)

The first integral is the description of a Maxwell solid corresponding to the viscous-elastic response
to low strain rate, E1 and 1 is its elastic constant and relaxation time. And the second integral is
the description of the viscous-elastic response to high strain rate, E2 and 2 is elastic constant and

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relaxation time. At the low strain rates, the second integral term relaxes quickly, so it can be
ignorered. While at high strain rates, the first integral term has not enough time to relax, then it can
be regarded as a spring which elastic constant is E1. In this model there are seven parameters which
can be easily determined from experiments. However, in this model the temperature effect is not
included. Based on experiments at various temperatures, a function which describes temperature
effect is proposed. The determination of this function is stated as flowing.

Fig. 3 Comparison of MDYB3 at different strains and temperatures under quasi-static loading

Under quasi-static loading, true stresses of DMYB3 at same strain but different temperatures are
plotted in Fig.3. It is interesting to note that temperature effect increases with the increased strain
and the flow stress decreases with the rising temperature. Thus, a function of temperature effect is
proposed in the form of f ( , T ) / f0 ( , T0 ) , where function f ( , T ) decreases with increased temperature
but increases with increased strain. f ( , T ) equals to its reference value f 0 ( , T0 ) when T reaches the
reference temperature T0. If the stress-strain relation of a material at the temperature T0 can be
expressed as 0 ( ) , then its constitutive relation at temperature T is:

( , T ) = ( ) f ( , T ) / f ( , T ) .
0

(2)

Supposing that f ( , T ) is defined as f ( , T ) = a( ) exp[b( )T ] , Eq. (2) can be expressed as:

( , T ) = ( ) exp[b( )(T T )] .
0

(3)

Where 0 ( ) is defined in Eq. (1) and b( ) can be fitted using a second-order polynomial
according to the experiments data at different temperatures.

Fig. 4 Comparison b () for different materials

The b( ) curves of different materials are plotted in Fig. 4, it is found that the temperature effect
on the mechanical behavior of three monolithically stretched acrylic polymers is nearly the same,
this is the result of these three materials have the same matrix and processing. For these three

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monolithically stretched acrylic polymers, the temperature effect function b( ) is supposed to be


the same. It can be obtained from the experimental data fitting:

b( ) = 1.82143 0.3214 0.00141 .

(4)

For YB3, the temperature effect function can also be obtained from experimental data fitting:

b( ) = 0.6429 0.1336 0.0042 .

(5)

(a)

(c)

(b)

(d)

Fig. 5 Comparison of prediction using equation (3) and experimental results under quasi-static loading

From the quasi-static experiment data, the determined parameters in Eq. (1) for the material of
MDYB3 are E0=2.95GPa, =-30.55GPa, = 85.26GPa, E1=11.8MPa, 1=98s. It should be pointed
out that the second integral term can be ignored since it is the case under quasi-static loading. Fig. 5
(a) is the comparison of the predictions using the Eq. (3) and the experimental results of MDYB3. It
can be seen that the predictions have a good agreement with the experimental results in the strain
range of below 8%. For other three materials, the comparison of the predictions with the
experimental results is also plotted in Fig. 5, it is clear that the prediction have a good agreement
with the experimental results, too. This means that the ZWT model with the new proposed
temperature effect function is able to predict the mechanical behavior of the acrylic polymers. On
the other hand, the matrix and the processing are dominant factors of temperature dependence. Once
the matrixes and processing are the same, the temperature effect function should be the same.
The dynamic experimental data are also fitted using Eq.(3), the prediction of mechanical
behavior under dynamic loading for various temperatures are compared with the experimental
results for YB3 and MDYB-A as shown in Fig. (6). It can be found that predictions are good for all

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the temperature except at 353K for YB3. It is not quiet clear what is the reason for this
underestimation for this material at this temperature. The temperature rising during the plastic
deformation are also checked which are in the range 4~6K, and it is not considered in the
predictions. Since the plastic deformation is not big, the effect of temperature rising is not
important.

(a)

(b)

Fig. 6 Comparison of prediction using equation (3) and experimental results under dynamic loading

Conclusion
Four acrylic polymers have been tested at various temperatures under both quasi-static and dynamic
loading, and the results show:
(1)Under quasi-static loading, the flow stress and Youngs modulus are found to decrease with
increased temperature. Strain softening is observed for some materials at certain temperature.
(2)Under dynamic loading, the failure stress decreases while failure strain increases with
increased temperature. When the temperature approaches to the glass transition temperature,
the specimens are not failed during the tests after huge plastic deformation.
(3)The matrix and processing are dominant factors of temperature dependence.
(4)ZWT constitutive model with a new proposed temperature effect function can be used to
describe mechanical behavior of those four acrylic polymers at different temperatures under
quasi-static and dynamic loading in the strain range of 8%.
Acknowledgements
This work was supported by the Yushan Huang foundation of Northwestern Polytechnical
University and Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials.
References
[1] GSell, C.and J.J. Jonas: J. Mater. Sci. Vol.14 (1979), p.583
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[3] O.S. Lee and M.S. Kim: Nul. Eng. Design. Vol. 226 (2003), p. 119
[4] Adams, G.W. and R.J. Farris: J. Polymer Sci. Vol. 26 (1988), p. 433
[5] Machida, T. and D. Lee: Polymer Eng. Sci. Vol. 28 (1988), p. 405
[6] Walley, S.M., J.E. Field, P.H. Pope and N.A. Stafford: Philos. Trans. Soc. London, A, Vol. 328
(1989), p. 783
[7] Wang Li Li, Yu Tong Xi, Li Yong Chi: Progress in Impact Dynamics (Publishions of University
of Science and Technology of China, China 1992).