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Satapathy, B.K. ; Lach, R. ; Weidisch, R. ; Schneider, K. ; Janke, A. ; Knoll, K.
Morphology and crack toughness behaviour of nanostructured block copolymer/homopolymer blends

The crack initiation and propagation behaviour of styrene–butadiene (SB) star block copolymer/polystyrene blends (ST3/PS) forming PS-rich and polybutadiene (PB)-rich nanosized domains by self-assembling have been investigated using the essential-work-of-fracture (EWF) approach. Three morphological transitions have been observed, which are crucial to understand the crack toughness behaviour: (i) 0–30 wt.% PS homopolymer: A co-continuous domain structure of PS-rich and PB-rich domains has been observed. For PS homopolymer fraction (phiPS) < 10 wt.% PS homopolymer (i.e. only pure ST3) the rubbery PB-rich phase forms the major phase and for phiPS > 10 wt.% the glassy PS-rich phase. (ii) At 40–60 wt.% PS homopolymer, a layer-like morphology is formed where the PS-rich layer thickness is greater-or-equal, slanted50 nm, a critical dimension, which is crucial for understanding the ductile-to-semiductile transition. (iii) For 80 wt.% PS homopolymer, PS-rich phase starts to form the matrix combined with a transition from shear stress dominated (shear yielding) to normal stress dominated behaviour (PS-like crazes). The co-continuous morphology at 20 wt.% and 30 wt.% PS is capable of improving toughness of block copolymers, demonstrated by the observed maximum in the non-essential work of fracture and thus explaining a new way of toughening of polymers while retaining high transparency. The correspondence between the ductile-to-semiductile transition and the change in the shape of plastic zone from circular to elliptical as revealed from strain field analysis could be clearly reaffirmed by the observed transition from shear to normal force induced deformation in the fractured surface analysis of these blends. The conceptual correspondence of ßwp and we with TJ and d0.2 respectively reveal that resistance against crack propagation (ßwp and TJ) is morphology sensitive while the resistance against crack initiation (we and d0.2) is matrix sensitive.

Engineering Fracture Mechanics 73



Erschienen am
October 2006


Nanostructured Materials