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Project abstract for group mantells
Fracture in Polymers
Environmental stress cracking (ESC) refers to a cracking phenomenon in polymer materials in which a combination of stress and environment lead to many small fissures or crazes. Over time, crazes grow, forming cracks and eventually result in premature and unexpected failure of the polymer component. Examples in which ESC is critical include dentures, plastic cable housings, automobile components and polymer pipes for water delivery systems. In this project, a fracture mechanics based approach will be adopted to study the crack propagation mechanism in polymers. This method allows for time-dependent material property changes (from ductile to brittle). Besides, the material in the crack region can be studied independently from the bulk.