Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 2300–2307 | Cite as

Nanoscale fracture analysis by atomic force microscopy of EPDM rubber due to high-pressure hydrogen decompression

Article

Abstract

The relationship between internal fracture due to high-pressure hydrogen decompression and microstructure of ethylene–propylene–diene–methylene linkage (EPDM) rubber was investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Nanoscale line-like structures were observed in an unexposed specimen, and their number and length increased with hydrogen exposure. This result implies that the structure of the unfilled EPDM rubber is inhomogeneous at a nanoscale level, and nanoscale fracture caused by the bubbles that are formed from dissolved hydrogen molecules after decompression occurs even though no cracks are observed by optical microscopy. Since this nanoscale fracture occurred at a threshold tearing energy lower than that obtained from static crack growth tests of macroscopic cracks (T s,th), it is supposed that nanoscale structures that fractured at a lower threshold tearing energy (T nano,th) than T s,th existed in the rubber matrix, and these low-strength structures were the origin of the nanoscale fracture. From these results, it is inferred that the fracture of the EPDM rubber by high-pressure hydrogen decompression consists of two fracture processes that differ in terms of size scale, i.e., bubble formation at a submicrometer level and crack initiation at a micrometer level. The hydrogen pressures at bubble formation and crack initiation were also estimated by assuming two threshold tearing energies, T nano,th for the bubble formation and T s,th for the crack initiation, in terms of fracture mechanics. As a result, the experimental hydrogen pressures were successfully estimated.

Notes

Acknowledgement

This research was supported by the NEDO Fundamental Research Project on Advanced Hydrogen Science (2006–2012).

References

  1. 1.
    Briscoe BJ, Savvas T, Kelly CT (1994) Rubber Chem Technol 67:384Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gent AN, Tompkins DA (1969) J Appl Phys 40:2520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gent AN, Lindley PB (1958) Proc R Soc Lond A 249:195Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lindsey CH (1967) J Appl Phys 38:4843CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Stevenson A, Glyn M (1995) Rubber Chem Technol 68:197Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Stewart CW (1970) J Polym Sci A 8:937CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zakaria S, Briscoe BJ (1990) Chemtech 20:492Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ender DH (1986) Chemtech 16:52Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Briscoe BJ, Liatsis D (1992) Rubber Chem Technol 65:350Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Epstein PS, Plesset MS (1950) J Chem Phys 18:1505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Yamabe J, Nishimura S (2009) Trans J Soc Mech Eng A 75:633Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Yamabe J, Nishimura S (2009) Trans J Soc Mech Eng A 75:1726Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Yamabe J, Nishimura S (2010) In: 18th European conference on fracture, CD-ROMGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Yamabe J, Nishimura S (2009) In: Proceedings of the 14th symposium on fracture and fracture mechanics, pp 30–34Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Yamabe J, Nishimura S (2009) Int J Hydrogen Energy 34:1977CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Yamabe J, Matsumoto T, Nishimura S (2010) J Soc Mater Sci Jpn 59:956CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Thomas AG (1960) J Appl Polym Sci 8:168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lake AJ, Lindley PB (1964) J Appl Polym Sci 8:707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ikeda Y, Yasuda Y, Hijikata K, Tosaka M, Kohjiya S (2008) Macromolecules 41:5876CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Dohi H, Sakai M, Nakamae H, Kimura H, Kotani M, Kishimoto H, Minagala Y (2007) Kautsch Gummi Kunstst 01–02:52Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Research Center for Hydrogen EnergyKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  3. 3.Research Center for Hydrogen Industrial Use and Storage (HYDROGENIUS)National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)FukuokaJapan

Personalised recommendations