Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 1904–1916 | Cite as

The fracture of acrylic polymers in water

  • R. G. Hill
  • J. F. Bates
  • T. T. Lewis
  • N. Rees


This paper describes the application of linear elastic fracture mechanics analysis to the fracture of acrylic polymers in water. Three denture base acrylics were studied in addition to Perspex. The effects of strain rate and temperature were investigated using double torsion specimens and three-point bend specimens. It was found for most materials that the fracture toughness was dramatically increased on testing in water compared with testing in air. Crack propagation at fast strain rates was unstable in water and the fracture toughness and flaw size were strain-rate dependent, increasing with decreasing test rate, whilst the un-notched fracture strength decreased with decreasing strain rate. At low strain rates, stable crack propagation was achieved and fracture toughness then decreased with decreasing strain rate. The results are discussed in terms of Williams' model for environmental fracture and the effect water has on the crazing process taking place at the crack tip.


Fracture Toughness Fracture Strength Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanic Acrylic Polymer Denture Base 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. G. Hill
    • 1
  • J. F. Bates
    • 1
  • T. T. Lewis
    • 2
  • N. Rees
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Restorative DentistryWelsh National School of MedicineHeath Park, CardiffUK
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical Engineering and Energy StudiesUniversity CollegeCardiffUK
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryUniversity CollegeCardiffUK

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