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Influence of Water Uptake on Dynamic Fracture Behavior of Poly(Methyl Methacrylate)


A study was completed to assess the effects of various humidity levels and amount of sorbed water on the fracture behavior of notched poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) samples subjected to stress pulses generated by the impact of a projectile launched from an air gun. Impact experiments were performed on six sets of samples conditioned in different environments: dry samples; samples exposed to three different relative humidity environments (11 %, 60 %, and 98 %) using saturated salt solutions (Lithium Chloride, Sodium Bromide, and Potassium Sulfate, respectively); and distilled water- and seawater-exposed samples. Experiments varied by immersion time and water content, while loading conditions were kept constant. The main goal of this study was to understand the effects of sorbed water on the fracture behavior of PMMA when subjected to high strain rate impacts. It was observed that when PMMA is subjected to strain rates of 102 s −1, the effect of water content is not a dominant mechanism on the crack initiation and crack-tip speed of PMMA.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Office of Naval Research through Grant Number N000141310607 (Dr. Y.D.S. Rajapakse, Program Manager) and the National Science Foundation through Grant Number CMMI-1332840. The authors wish to thank Frank Kosel, Specialised Imaging Inc., for providing a Kirana high-speed camera for these experiments.

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Correspondence to V. Eliasson.

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Delpino Gonzales, O., Eliasson, V. Influence of Water Uptake on Dynamic Fracture Behavior of Poly(Methyl Methacrylate). Exp Mech 56, 59–68 (2016).

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  • PMMA
  • Dynamic loading
  • Caustics
  • Humidity
  • Crack propagation