Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 59–68 | Cite as

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.


PMMA Dynamic loading Caustics Humidity Crack propagation 


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© Society for Experimental Mechanics 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aerospace and Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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