Constitutive equations in finite viscoplasticity of semicrystalline polymers

A. D. Drozdov, R. K. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Three series of uniaxial tensile tests with constant strain rates are performed at room temperature on isotactic polypropylene and two commercial grades of low-density polyethylene with different molecular weights. Constitutive equations are derived for the viscoplastic behavior of semicrystalline polymers at finite strains. A polymer is treated as an equivalent network of strands bridged by permanent junctions. Two types of junctions are introduced: affine whose micro-deformation coincides with the macro-deformation of a polymer, and non-affine that slide with respect to their reference positions. The elastic response of the network is attributed to elongation of strands, whereas its viscoplastic behavior is associated with sliding of junctions. The rate of sliding is proportional to the average stress in strands linked to non-affine junctions. Stress-strain relations in finite viscoplasticity of semicrystalline polymers are developed by using the laws of thermodynamics. The constitutive equations are applied to the analysis of uniaxial tension, uniaxial compression and simple shear of an incompressible medium. These relations involve three adjustable parameters that are found by fitting the experimental data. Fair agreement is demonstrated between the observations and the results of numerical simulation. It is revealed that the viscoplastic response of low-density polyethylene in simple shear is strongly affected by its molecular weight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6217-6243
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Finite strains
  • Isotactic polypropylene
  • Low-density polyethylene
  • Semicrystalline polymers
  • Viscoplasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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