FURI | Spring 2020

Fracture Propagation in Glassy Polymers Due to Temperature Differentials

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The objective of this project is to determine how fracture behavior in glassy materials changes when there is a temperature gradient across the width of a crack front. Initially, dynamical mechanical testing was conducted to find the glass transition temperature of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) samples. Next, a temperature fixture was created to enclose fracture specimens between heating and cooling elements to achieve the desired temperature gradient. Fracture tests were then performed at varying temperatures approaching Tg using a test matrix designed to identify at which temperature gradient the fracture transitions from a brittle to a rubbery response. 

Student researcher

Anirudh Ranganathan

Aerospace engineering

Hometown: Cave Creek, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2021