Journal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics

Studies of craze fibril deformation during fatigue in polystyrene

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Small‐angle scattering of synchrotron x‐ray radiation has been used to study the effects of fatigue on craze fibril microstructure. The results obtained during unloading and reloading during a single cycle have been compared with those predicted by a model of sinusoidally bent fibrils. In addition the total displacement of the craze boundaries was found from the change in the invariant on unloading. The mean fibril diameter D was measured at the maximum tensile strain in each cycle. Over 250 cycles, D increased by at least a factor of 2 from an initial value of 6.5 nm, with most of this change happening in the first few cycles. The increase in D must occur by fibril coalescence, a mechanism that requires that the material in craze fibrils have considerable molecular mobility, even at room temperature, 70°C below the glass transition temperature. Copyright © 1987 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.