Anisotropic plasticity and chain orientation in polymer glasses



The anisotropic mechanical response of oriented polymer glasses is studied through simulations with a coarse-grained model. Systems are first oriented by uniaxial compression or tension along an axis. Then the mechanical response to subsequent deformation along the same axis or along a perpendicular axis is measured. As in experiments, the flow stress and strain hardening modulus are both larger when deformation increases the degree of molecular orientation produced by prestrain, and smaller when deformation reduces the degree of orientation. All stress curves for parallel prestrains collapse when plotted against either the total integrated strain or the degree of molecular orientation. Stress curves for perpendicular prestrains can also be collapsed. The stress depends on the degree of strain or molecular orientation along the final deformation axis and is independent of the degree of orientation in the perpendicular plane. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 48: 1473–1482, 2010