Static and Dynamic Properties of Semi-Crystalline Polyethylene.
Properties of extruded polymers are strongly affected by molecular structure. For two different semi-crystalline polymers, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), this investigation measures the elastic modulus, plastic flow stress and strain-rate dependence of yield stress. Also, it examines the effect of molecular structure on post-necking tensile fracture. The static and dynamic material tests reveal that extruded UHMWPE has a somewhat larger yield stress and much larger strain to failure than LDPE. For both types of polyethylene, the strain at tensile failure decreases with increasing strain-rate. For strain-rates 0.001⁻3400 s-1, the yield stress variation is accurately represented by the Cowper⁻Symonds equation. These results indicate that, at high strain rates, UHMWPE is more energy absorbent than LDPE as a result of its long chain molecular structure with few branches.