Vol. 6, No. 6, 2011

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ISSN: 1559-3959
Dynamic fracture tests of polymethylmethacrylate using a semicircular bend technique

Sheng Huang, Sheng-Nian Luo, Bryan S. A. Tatone and Kaiwen Xia

Vol. 6 (2011), No. 6, 813–826
Abstract

We adopt a recently developed technique, dynamic semicircular bend testing, to measure the fracture initiation toughness, fracture propagation toughness, and fracture velocity of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). A modified split Hopkinson pressure bar system is used to apply the dynamic load. In this method, both the fracture initiation toughness and fracture energy, and thus the average fracture propagation toughness, are determined. The initiation toughness is found to be similar to the propagation toughness, and both toughnesses are loading rate-dependent. Our initiation toughness values for PMMA are in accord with those reported in the independent literature. The fracture velocity increases and then becomes saturated as the propagation toughness increases. We also measure the fracture surface roughness of the recovered fragments. While the surface roughness increases with the fracture energy, the increase of surface area alone is not sufficient to accommodate the increase in fracture energy, suggesting other energy dissipation mechanisms in the dynamic fracture process besides free surface creation.

Keywords
dynamic fracture, PMMA, fracture toughness, semicircular bend, fracture velocity, surface roughness
Milestones
Received: 11 May 2010
Revised: 19 September 2010
Accepted: 30 September 2010
Published: 11 December 2011
Authors
Sheng Huang
Department of Civil Engineering and Lassonde Institute
University of Toronto
Toronto M5S 1A4
Canada
Sheng-Nian Luo
Physics Division
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos, NM 87545
United States
Bryan S. A. Tatone
Department of Civil Engineering and Lassonde Institute
University of Toronto
Toronto M5S 1A4
Canada
Kaiwen Xia
Department of Civil Engineering and Lassonde Institute
University of Toronto
Toronto M5S 1A4
Canada