The mechanical response of a polymer material is strongly influenced by its microstructure, which is formed during processing. This holds for amorphous polymers of which their physical age depends on their thermomechanical history and for semicrystalline polymers in which morphological characteristics, such as the degree of crystallinity, and crystal type, size and orientation, strongly depend on the processing conditions. The effect of processing is even more apparent for short fiber-reinforced polymers, where the fiber orientation distribution is formed in the processing stage and is usually heterogeneous within a product leading to anisotropic mechanical behavior. In case of long-fiber composites, the fiber orientation is chosen by design and strongly affects the response in certain directions.
This session focuses on a fundamental and quantitative understanding and prediction of how the mechanical properties of polymer systems depend on the structure and on the processing conditions creating this structure. Contributions and new developments in the characterization and prediction of the elastic-(visco)-plastic response and early stages of damage and failure at different length scales of various polymer systems are of interest, as well as continuum and/or atomistic modelling approaches for their mechanical behavior, including fracture. Combined experimental and numerical approaches for proper parameter identification and predictions are also welcome.
The topics of this session include, but are not limited to: