Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 30, Issue 7, pp 1772–1780 | Cite as

Influence of water on crack propagation in poly methyl methacrylate: craze stress and craze fibril lifetime

  • L. Josserand
  • R. Schirrer
  • P. Davies


Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is often used as a material in submarine applications. Therefore, the fracture properties of dry and wet PMMA in water and/or under hydrostatic pressure are of great importance. Previous work has shown that water strongly increases fracture toughness, and leads to a complicated figure of K1 versus crack speed, and stable-unstable crack and craze propagation, depending on external loading rate. In this study, compact tension specimens immersed in water have been tested on a tensile machine and crack tips have been observed during propagation by means of optical interferometry. Fracture stress intensity factors, and craze-zone shapes and sizes have been measured as a function of loading time and crack speed in water. The results have been rationalized in terms of craze fibril stress versus fibril extraction velocity and craze fibril lifetime versus fibril stress. Both may be expressed in terms of a stress-activated process governing fracture. It is found that, when expressed in these terms, the complicated influence of the external loading rate becomes irrelevant for describing local intrinsic material properties and K1 values. It is shown that there is no contradiction between the fact that water increases the fracture toughness, and the fact that the microscopic craze stress and craze fibril lifetime decrease at the crack tip.


Fracture Toughness PMMA Stress Intensity Factor Methyl Methacrylate Compact Tension Specimen 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    J. J. Benbow, Proc. Phys. Soc. B 78 (1961) 970.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Y. M. Mai, J. Mater. Sci. 10 (1975) 943.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    V. A. Kefalas and A. S. Argon, ibid. 23 (1988) 253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    R. G. Hill, J. F. Bates, T. T. Lewis and N. Rees, ibid. 19 (1984) 1904.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    J. G. Williams, Adv. Polym. Sci. 27 (1978) 67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Shen, C. C. Chen and J. A. Saver, Polymer 26 (1985) 511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. J. Janacek and J. J. Kolarik, J. Polym. Sci. C 16 (1967) 279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    D. T. Turner, Polymer 23 (1982) 197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Z. Miyagi and K. Tanaka, ibid. 16 (1975) 441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    J. M. Barton, ibid. 20 (1979) 1018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    P. J. Burchill and R. H. Stacewicz, J. Mater. Sci. Lett. 1 (1982) 446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    D. Putz and G. Menges, Br. Polym. J. 10 (1978) 69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    L. S. Smith and J. A. Sauer, Plast. Rubber Process. 6 (1986) 57.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    P. Trassaert and R. Schirrer, J. Mater. Sci. 18 (1983) 3004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    R. Schirrer and G. Galleron, Polymer 29 (1988) 634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Josserand
    • 1
  • R. Schirrer
    • 1
  • P. Davies
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut Charles Sadron (CRM-EAHP)StrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.Institut Français pour la Recherche et I'Exploitation de la Mer(IFREMER)PlouzaneFrance

Personalised recommendations