The absence of physical-aging effects on the surface relaxations of rubbed polystyrene
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Extensive experimental results are presented to reveal the relaxations of polystyrene surface deformed by rubbing with a velvet cloth. We found that surface topographic features, such as ditches and ridges created by rubbing, relax at temperatures at about 20° C below the bulk glass transition temperature of the polystyrene for a molecular weight of 442 kg/mol, even though we estimate the Laplace Pressure driving the relaxation to be 1/500 of the yield limit. The relaxation is independent of the thermal history before the rubbing process, and post rubbing thermal history below 55° C . In other words, physical-aging processes at 23° C for up to 7 days and at 50° C for 2 days, which would have drastic effects on the relaxations of bulk polymers, have little effects on the relaxations of rubbed surfaces. This is consistent with the mobility enhancement in the surface layer previously reported in the literature.
PACS.68.37.Ps Atomic force microscopy (AFM) 68.35.Ja Surface and interface dynamics and vibrations 68.35.Gy Mechanical properties; surface strains
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