Amorphous solids are not in thermodynamic equilibrium. The experiment of volume relaxation below the glass transition temperature has revealed that the glassy states are indeed changing slowly with time and temperature [1,2]. The glassy-state relaxation is a result of the local configuration rearrangement of molecular segments, and the dynamic of holes (free volumes) provides a quantitative description of segmental mobility. On the basis of the statistical dynamics of hole motion, a unified physical picture emerges that enables us to discuss the structural relaxation, physical aging, and glassy-state deformation (see Chapter 6). The physics of glassy polymers is still evolving, and the functional relationships between relaxation and deformation have not been firmly established. Significant progress, however, has already been made that can be used in solving many important problems in this area.
KeywordsFree Volume Glassy State Isothermal Annealing Relaxation Function Glassy Polymer
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