Apparent fracture in polymeric fluids under step shear

Agimelen, Okpeafoh Stephen and Olmsted, Peter D (2013) Apparent fracture in polymeric fluids under step shear. Physical Review Letters, 110. 204503. ISSN 1079-7114 (

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Recent step strain experiments in well-entangled polymeric liquids demonstrated a bulk fracturelike phenomenon.We study this instability by using a modern version of the Doi-Edwards theory for entangled polymers, and we find close quantitative agreement with the experiments. The phenomenon occurs because the viscoelastic liquid is sheared into a rubbery state that possesses an elastic constitutive instability [G. Marrucci and N. Grizzuti, J. Rheol. 27, 433 (1983)]. The fracture is a transient manifestation of this instability, which relies on the amplification of spatially inhomogeneous fluctuations. This mechanism differs from the fracture in glassy materials and dense suspensions.


Agimelen, Okpeafoh Stephen ORCID logoORCID: and Olmsted, Peter D;