The J integral fracture toughness and damage zone morphology in polyethylenes

H. Swei, B. Crist*, S. H. Carr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The J integral analysis of compact tension samples has been used to evaluate plane strain fracture toughness of various polyethylenes at room temperature. Crack propagation commences from a razor notch in high-density polyethylene at JIc = 1.7 kJ m-2. Plastic deformation is confined to a small craze region (about 300 μm long, 20 μm high) through which the crack subsequently propagates. A tough copolymer of PE3408 material resists crack advance until JIc = 8.2 kJ m-2. Here again crack propagation is through a craze, though craze length exceeds 1 mm. Toughness is also imparted by the formation of shear bands near the notch tip. Low-density polyethylene does not really fracture under the present test conditions; this material responds by general yielding and blunting of the notch tip.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1440-1446
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1991


  • fracture toughness
  • morphology
  • polyethylenes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'The J integral fracture toughness and damage zone morphology in polyethylenes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this