Hyperelastic characterization of the interlamellar domain and interphase layer in semicrystalline polyethylene

Akbar Ghazavizadeh, Gregory C. Rutledge, Ali A. Atai, Said Ahzi, Yves Rémond, Nasser Soltani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


The interphase layer in semicrystalline polyethylene (PE) serves as the transition between the crystalline lamellae and the amorphous domains and is recognized as the third constituent of PE. When PE undergoes large deformations, this interphase layer together with the amorphous phase behaves hyperelastically. Because of the metastable nature and nanometric size of the interphase and its intimate mechanical coupling to the neighboring crystal and amorphous domains, detailed characterization of its hyperelastic properties have eluded detailed experimental evaluation. To extract these properties, a combined algorithm is proposed based on applying the constitutive relations of an isotropic, compressible, hyperelastic continuum to the molecular dynamics simulation results of a PE stack from Lee and Rutledge (Macromolecules 2011, 3096-3108). The simulation element is incrementally deformed to a large strain, during which the stress-strain information is recorded. Assuming a neo-Hookean model, the tensorial constitutive equation is derived. The hyperelastic parameters for the central amorphous phase, the interphase layer, and the interlamellar domain are identified with the help of the optimization notion and a set of nonnegative objective functions. The identified hyperelastic parameters for the interlamellar domain are in good agreement with the ones estimated experimentally and frequently used in the literature for the noncrystalline phase. The specifically developed sensitivity analysis indicates that the shear modulus is identified with a higher degree of certainty, in contrast to the bulk modulus. It is also revealed that the presented continuum mechanics analysis is able to capture the melting/recrystallization and rotation of crystalline chains that take place during the deformation. The evolutions of the boundaries of the hyperelastic elements are also identified concurrently with the hyperelastic parameters as the by-product of the presented methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1692-1704
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes



  • hyperelastic characterization
  • interphase layer
  • mechanical properties
  • molecular dynamics simulation
  • objective function optimization
  • semicrystalline polyethylene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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