Micromechanical characterization of the interphase layer in semi-crystalline polyethylene

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

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14 Citations (Scopus)


The interphase layer in semi-crystalline polyethylene is the least known constituent, compared to the amorphous and crystalline phases, in terms of mechanical properties. In this study, the Monte Carlo molecular simulation results for the interlamellar domain (i.e. amorphous+ interphases), reported in (Macromolecules 2006, 39, 439-447) are employed. The amorphous elastic properties are adopted from the literature and then two distinct micromechanical homogenization approaches are utilized to dissociate the interphase stiffness from that of the interlamellar region. The results of the two micromechanical approaches match perfectly. Interestingly, the dissociated interphase stiffness lacks the common feature of positive definiteness, which is attributed to its nature as a transitional domain between two coexisting phases. The sensitivity analyses reveal that this property is insensitive to the non-orthotropic components of the interlamellar stiffness and the uncertainties existing in the interlamellar and amorphous stiffnesses. Finally, using the dissociated interphase stiffness, its effective Young's modulus is calculated, which compares well with the effective interlamellar Young's modulus for highly crystalline polyethylene, reported in an experimental study. This satisfactory agreement along with the identical results produced by the two micromechanical approaches confirms the validity of the new information about the interphase elastic properties in addition to making the proposed dissociation methodology quite reliable when applied to similar problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1228-1243
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes



  • interphase layer
  • mechanical properties
  • micromechanical homogenization
  • semi-crystalline polyethylene
  • sensitivity analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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