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Environmental Stress Cracking (ESC) and Slow Crack Growth (SCG) of PE-HD induced by external fluids

Schilling, Markus (2020):
Environmental Stress Cracking (ESC) and Slow Crack Growth (SCG) of PE-HD induced by external fluids.
Darmstadt, Technische Universität, DOI: 10.25534/tuprints-00011544,
[Online-Edition: https://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/11544],
[Ph.D. Thesis]

Abstract

High-density polyethylene (PE-HD) is widely used as a packaging material. Typical applications are pipes and containers for storage and transport of dangerous goods. For these applications, the understanding of the craze-crack damage mechanisms slow crack growth (SCG) and environmental stress cracking (ESC) is of importance. Since these mechanisms are considered to be the major causes of failure, their understanding is essential for inspection and release of those materials. A well-established test method for the assessment of these damage mechanisms is the full-notch creep test (FNCT). It is used in this study for a detailed investigation of crack propagation phenomena in PE-HD container materials under the influence of different fluids such as air, water and aqueous detergent solutions (Arkopal N 100) as well as biodiesel and diesel. Based on the results of the FNCT, a classification scheme of different fluids is proposed, which allows for an assignment of the respective damage mechanisms. Hereby, it is differentiated between (i) inert, (ii) purely surface-active and (iii) additionally sorptive, bulk-active fluids with respect to SCG. If the test fluid changes the intrinsic properties (at the surface or in the bulk), the damage mechanism is addressed to ESC behavior. In FNCT investigations, stress, temperature and specimen geometry were varied systematically. In addition to the time to failure as common measure for the resistance of a PE-HD type against crack propagation, specimen elongation was considered in detail. Several imaging techniques were applied for fracture surface analysis of specimens tested in FNCT to gain novel information on SCG and ESC behavior. From height profiles obtained by laser scanning microscopy (LSM) and information on surface structures from scanning electron microscopy (SEM), indicators for the differentiation of the crack propagation mechanisms could be derived. Based on the LSM data, an algorithm for the distinction between ductile shear deformation and brittle crack growth as dominating failure mechanism was developed. Imaging techniques were also used for determination of crack propagation rates, which were related to time-resolved FNCT elongation data. From the time-resolved determination of crack lengths of partly damaged FNCT specimens, an increasing length of craze zone with a progressively propagating crack was revealed for the first time. This relation of crack and craze zones was specified by fracture mechanical considerations.

Item Type: Ph.D. Thesis
Erschienen: 2020
Creators: Schilling, Markus
Title: Environmental Stress Cracking (ESC) and Slow Crack Growth (SCG) of PE-HD induced by external fluids
Language: English
Abstract:

High-density polyethylene (PE-HD) is widely used as a packaging material. Typical applications are pipes and containers for storage and transport of dangerous goods. For these applications, the understanding of the craze-crack damage mechanisms slow crack growth (SCG) and environmental stress cracking (ESC) is of importance. Since these mechanisms are considered to be the major causes of failure, their understanding is essential for inspection and release of those materials. A well-established test method for the assessment of these damage mechanisms is the full-notch creep test (FNCT). It is used in this study for a detailed investigation of crack propagation phenomena in PE-HD container materials under the influence of different fluids such as air, water and aqueous detergent solutions (Arkopal N 100) as well as biodiesel and diesel. Based on the results of the FNCT, a classification scheme of different fluids is proposed, which allows for an assignment of the respective damage mechanisms. Hereby, it is differentiated between (i) inert, (ii) purely surface-active and (iii) additionally sorptive, bulk-active fluids with respect to SCG. If the test fluid changes the intrinsic properties (at the surface or in the bulk), the damage mechanism is addressed to ESC behavior. In FNCT investigations, stress, temperature and specimen geometry were varied systematically. In addition to the time to failure as common measure for the resistance of a PE-HD type against crack propagation, specimen elongation was considered in detail. Several imaging techniques were applied for fracture surface analysis of specimens tested in FNCT to gain novel information on SCG and ESC behavior. From height profiles obtained by laser scanning microscopy (LSM) and information on surface structures from scanning electron microscopy (SEM), indicators for the differentiation of the crack propagation mechanisms could be derived. Based on the LSM data, an algorithm for the distinction between ductile shear deformation and brittle crack growth as dominating failure mechanism was developed. Imaging techniques were also used for determination of crack propagation rates, which were related to time-resolved FNCT elongation data. From the time-resolved determination of crack lengths of partly damaged FNCT specimens, an increasing length of craze zone with a progressively propagating crack was revealed for the first time. This relation of crack and craze zones was specified by fracture mechanical considerations.

Place of Publication: Darmstadt
Divisions: 11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Material Science
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Material Science > Dispersive Solids
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2020 12:55
DOI: 10.25534/tuprints-00011544
Official URL: https://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/11544
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-115443
Referees: Riedel, Prof. Dr. Ralf and Alig, PD Dr. Ingo
Refereed / Verteidigung / mdl. Prüfung: 11 March 2020
Alternative Abstract:
Alternative abstract Language
Polyethylen hoher Dichte (PE-HD) wird als Werkstoff für Rohre und Behälter für den Transport und zur Lagerung von Gefahrgütern verwendet. Für die Beurteilung und technische Freigabe dieser Materialien ist das Verständnis der beiden Schädigungsmechanismen „langsames Risswachstum“ (engl.: „slow crack growth“, SCG) und „umgebungsbedingter Spannungsriss“ (engl.: „environmental stress cracking“, ESC) essentiell. Eine etablierte Prüfmethode zur Bewertung dieser Schädigungsmechanismen ist der Full-Notch Creep Test (FNCT), der in dieser Arbeit zur systematischen Untersuchung des Risswachstums in PE-HD Behältermaterialien unter Einwirkung von Luft, Wasser und wässrigen Netzmittellösungen (Arkopal N 100) sowie Biodiesel und Diesel verwendet wird. Aus den Ergebnissen des FNCT wird ein Klassifikationsschema für Fluide vorgeschlagen, welches ebenfalls eine Zuordnung zu den Schädigungsmechanismen erlaubt. Hierbei wird in (i) inerte, (ii) rein oberflächen-aktive und (iii) zusätzliche sorptive, volumen-aktive Fluide hinsichtlich des langsamen Risswachstums (SCG) unterschieden. Wenn ein Fluid lokal die intrinsischen Materialeigenschaften des Polymers verändert, wird der Schädigungsmechanismus dem umgebungsbedingten Spannungsriss (ESC) zugeordnet. Bei den FNCT-Untersuchungen wurden die mechanische Spannung, die Temperatur und die Prüfkörpergeometrie systematisch variiert. Zusätzlich zur Standzeit wurde die Prüfkörperdehnung zeitabhängig erfasst. Aus einer erweiterten Bruchflächenanalyse konnten neuartige Informationen über SCG und ESC erhalten werden. Hierzu wurden verschiedene Bildgebungsverfahren verwendet. Insbesondere wurden mit Laserscanningmikroskopie (LSM) Höhenprofile und mit Rasterelektronenmikroskopie (REM) Oberflächeninformationen zur Charakterisierung der Rissfortschrittsmechanismen erhalten. Auf Basis der LSM wurde unter Zuhilfenahme von Höhenprofildaten ein Algorithmus zur Unterscheidung zwischen duktiler Scherverformung und sprödem Risswachstum als dominierende Schädigungsmechanismen entwickelt. Die aus den bildgebenden Verfahren ermittelten Rissfortschrittsraten konnten mit den Daten der während des FNCT erfassten Dehnung der Prüfkörper in Beziehung gesetzt werden. Weiterhin wurde mithilfe von zeitaufgelösten Risslängendaten erstmals eine direkte Korrelation der Risslänge zu vorgeschädigten, fibrillierten Bereichen (Crazes) im PE-HD Prüfkörper während des FNCT nachgewiesen. Demnach vergrößert sich die Craze-Länge linear mit zunehmender Risslänge. Dieser Zusammenhang zwischen Riss- und Craze-Längen wurde auf mathematisch, bruchmechanischer Grundlage bestätigt.German
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