Mechanics of Materials, Volume 54, November 2012
Polypropylene sheets have been stretched at 160 °C to a state of large biaxial strain of extension ratio 3, and the stresses then allowed to relax at constant strain. The state of strain is reached via a path consisting of two sequential planar extensions, the second perpendicular to the first, under plane stress conditions with zero stress acting normal to the sheet. This strain path is highly relevant to solid phase deformation processes such as stretch blow moulding and thermoforming, and also reveals fundamental aspects of the flow rule required in the constitutive behaviour of the material. The rate of decay of stress is rapid, and such as to be highly significant in the modelling of processes that include stages of constant strain. A constitutive equation is developed that includes Eyring processes to model both the stress relaxation and strain rate dependence of the stress. The axial and transverse stresses observed during loading show that the use of a conventional Levy–Mises flow rule is ineffective, and instead a flow rule is used that takes account of the anisotropic state of the material via a power law function of the principal extension ratios. Finally the constitutive model is demonstrated to give quantitatively useful representation of the stresses both in loading and in stress relaxation.
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