Accelerated Creep Testing of Polymers by the Stepped Isothermal Method

The stepped isothermal method (SIM) is a useful tool for the accelerated characterization of long-term creep behavior of polymers by short-term creep tests at elevated temperature levels.

Polymers are increasingly used in long-term engineering applications with service periods up to several decades in time. However, due to the viscoelastic behavior of polymers their characteristic deformation behavior is time dependent and the profound knowledge of creep properties is decisive for suitable materials selection and product design. Since direct testing of mechanical properties over service relevant long-term ranges is excluded, accelerated test methods are required for proper estimation of creep properties. Conventional test methods for accelerated creep characterization are based on the time-temperature superposition principle (TTS), but their experimental application for long-term prediction is still rather time consuming. A similar but much more time efficient method is provided by the so called stepped isothermal method (SIM).

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