Nature of Stress on the Atomic Level in Dense Polymer Systems

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Science  04 Nov 1994:
Vol. 266, Issue 5186, pp. 748-752
DOI: 10.1126/science.266.5186.748


Stress in dense polymer systems is classically viewed as being molecular in character and is based on the entropic spring concept. A description on the atomic level has been developed on the basis of extensive computer simulations. An important new concept is the intrinsic monomer stress (IMS), the individual monomer contribution to the macroscopic stress referred to a local moving coordinate system in which the backbone bonds attached to that monomer are fixed. The IMS is time-independent and, for a given polymer system at fixed density, has the same value in the equilibrium melt, with the melt undergoing stress relaxation, and in the deformed cross-linked system.