The mechanical behavior, morphological characterization and constitutive modeling of plasticized poly(vinyl chloride) (or PVC) are studied in this paper. The plasticized PVC is tested to large strains over a broad range of strain rates. Uniaxial and plane strain compression data at various constant strain rates ranging from −0.001 to −10 s−1 are collected on a conventional servohydraulic test system. Additional uniaxial impact compression data at approximately constant strain rates ranging from −1160 to −5560 s−1 are obtained using an aluminum split Hopkinson pressure bar apparatus. The large strain load/unload response of the plasticized PVC is nonlinear, it contains hysteresis and plastic deformation, and the initial response is highly rate dependent when the strain rate spans the transition zone between quasi-static and impact strain rates at room temperature. The morphology of plasticized PVC is analyzed via differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), and described as a physically entangled network. A three-dimensional rate dependent constitutive model for plasticized PVC is developed and shown to successfully predict its stress—strain behavior over a broad range of strain rates.

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