Extensional deformations represent an effective stimulus to explore the rich rheological response of branched polymers and elastomers, enabling the design of polymers with specific molecular structure. However, probing the polymer behavior at large deformations is often limited by the experimental devices. We here present an alternative use of the Sentmanat Extensional Rheometer (SER) that allows Hencky strain units much larger than the maximum value achievable, ∼3.6. The proposed procedure consists of an oblique positioning of the sample in the measuring area. If a small inclination of the sample is used, the departure from the ideal uniaxial flow is negligible at Hencky strains <1, and nearly zero for larger values. Experimental results in the linear viscoelastic regime are compared with the double reptation model in order to discern polydispersity and branching effects, whereas the extensional rheology data are contrasted with the molecular stress function theory (MSF), revealing important information about the polymer structure, especially on the long-chain branching (LCB). Finally, the analysis of sample failure upon elongation allowed us to correlate the polymer structure to the rheological behavior during mixing processes.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.