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Title: Probing the nonequilibrium dynamics of stress, orientation, and entanglements in polymer melts with orthogonal interrupted shear simulations
Both entangled and unentangled polymer melts exhibit stress overshoots when subject to shearing flow. The size of the overshoot depends on the applied shear rate and is related to relaxation mechanisms such as reptation, chain stretch, and convective constraint release. Previous experimental work shows that melts subjected to interrupted shear flows exhibit a smaller overshoot when sheared after partial relaxation. This has been shown to be consistent with predictions by constitutive models. Here, we report molecular dynamics simulations of interrupted shear of polymer melts where the shear flow after the relaxation stage is orthogonal to the originally applied flow. We observe that, for a given relaxation time, the size of the stress overshoot under orthogonal interrupted shear is larger than observed during parallel interrupted shear, which is not captured by constitutive models. Differences in maxima are also observed for overshoots in the first normal stress and chain end-to-end distance. We also show that measurements of the average number of entanglements per chain and average orientation at different scales along the chain are affected by the change in shear direction, leading to nonmonotonic relaxation of the off-diagonal components of orientation and an appearance of a “double peak” in the average number of entanglements during the transient. We propose that such complex behavior of entanglements is responsible for the increase in the overshoots of stress components and that models of the dynamics of entanglements might be improved upon by considering a tensorial measurement of entanglements that can be coupled to orientation.  more » « less
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Journal of Rheology
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National Science Foundation
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