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Frostburg State University

F. A. Senese
Dept. of Chemistry

Questions about polymers

  • How does the structure of UHMwPE change if it is torn in 2 directions? Answer

Please tell me how the structure of UHMwPE changes if it is torn in 2 directions. -D. Hendricks

UMHwPE is ultra high molecular weight polyethylene, a polymer used in making prosthetic joint replacements. It's important to understand how and why the polymer fractures under stress to improve the design of these devices.

Try these references:

  • "On the structure of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene gels", M. Kunz, M. Drechsler, M. Moller, Polymer, 36(7), 1331-1339 (1995).
  • "Tensile, stress relaxation and dynamic mechanical behaviour of polyethylene crystallized from highly deformed melts", Polymer, Yu. M. Boiko, W. Brostow, A. Goldman, A. C. Ramamurthy, Polymer, 36(7), 1383-1392 (1995).
  • Prof. Pruitt's Research (Dept. of Mech. Eng., Berkeley) This site has a list of L. Pruitt's recent papers on fatigue cracking and stress of UHMwPE (and includes a 13000X electron micrograph of the polymer)

You might ask Dr. Robert Kusy at the University of North Carolina ( kusy@ortvx1.dent.unc.edu) He's an expert in the fracture morphology of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene.

General Chemistry Online! FAQ on polymers

Copyright © 1997,1998 by Fred Senese
Comments & questions to senese@antoine.frostburg.edu
Last Revised 12/10/01.
URL: http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/polymer/faq.shtml