Introduction to polymers
Introduction to polymers

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Introduction to polymers

5.2 Viscoelasticity of polymers

The simplest models for the deformation behaviour of an ideal material are those of Hookean linear elasticity in the solid state, and Newtonian linear viscosity in the liquid state. The end point of elastic deformation is either fracture or plastic flow, with the latter taking place at a constant yield stress in the ideal case. Whilst the behaviour of many real materials does approximate to these idealised models, that of polymers deviates markedly from them. In particular, their solid state deformation is time-dependent and nonlinear and so resembles some combination of elastic and viscous responses, whilst their melt rheology is also significantly nonlinear. To start with, let's consider polymer behaviour in the context of the idealised models of elastic deformation and of viscous flow.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus