High Strain-Rate Response of Spiropyran Mechanophores in PMMA
Hemmer, James R.
Smith, Patrick D.
von Horn, Matt
Mason, Brian P.
Read de Alaniz, Javier
Hooper, Joseph P.
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We report the high strain-rate response of a spiropyran (SP) mechanophore in poly(methylmethacrylate). Previous work on this system has demonstrated a reversible bond scission in the SP under local tensile force, converting it to a fluorescent merocyanine form. A Hopkinson bar was used to apply fast compressive loads at rates from 102 to 104 s21, resulting in significant activation of the SP near fracture surfaces. However, comparison with a similar thermochromic SP reveals that much of the observed activation likely arises from thermal effects during high-rate fracture. These results show the importance of a thermally active control system in distinguishing mechanochromic response during high-rate loading. Microscale fluorescence mapping of the fracture surfaces using a confocal Raman microspectrometer suggests that some distinct mechanical activation may be occurring in craze-like regions during fibril rupture. The thermal response of the SP is useful in its own right for characterizing plastic heating regions during dynamic fracture.
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