Temperature dependence of creep compliance of highly cross-linked epoxy: A molecular simulation study
We have used molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to study the effect of temperature on the creep compliance of neat cross-linked epoxy. Experimental studies of mechanical behavior of cross-linked epoxy in literature commonly report creep compliance values, whereas molecular simulations of these systems have primarily focused on the Young's modulus. In this work, in order to obtain a more direct comparison between experiments and simulations, atomistically detailed models of the cross-linked epoxy are used to study their creep compliance as a function of temperature using MD simulations. The creep tests are performed by applying a constant tensile stress and monitoring the resulting strain in the system. Our results show that simulated values of creep compliance increase with an increase in both time and temperature. We believe that such calculations of the creep compliance, along with the use of time temperature superposition, hold great promise in connecting the molecular insight obtained from molecular simulation at small length- and time-scales with the experimental behavior of such materials. To the best of our knowledge, this work is the first reported effort that investigates the creep compliance behavior of cross-linked epoxy using MD simulations.