Journal of Theoretical
and Applied Mechanics

42, 4, pp. 805-816, Warsaw 2004

Environment friendly polymeric materials – identification of their biodegradability on base of thermomechanical coupling phenomenon

Elżbieta A. Pieczyska, Stefan P. Gadaj, Wojciech K. Nowacki, Marek Kowalczuk
Environment friendly polymeric materials were investigated using an infrared camera in order to identify the relationship between their structure and properties including biodegradability. The experimental technique, based on the thermomechanical coupling phenomenon, was applied to investigation of polymers. Three samples of biodegradable polymers, i.e. the reference one and the modified two, were subjected to tensile and relaxation tests, according to a special program. The temperature changes were measured by a contact less method and related to mechanical characteristics. In the modified material, the
temperature decrease, related to the thermoelastic effect, was observed in almost the whole range of the tensile tests. It means that the deformation does not exceed the limit of elasticity, and next, highelasticity – the stage of polymer deformation that follows the elasticity. The temperature measurements seem to be a useful tool for the investigation of biodegradable polymers: thermal characteristics may define a material according to its fragility related to biodegradability.
Keywords: biodegradable polymers; tension test; mechanical characteristics; thermomechanical coupling; thermoelastic effect