A statistical approach to characterize the viscoelastic creep compliances of a vinyl ester polymer
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2015 Elsevier Ltd. The objective of this study was to develop a model to predict the viscoelastic material functions of a vinyl ester (VE) polymer with variations in its experimentally obtained material properties under combined isothermal and mechanical loading. Short-term tensile creep experiments were conducted at three temperatures below the glass transition temperature of the VE polymer, with 10 replicates for each test configuration. The measured creep strain versus time responses were used to determine the creep compliances using the generalized viscoelastic constitutive equation with a Prony series representation. The variation in the creep compliances of a VE polymer was described by formulating the probability density functions (PDFs) and the corresponding cumulative distribution functions (CDFs) of the creep compliances using a two-parameter Weibull distribution. Both Weibull scale and shape parameters of the creep compliance distributions were shown to be time and temperature dependent. Two-dimensional quadratic Lagrange interpolation functions were used to characterize the Weibull parameters to obtain the PDFs and, subsequently, the CDFs of the creep compliances for the complete design temperature range during steady state creep. At each test temperature, creep compliance curves were obtained for constant CDF values and compared with the experimental data. The predicted creep compliances of the selected VE polymer in the design space are in good agreement with the experimental data for all three test temperatures.