Extracting elastic modulus at different strain rates and temperatures from dynamic mechanical analysis data: A study on nanocomposites

Xianbo Xu, Chrys Koomson, Mrityunjay Doddamani, Rakesh Kumar Behera, Nikhil Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Viscoelastic nature of polymers makes their properties strongly dependent on temperature and strain rate. Characterization of material properties over a wide range of strain rates and temperatures requires an expensive and time consuming experimental campaign. While viscoelastic properties of materials are widely tested using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) method, the frequency dependent component of the measured properties is underutilized due to a lack of correlation between frequency, temperature, and strain rate. The present work develops a method that can extract elastic modulus over a range of strain rates and temperatures from the DMA data for nanocomposites. Carbon nanofiber (CNF) reinforced high-density polyethylene (HDPE) matrix nanocomposites are taken as the study material. Four different compositions of CNF/HDPE nanocomposites are tested using DMA from 40 to 120 °C at 1–100 Hz frequency. First, time-temperature superposition (TTS) principle is used to develop an extrapolation for the results beyond the test parameter range. Then the TTS curve is transformed to a time domain relaxation function using integral relations of viscoelasticity. Finally, the strain rate sensitive elastic modulus is extracted and extrapolated to room temperature. The transform results are validated with tensile test results and the error found to be below 13.4% in the strain rate range 10−5 to 10−3 for all four nanocomposites. Since the materials are tested with the aim of finding a correlation among the test methods, the quality of the material is not a study parameter and the transform should yield accurate results for any material regardless of composition and quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-354
Number of pages9
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019


  • Dynamic mechanical analysis
  • Elastic modulus
  • High strain rate
  • Viscoelasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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