Failure models based on the Palmgren-Miner concept that material damage is cumulative have been derived and used mainly for fatigue life predictions for metals and composite materials. The authors review the principles underlying such models and suggest ways in which they may be best applied to polymeric materials in temperature environments. They first outline expectations when polymer degradation data can be rigorously time-temperature superposed over a given temperature range. For a step change in temperature after damage has occurred at an initial temperature in this range, the authors show that the remaining lifetime at the second temperature should be linearly related to the aging time prior to the step. This predicted linearity implies that it should be possible to estimate the remaining and therefore the service lifetime of polymers by completing the aging at an accelerated temperature. They refer to this generic temperature-step method as the Wear-out approach. They next outline the expectations for Wear-out experiments when time-temperature superposition is invalid. Experimental Wear-out results are then analyzed for one material where time-temperature superposition is valid and for another where evidence suggests it is invalid. In analyzing the data, they introduce a procedure that they refer to as time-degradation superposition. This procedure not only utilizes all of the experimental data instead of a single point from each data set, but also allows them to determine the importance of any interaction effects.
K. Gillen, M. Celina
Polymer Degradation and Stability