Evaluation of the tear properties of polyethylene blown films using the essential work of fracture concept

Byoung Ho Choi, Mehmet Demirors, Rajen M. Patel, A. Willem deGroot, Kenneth W. Anderson, Victor Juarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In the case of very thin materials such as blown films, the applied stress state in front of the crack tip is normally a plane stress condition, and the deformation around the crack tip due to the remote stress is very large. However, current standard test methods for quantifying the fracture toughness of thin films, such as the Elmendorf tear test, cannot explain or represent the tear characteristics accurately. The common way of interpreting the test results from the Elmendorf tear test is to develop an empirical correlation and then compare the average values. In this paper, essential work of fracture (EWF) tests for five commercial polyethylene (PE) blown films have been conducted, and the fundamentals of their tear properties based on fracture mechanics have been studied. The results from the EWF test are interpreted based on two important parameters, i.e., the essential work of fracture (We) and the non-essential work of fracture (Wp). Further, the relationship between these parameters and the current standard Elmendorf tear test is shown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2732-2739
Number of pages8
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank William Michie, Shaofu Wu, and Theresa Hermel-Davidock of the Dow Chemical Company and Professor Alexander Chudnovsky of the University of Illinois at Chicago for valuable advice and extensive discussions on this work. This work was also supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant ( No. 2009-0076661 ) that was funded by the Korea government (MEST) .


  • Essential work of fracture
  • Polyethylene blown films
  • Tear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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