A study of fatigue failure in vulcanized rubber

  • A.G. James

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Some aspects of fatigue failure in rubbers have been examined. Scanning electron micrographs of the surface exposed by the failure confirm the incremental, crack-propagation nature, of the fatigue process. Many other features of the failure surface have been identified and related to this process. The complicating effect of a reinforcing filler has also been investigated.
The fatigue resistance of rubber test-pieces deformed in simple tension was measured as a function of frequency and temperature. This showed that an increase in frequency was equivalent to a decrease in temperature; for an amorphous unfilled rubber the time and temperature effects of crystallisation and fillers on the validity of this transformation is considered. This transformation indicates that hysteresis plays an important part in the fatigue process. Torsional pendulum measurements were used to demonstrate the dependence of the fatigue life on the mechanical damping.
An apparatus was developed to measure the hysteresial energy loss directly at deformations, rates of deformation and temperatures consistent with a typical fatigue test.
Measurements made with this apparatus are compared with fatigue values and a quantitative relationship is suggested describing fatigue, in terms of the energy lost per unit energy input in a cycle of a fatigue test.
Date of AwardSept 1970
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorD.G. Marshall (Supervisor)


  • Physics
  • fatigue failure
  • vulcanized rubber

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