Study of the fracture toughness and fracture morphology of polybenzimidazole

J. F. Groves, C. M. Agrawal, G. W. Pearsall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Polybenzimidazole (PBI) is a relatively new polymeric material exhibiting unusual properties that are attributable to its aromatic-heterocyclic monomer structure. Owing to its high strength, stiffness and excellent stability in hostile chemical and thermal environments, PBI is being used increasingly in critical applications. As a result, understanding the failure mechanisms of the material is vital. This paper presents the results of a study of the fracture toughness and fracture morphology of polybenzimidazole. The standard compact tension specimen was used as the basic experimental specimen in this study. The fracture tests were performed in an Instron tensile testing machine. The effects of varying the loading rate, and the ratio of the initial crack length, a, to the ligament length, W, were investigated. The fracture surface morphology was examined using optical and scanning electron microscopy. The results of this study indicate that the precracking technique significantly affects the measured fracture toughness. Also, an increase in the loading rate causes a significant decrease in fracture toughness. Examination of the fracture morphology reveals that PBI fracture surfaces exhibit many of the characteristics expected of a tough engineering plastic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2335-2339
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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