Dynamic mechanical spectroscopy

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Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (abbreviated DMA, also known as Dynamic Mechanical Spectroscopy) is a technique used to study and characterize materials. It is most useful for studying the viscoelastic behavior of polymers. A sinusoidal stress is applied and the strain in the material is measured, allowing one to determine the complex modulus. The temperature of the sample or the frequency of the stress are often varied, leading to variations in the complex modulus; this approach can be used to locate the glass transition temperature of the material, as well as to identify transitions corresponding to other molecular motions.


The Theory Behind DMA

Viscoelastic properties of materials

Polymers composed of long molecular chains have unique viscoelastic properties, which combine the characteristics of elastic solids and Newtonian fluids. The classical theory of elasticity describes the mechanical properties of elastic solids where stress is proportional to strain in small deformations. Such response of stress is independent of strain rate. The classical theory of hydrodynamics describes the properties of viscous fluid, for which the response of stress is dependent on strain rate.[1] This solidlike and liquidlike behavior of polymer can be modeled mechanically with combinations of springs and dashpots.[2]

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