In the bulk, the nonlinear viscoelastic response of glassy polymers is due to the irreversible work done on the body by the surroundings. The source of the irreversibility is plastic flow of material near distributed shear bands or microcracks in the polymer. Shear bands and microcracks also form new traction free boundaries in the body. The presence of these new boundaries diminish the load bearing capacity of the polymer. These changes in polymer lattice structure are a mechanism that promotes the release o…
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