The fracture properties and microdeformation behaviour and their correlation with structure in commercial bulk polyolefins are reviewed. Emphasis is on crack-tip deformation mechanisms and on regimes of direct practical interest, namely slow crack growth in polyethylene and high-speed ductile–brittle transitions in isotactic polypropylene. Recent fracture studies of reaction-bonded interfaces are also briefly considered, these representing promising model systems for the investigation of the relationship between the fundamental mechanisms of crack-tip deformation and fracture and molecular structure.
Polyethylene Polypropylene Microdeformation Fracture Slow crack growth