Molecular Weight Controls Interactions between Plastic Deformation and Fracture in Cold Spray of Glassy Polymers

Jeeva Muthulingam, Anuraag Gangineri Padmanaban, Nand K. Singh, Tristan W. Bacha, Joseph F. Stanzione, Francis M. Haas, Ratneshwar Jha, Jae Hwang Lee, Behrad Koohbor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Polymer cold spray has gained considerable attention as a novel manufacturing process. A promising aspect of this technology involves the ability to deposit uniform polymer coatings without the requirements of solvent and/or high-temperature conditions. The present study investigates the interplay between shear instability, often considered to be the primary mechanism for bond formation, and fracture, as a secondary energy dissipation mechanism, collectively governing the deposition of glassy thermoplastics on similar and dissimilar substrates. A hybrid experimental-computational approach is utilized to explore the simultaneous effects of several interconnected phenomena, namely the particle-substrate relative deformability, molecular weights, and the resultant yielding versus fracture of polystyrene particles, examined herein as a model material system. The computational investigations are based on constitutive plasticity and damage equations determined and calibrated based on a statistical data mining approach applied to a wide collection of previously reported stress-strain and failure data. Results obtained herein demonstrate that the underlying adhesion mechanisms depend strongly on the molecular weight of the sprayed particles. It is also shown that although the plastic deformation and shear instability are still the primary bond formation mechanisms, the molecular-weight-dependent fracture of the sprayed glassy polymers is also a considerable phenomenon capable of significantly affecting the deposition process, especially in cases involving the cold spray of soft thermoplastics on hard substrates. The strong interplay between molecular-weight-dependent plastic yielding and fracture in the examined system emphasizes the importance of molecular weight as a critical variable in the cold spray of glassy polymers, also highlighting the possibility of process optimization by proper feedstock selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS Omega
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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