Comparing tube models for predicting the linear rheology of branched polymer melts
Wang, Z., Chen, X. and Larson, R. G. (2010) Comparing tube models for predicting the linear rheology of branched polymer melts. Journal of Rheology, 54 (2). pp. 223-260. ISSN 0148-6055
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1122/1.3301246
The hierarchical and "bob" (or branch-on-branch) models are tube-based computational models recently developed for predicting the linear rheology of general mixtures of polydisperse branched polymers. These two models are based on a similar tube-theory framework but differ in their numerical implementation and details of relaxation mechanisms. We present a detailed overview of the similarities and differences of these models and examine the effects of these differences on the predictions of the linear viscoelastic properties of a set of representative branched polymer samples in order to give a general picture of the performance of these models. Our analysis confirms that the hierarchical and bob models quantitatively predict the linear rheology of a wide range of branched polymer melts but also indicate that there is still no unique solution to cover all types of branched polymers without case-by-case adjustment of parameters such as the dilution exponent alpha and the factor p(2) which defines the hopping distance of a branch point relative to the tube diameter. An updated version of the hierarchical model, which shows improved computational efficiency and refined relaxation mechanisms, is introduced and used in these analyses.