The phenomenological reptation-tube model is based on a single chain perspective and was originally proposed to explain the remarkable viscoelastic properties of dense entangled polymer liquids. However, simulations over the last two decades have revealed a fundamental tension in the model: it assumes that bonded, single-chain backbone stresses are the sole polymer contribution to the slowly relaxing component of stress storage and elasticity, but mounting evidence suggests that at the local level of forces it is interchain contributions that dominate, as in simple liquids. Here we show that based on a chain model constructed at the level of self-consistently determined primitive paths, an explicit force-level treatment of the correlated intermolecular contributions to stress that arise from chain uncrossability can essentially quantitatively predict the entanglement plateau modulus associated with the soft rubbery response of polymer liquids. Analogies to transient localization and elasticity in glass-forming liquids are identified. Predictions for the effect of macroscopic deformation and anisotropic orientational order on the tube diameter are also made. Based on the interchain stress perspective the theory reproduces some aspects of the rheological response to shear and extensional deformations associated with the single chain tube model.
Entangled polymer chain melts: Orientation and deformation dependent tube confinement and interchain entanglement elasticity
Daniel M. Sussman, Kenneth S. Schweizer; Entangled polymer chain melts: Orientation and deformation dependent tube confinement and interchain entanglement elasticity. J. Chem. Phys. 21 December 2013; 139 (23): 234904. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4847895
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