The inelastic deformation behavior of PMR-15 neat resin, a high-temperature thermoset polymer, was investigated at 288°C. The experimental program was designed to explore the influence of strain rate changes in the 10−6 to 10−3 s−1 range on tensile loading, unloading, and strain recovery behavior, as well as on the relaxation response of the material. The material exhibits positive, nonlinear strain rate sensitivity in monotonic loading. Nonlinear, “curved” stress-strain behavior during unloading is observed at all strain rates. The strain recovery at zero stress is profoundly affected by prior strain rate. The prior strain rate is also found to have a strong influence on relaxation behavior. The rest stresses measured at the termination of relaxation tests form the relaxation boundary which resembles a nonlinear stress-strain curve. The results suggest that the inelastic behavior of the PMR-15 solid polymer at 288°C can be represented using a unified constitutive model with an overstress dependence of the inelastic rate of deformation. The experimental data are modeled with the viscoplasticity theory based on over-stress (VBO). A systematic procedure for determining model parameters is presented and the model is employed to predict the response of the material under various test histories.

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