Recent step strain experiments in well-entangled polymeric liquids demonstrated a bulk fracturelike phenomenon.We study this instability by using a modern version of the Doi-Edwards theory for entangled polymers, and we find close quantitative agreement with the experiments. The phenomenon occurs because the viscoelastic liquid is sheared into a rubbery state that possesses an elastic constitutive instability [G. Marrucci and N. Grizzuti, J. Rheol. 27, 433 (1983)]. The fracture is a transient manifestation of this instability, which relies on the amplification of spatially inhomogeneous fluctuations. This mechanism differs from the fracture in glassy materials and dense suspensions.
- polymeric fluids
- step shear