Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Sullivan, Rani W.

Committee Member

Hilton, Harry H.

Committee Member

Lacy, Thomas E.

Committee Member

Pittman Jr., Charles U.

Committee Member

Schneider, Judith A.

Other Advisors or Committee Members

Toghiani, Hossein

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Aerospace Engineering


The objective of this study was to develop a model to predict the viscoelastic material functions of a vinyl ester (VE) polymer (Derakane 441-400, Ashland Co.,) with variations in its material properties. Short-term tensile creep/creep recovery experiments were conducted at two stress levels and at four temperatures below the glass transition temperature of the VE polymer, with 10 replicates for each test configuration. Experimental strains in both the longitudinal and transverse directions were measured using a digital image correlation technique. The measured creep strain versus time responses were subsequently used to determine the creep compliances using the generalized viscoelastic constitutive equation with a Prony series representation. The variation in the creep compliances of Derakane 441-400 was described by formulating the probability density functions (PDFs) and the corresponding cumulative distribution functions (CDFs) of the creep compliances using the two-parameter Weibull and log-normal distributions. The maximum likelihood estimation technique was used to obtain the Weibull shape and its scale parameters and the log-normal location and its scale parameters. The goodness-ofit of the distributions was determined by performing Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S) hypothesis tests. Based on the K-S test results, the Weibull distribution is a better representation of the creep compliances of Derakane 441-400 when compared to the log-normal distribution. Additionally, the Weibull scale and shape parameters of the creep compliance distributions were shown to be time and temperature dependent. Therefore, two-dimensional quadratic Lagrange interpolation functions were used to characterize the Weibull parameters to obtain the PDFs and subsequently the CDFs of the creep compliances for the complete design temperature range during steady state creep. At each test temperature, creep compliance curves were obtained for CDF values of 0.05, 0.50 and 0.95 and compared with the experimentally obtained lowest, mean and highest creep compliances, respectively. The predicted creep compliances of Derakane 441-400 in the design space are in good agreement with the experimental data.



Polymers||Vinyl Ester||Linear Viscoelasticity||Creep Compliance||Prony Series Representation||Uniaixal Creep Test