'The effects of strain rate and temperature on commercial acrylic artist paints aged one year to decades'

Christina Young, E. Hagan, M. Charalambides, T. Learner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Acrylic artist paints are viscoelastic composites containing a high molecular weight copolymer, pigment and a variety of additives. The glass transition temperature of the latex binder is typically slightly below ambient conditions, giving mechanical properties that are strongly dependent on strain rate and temperature. In previous work, the viscoelastic behaviour of custom-formulated latex artist paints was reported for films with known volume fractions of pigment using data from uniaxial tensile tests at different strain rates and temperatures. Secant Young’s modulus and failure strain master curves were constructed for each film through time-temperature superposition, allowing predictions beyond the experimental timescale at a selected reference temperature. A similar analysis is now presented for a small set of commercial artist paints tested at ages of 1 and 27 years. Experimental shift factor values are reported with fits to the Arrhenius, WLF and Vogel Fulcher equations, along with a comparison with published data for acrylic polymers. The tensile results highlight a spectrum of properties that acrylic paints may exhibit—brittle glass to hyperelastic—depending on the conditions during deformation. Strong similarities are shown between products from different manufacturers, and the findings suggest a high degree of stability with age. A method for predicting failure as a function of strain rate and temperature is also presented, and the methodology gives a framework for investigating other artist materials and the factors influencing their mechanical properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823
JournalApplied Physics
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015


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