Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

An Investigation of the Temperature and Strain-Rate Effects on Strain-to-Failure of UHMWPE Fibers



Don Jenket II, Amanda L. Forster, Nicholas G. Paulter Jr., Tusit Weerasooriya, Carey A. Gunnarsson, Mohamad Al-Sheikhly


During a ballistic impact, Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibers are subjected to high temperatures and high strain-rates. Their tensile strength increases with increasing strain-rate and decreases with increasing temperature. To understand the impact of both factors simultaneously, a single fiber heater has been fabricated to heat UHMWPE fibers up to the melting temperature (148 °C) to measure the change in mechanical properties as a function of temperature and strain-rate. Custom grips have been fabricated for use with the single fiber heater and performed well across all strain rates and temperatures in this study. 251 tensile tests have been conducted on 10-mm gage length UHMWPE single fibers at temperature- strain-rate combinations spanning five strain-rates between 10-3 s-1 to 550 s-1 and eleven temperatures from 20 °C. to 148 °C. A non-failure boundary is created by temperature-strain- rate combinations where fibers can be strained to 25% without mechanically failing. This occurs at 75 °C for 10-3 s-1, 100 °C for 10-2 s-1, 130 °C for 10-1 s-1, 148 °C for 100 s-1, and fail regardless of temperature at 550 s-1. It is estimated that for similar mechanical response, an increase in temperature of 25 °C to 30 °C is equivalent to lowering the strain-rate by one decade for strain-rates between 10-3 s-1 and 10-1 s-1. At 550 ss-1 strain-rate, there was minor change in the strain-to-failure from 20°C to 145 °C indicating strain-rate is the dominant factor.
Conference Dates
June 6-9, 2016
Conference Location
Orlando, FL, US
Conference Title
Society for Experimental Mechanics


UHMWPE single fiber, strain-to-failure, Split-Hopkinson Tension Bar (SHTB), Kolsky bar, single fiber heater


Jenket II, D. , Forster, A. , Paulter Jr., N. , Weerasooriya, T. , Gunnarsson, C. and Al-Sheikhly, M. (2016), An Investigation of the Temperature and Strain-Rate Effects on Strain-to-Failure of UHMWPE Fibers, Society for Experimental Mechanics, Orlando, FL, US, [online],, (Accessed May 22, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created October 18, 2016, Updated April 7, 2022