Damage to Polystyrene Polymer Film by Shock Wave Induced Bubble Collapse

Sa Hoon Min, Sidath Wijesinghe, Edmond Y. Lau, Max L. Berkowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Metallic surfaces that are in contact with solutions are commonly used in numerous applications where these surfaces can be damaged by shock wave induced bubble collapse. Use of polymer films that coat such surfaces to prevent them from damage requires a better understanding of how much harm collapsing bubbles produce in the films. In this study, we report the results from coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to study the damage to polystyrene (PS) films coating a hard surface. The damage was caused by a collapsing nanobubble located in the proximity of the film and interacting with an impinging shock wave. This collapse produces a high-speed water jet that impacts the PS film with a greater force than the shock front and creates cavities/pits in the PS film. We observed that polymer molecules located in the jet vicinity undergo conformational extension in the direction perpendicular to the jet motion, while chain molecules in the rest of the film undergo compression. We also observed that damage to the film is sensitive to the strength of the shock wave.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7494-7499
Number of pages6
JournalThe journal of physical chemistry. B
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 27 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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