The effect of rubber particle volume fraction on the constitutive relation and fracture toughness of polymer blends was studied using elastic-plastic Finite Element Analysis (FEA). The effect of rubber particle cavitation on the stress-strain state at a crack tip was also investigated. Stress analysis reveals that because of the high rubber bulk modulus, the hydrostatic stress inside the rubber particle is close to that in the adjacent matrix material element. As a result, the rubber particle imposes a severe plastic constraint to the surrounding matrix and limits its plastic strain. Rubber particle cavitation can effectively release the constraint and enable large scale plastic strain to occur. Different failure criteria were used to determine the optimum rubber particle volume fraction for the polymer blends studied in this paper.
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