The size effect on mechanical properties of glassy polyethylene (PE) nanoscale particles has been investigated by extensive coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. The diameter of the PE particles varies in the range of 5–40 nm, we confirm that the particle's behaviour under compressive stress strongly depends on its size—the smaller the particle diameter is, the stiffer the particle behaves. The present mechanical responses of compressed particles are in good agreement with our previous experimental phenomena of micron-sized polymer particles measured by a nanoindentation-based flat punch method. Possible reasons for the size effect are discussed.
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