The application of the boundary element method (BEM) to the stress analysis of polymers is reviewed. Since polymers are most often modelled as viscoelastic materials, formulations specifically developed for other such materials are also discussed. Essentially, only linear viscoelasticity, for which the correspondence principle applies, features in existing BEM formulations. One of the adopted BEM approaches solves the problem in either the Laplace or the Fourier transformed domain and relies on numerical inversion for the determination of the time-dependent response. The second solves directly in the time domain using appropriate fundamental solutions each depending on the viscoelastic model used. The developed algorithms have been validated through their application to a range of standard cases. Scope for enhancing the potential of the method to solve viscoelastic problems is identified. This can be achieved by increasing the generality of material modelling and expanding its application to complex, industry-oriented problems
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