The motion in concentrated polymer systems is described by either the Rouse or the reptation model, which both assume that the relaxation of each polymer chain is independent of the surrounding chains. This, however, is in contradiction with several experiments. In this Letter, we propose a universal description of orientation coupling in polymer melts in terms of the time-dependent coupling parameter κ(t). We use molecular dynamics simulations to show that the coupling parameter increases with time, reaching about 50% at long times, independently of the chain length or blend composition. This leads to predictions of component dynamics in mixtures of different molecular weights from the knowledge of monodisperse dynamics for unentangled melts. Finally, we demonstrate that entanglements do not play a significant role in the observed coupling.\ud © 2010 The American Physical Societ
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