Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Atomic force microscopy observations of the structural development during the uniaxial stretching of crosslinked low-density polyethylene in partial and fully molten states

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The effect of uniaxial deformation in partially and fully molten states on the morphology of crosslinked low-density polyethylene has been investigated. At low temperatures, the morphology is predominantly fibrillar, with little kebabs appearing on the fibril surfaces. As the deformation temperature is increased into the melting range, the shish density decreases, and overgrowths of kebabs on the fibrils concurrently increase in length. This gives rise to added twisting of the kebabs reflected in the orientation factor analysis. This shish/twisted lamellar kebab texture is observed only in a partially molten state. Studies in a substantially molten state indicate the absence of shish, althugh short lamellae are observed that are oriented in the transverse direction. This morphology indicates a high chain orientation factor as a result of short lamellae that exhibit small twisting similar to Matsumura's rod model. The absence of shishes in the final films stretched isothermally in a substantially molten stage agrees with Schultz's model, in which imperfectly formed shishes dissolve if they are not stabilized by rapid cooling, as is the case in these studies.

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Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics





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