Kinetics of rapid structural changes during heat setting of preoriented PEEK/PEI blend films as followed by spectral birefringence technique
The influence of composition and preorientation on the development of structural hierarchy during heat setting of PEEK/PEI films was investigated using on-line birefringence, and off-line wide-angle and small-angle X-ray scattering, infrared dichroism and thermal analysis techniques. When the PEEK/PEI blends are drawn to deformation levels below the onset of strain hardening, the subsequent heat setting at high temperature starts with a large relaxation process followed by a fast crystallization and a long-term slow structural rearrangement stages. When the films are predrawn beyond a critical structural level (crystallinity and orientation), the initial relaxation stage disappears. This signifies that beyond a critical structural order a long-range physical network, where the nodes consist of crystallized domains and chain—self and cross-entanglements—are formed. This physical network allows the entropy driven shrinkage stresses to be maintained that results in the development of oriented crystalline phase. The addition of non-crystallizable PEI chains was found to retard the formation of this ‘network structure’ resulting in lower orientation levels.
Bicakci, S. and Cakmak, Mukerrem, "Kinetics of rapid structural changes during heat setting of preoriented PEEK/PEI blend films as followed by spectral birefringence technique" (2002). Polymer Engineering Faculty Research. 425.