Polymer Engineering Faculty Research

Strain induced crystallization of PEEK

Robert Weiss, The University of Akron


Strain-induced crystallization of poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) was studied by the use of a parallel plate rheometer. The experimental variables included preheating time, crystallization temperature, and shear rate. The crystallization kinetics were characterized by means of an induction time defined as the time elapsed from the start of shearing to the onset of crystallization. The experimental results showed that the induction time for strain-induced crystallization of PEEK was significantly shorter than that for crystallization under quiescent condition, and that strain-induced crystallization was much less temperature dependent than quiescent crystallization. The activation energy for strain-induced crystallization was found to be 0.035kcal/mole, which was considerably smaller than the reported activation energy for quiescent crystallization. Photomicrographs of the sheared specimens indicated that PEEK crystallites orient along the flow direction.