Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Flow-induced crystallization in the injection molding of polymers: A thermodynamic approach

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Publication Date

Fall 2005


The prediction of the crystallinity and microstructure that develop in injection molding is very important for satisfying the required specifications of molded products. A novel approach to the numerical simulation of the skin-layer thickness and crystallinity in moldings of semicrystalline polymers is proposed. The approach is based on the calculation of the entropy reduction in the oriented melt and the elevated equilibrium melting temperature by means of a nonlinear viscoelastic constitutive equation. The elevation of the equilibrium melting temperature that results from the entropy reduction between the oriented and unoriented melts is used to determine the occurrence of flow-induced crystallization. The crystallization rate enhanced by the flow effect is obtained by the inclusion of the elevated equilibrium melting temperature in the modified Hoffman–Lauritzen equation. Injection-molding experiments at various processing conditions were carried out on polypropylenes of various molecular weights. The thickness of the highly oriented skin layer and the crystallinity in the moldings were measured. The measured data for the microstructures in the moldings agree well with the simulated results.



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