Structural development of HDPE in injection molding



This study investigated some relevant structure/properties relationships in shear-controlled orientation in injection molding (SCORIM) of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). SCORIM was used to deliberately induce a strong anisotropic character in the HDPE microstructure. Three grades with different molecular weight characteristics were molded into tensile test bars, which were subsequently characterized in terms of the mechanical behavior by tensile tests and microhardness measurements. The structure developed upon processing was also characterized by polarized light microscopy (PLM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD). SCORIM allows the production of very stiff molded parts, exhibiting a very well-defined laminated morphology. This morphology is associated with both an M-shaped microhardness profile and a pronounced mechanical anisotropy. These characteristics are supported by an analogous variation in the crystallinity and a high level of molecular orientation, as indicated, respectively, by calorimetric measurements and X-ray diffraction results. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 89: 2079–2087, 2003