Investigation of conditions of spherulite formation in mixtures of crystalline and amorphous polymers

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  • Prod. No. 1454

Abstract

The supermolecular structure of mixtures of crystalline polymers (low pressure and high pressure polyethylene, isotactic polypropylene) with an amorphous polymer (atactic polypropylene) from the point of view of the influence of the amorphous component on the morphology of the crystalline component has been investigated. The criterion of changes in the morphological state of larger supermolecular formations was the microscopic image of the samples obtained with an optical microscope, both between crossed nicols and in phase contrast. It has been established that the formation of typical spherulites depends on the amount of admixture of the amorphous polymer and also on the treatment of the samples. Upon crystallization in presence of a small amount of solvent (p-xylene), formation of typical spherulites of the crystalline component of the mixture can be observed while the same mixture in case of evaporation of the solvent presents a granulated refractive structure without typical spherulites, regardless of the rate of cooling. The probable role of the solvent is to facilitate mutual segregation of the microphases of both polymers in consequence of decrease in viscosity of the mixture. It has been further shown that even after briefly heating the mixture to a temperature of 220°C., before crystallization, spherulites do not form; on the contrary, spherulites originally present disappear and a structure consisting of smaller refractive formations of crystalline polymer is obtained. The formation of this structure, emerging after destruction of spherulites, might be attributed to an increase of interpenetration of both polymers and to an increase of the contact surfaces between components of the mixture.

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