Change of orientation by thermal contraction of polyacrylonitrile fiber

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  • Prod. No. 1650

Abstract

Polyacrylonitrile polymer powder was dissolved in 70% nitric acid and spun into isotropic filament through a glass nozzle of 0.5 mm. diameter in a coagulating bath of 30% nitric acid. Stretching was carried out in two stages: the first stretching was done in water at 20°C. followed by drying, and the second stretching was done in a boiling saturated solution of ammonium sulfate. The total stretching ratio was 23. These filaments were shrunk freely in water at 70–180°C. The change in orientation factors was traced by x-ray, infrared dichroism, visible dichroism, and sonic modulus methods. The relation between the reciprocal absolute temperature of thermal contraction and the logarithm of fiber length is a straight line which has two inflection points at 93 and 175°C. The orientation factors by x-ray and infrared dichroism remain unchanged up to 175°C. On the contrary, the orientation factors by visible dichroism and sonic modulus drop suddenly at about 90°C. This indicates the occurrence of relaxation of the amorphous chain at the glass transition temperature and shows the polymer is not perfect single-phase material. Orientation of crystalline and amorphous phases is stable from 100 to 170°C. in spite of considerable thermal contraction. The stability of orientation can be explained by the growth of a folded structure in the polymer.

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